Dyslexia affects an estimated 5% to 10% of the world’s population and an even greater percentage of students at Trinity. With Trinity’s specialized curriculum that focuses on remediating dyslexia and other learning differences, we are excited to introduce Wendy Stacy as the school’s reading therapy advisor. Stacy is a well-known expert in dyslexia education and is the co-founder, director and lead dyslexia therapist at the ReadWrite Center, a dyslexia clinic and training center that works with students and teachers.
In her over 15 years of teaching highly-specialized reading therapy methods, Stacy became highly familiar with Trinity’s reading therapy programs, its staff, and its mission. She was drawn to Trinity because of her passion for helping students with learning differences grow to love reading. Stacy believes Trinity’s philosophy serves the whole child, not just the “learning disorder” sets it apart from other educational institutions.
In her new role, Stacy actively teaches students who learn differently to improve and excel in their reading and comprehension. She also works with the school’s Director of Reading Therapy Programs, Shelli Thomas, to develop individualized strategies and methods to train every teacher at Trinity how to implement the Orton Gillingham (OG) model in their classrooms.
“We are so happy to welcome Wendy to Trinity,” said Thomas. “Her experience combined with her love of teaching will be highly valuable to our programs and our students. In addition, as we continue to expand our curriculum, she will provide input on program development which we expect to have a great impact.”
The OG method works well for all learners because it engages all of the neural pathways at once by combining kinesthetic, auditory and visual learning. It is especially helpful for those who learn differently and those with dyslexia.
“Trinity School’s faculty cater to each learner and their specific needs,” Stacy said. “If the methods used in the classroom are stimulating, it’s easier to adapt education plans to help all students excel to higher levels of learning.”
Stacy came to Trinity by way of an unusual path. She received her B.M. in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University and started her career as an actress and dancer before a back injury altered her plans. She returned to school to study speech pathology and earned her M.S. in Communications Sciences and Disorders from the University of Oklahoma.
Stacy has two children, Tyler (26) and Hannah (22), who was born with down syndrome.
“As a single parent, I became the 24/7 caretaker of my daughter. It really opened my eyes to the love of watching my children achieve milestones within their abilities and I started exploring different teaching methods,” Stacy said. “She has learning differences that have caused me to grow and learn as a parent and that helped me apply more understanding and experience to my work with all students.”
She started teaching at the Crossings Christian School in music and speech therapy. There she encountered a student who struggled to manage his curriculum even with extra tools. Unsure of how to help but determined to see her student excel, Stacy began her first Dyslexia training program at the Payne Education Center, where she learned the OG method of reading.
“This method was something I had never experienced before, and it was inspiring to learn how I could help my students in new and exciting ways,” Stacy said.
The OG method was created for struggling readers and was previously only employed for intervention after a student lagged in reading or showed signs of dyslexia. Stacy improved on the method to include game-based learning. Repetition is a known aid in helping students with reading and it creates a fun way to engage with the curriculum and one another in a positive way.
At Crossings, Stacy established and ran a dyslexia therapy program, teaching speech therapy methods to teachers. In only six years, she trained 56 teachers in the Derby Public School district in Derby, KS, to implement OG teaching strategies, and the district saw an immediate increase in reading comprehension scores. Seeing the students’ success, Stacy found a new passion for training teachers on how to implement reading intervention methods into their classrooms.
As the owner and director of the ReadWrite Center, she helps provide assessment and intervention services for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning difficulties. She is also a popular public speaker and educational trainer, and she regularly provides professional development training to educators and therapists across the U.S. She has presented at the International Dyslexia Association and the Learning Disabilities Association of America conferences.
In 2018, Wendy was appointed to the Oklahoma Dyslexia and Education Task Force by the Oklahoma Legislature where she served as Chair of the Assessment Committee and wrote crucial portions of the Oklahoma Dyslexia Handbook.
We are blessed and grateful to have such an expert here at Trinity School!