A reading program started by a local school psychologist is giving children the tools they need for life-long learning and is inspiring others to get involved.
The Reading Foundation was started in Calgary 27 years ago by Dr. Steve Truch who saw an opportunity to deliver remedial therapy to students who were having difficulty reading.
“For many years I was plagued by the question of why bright children don't know how to read. So when you don't know the cause of something it's pretty hard to treat it,” said Dr. Truch.
Dr. Truch says good research wasn’t available when he was in university but one day he came across an article in a stack of publications in the library at the University of Calgary that inspired him to change that.
“I picked up one of the scientific journals from the stacks, opened the page, and there it was. This article that just popped out at me and it was called Categorizing sounds and learning to read: A causal connection," he said.
He took a new direction in his own research and in 1990 he started The Reading Foundation.
Amanda Camponi joined the foundation 13 years ago and says she's seen amazing results and that it changed her career path.
“When I started working here I had planned on getting my degree in education and I worked here for a couple of months and I decided that this was the place for me, this is the place that gets results,” said Camponi.
Fran Watson and her husband have one of those bright children Dr. Truch was talking about.
She says her son wasn't learning to read in grade one, even after a couple of years in pre-school and a year in kindergarten, with excellent teachers.
“He's in grade four now, he's nine, and we've been here for about three and a half years and he's a happy learner, he's reading. You have to know what that means to have a child who can read as the gateway to everything,” said Watson.
Dr. Truch says today a lot of great research is being done. “We have a pretty good idea now what happens in the brain when we learn to read.”
For using his own research and that of many others to help kids learn to read, Dr. Steve Truch is our Inspiring Albertan this week.
For more information on The Reading Foundation, click HERE.
(With files from Darrel Janz)