Caldwell parents start scholarship fund for dyslexic students
CALDWELL, Texas (KBTX) - Studies show that one in five students have some form of dyslexia, meaning that 15% to 20% of the population is dyslexic. According to the National Center on Improving Literacy, those with dyslexia have reading challenges and often struggle with phonological processing, spelling or rapid visual-verbal responding.
Caldwell parent Marsha Kocurek believes there are many misconceptions about dyslexia, which can cause students to question their futures.
“It doesn’t have to be something you only talk about in a whisper,” Kocurek said. “It doesn’t have to be a disgrace to have dyslexia.”
Beth A. Ferri is an inclusive education professor at Syracuse University and said students with dyslexia can feel inadequate and judged by their peers. The professor said dyslexia means students simply have strengths in other areas.
“A student may really struggle around spelling or decoding, but their comprehension is very good and their ability to tell a compelling story is very good.” Ferri said.
To help students find those strengths in higher education or through trade school, Marsha Kocurek and other Caldwell parents have partnered with the Caldwell Education & Leadership Foundation to create a scholarship solely for students with dyslexia.
“Many times students with dyslexia are great artists so maybe they can pursue their love of art, find their passion and thrive in that,” Kocurek said.
Ferri believes students being able to focus on their passion in college or trade school may provide a better experience for them compared to high school. The inclusive education professor said many colleges offer more accommodations and resources to ensure students with disabilities like dyslexia succeed.
Kocurek hopes the scholarships show students that anything is possible. The parent also hopes those who receive scholarships become positive role models for younger dyslexic students.
The Caldwell parents are hosting a Dine for Dyslexia fundraiser. They’re selling homemade casseroles for $20 and cupcakes for $10. The money raised will help the parents distribute scholarships in May.
“I want other families to know that ‘hey there are good things that will come of this’ and those kids will persevere and make great students in the future,” Kocurek said.
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