Mrs. Newsom's students are bright, energetic people who have the daily challenge of learning to cope with Dyslexia. Each day they face challenges in their academic world as well as personal relationships due to the obstacles Dyslexia places upon them.
"People don't always understand that Dyslexia affects kids in the area of socialization as much as academics." said Mrs. Newsom. In her classroom they work on strengthening self-esteem, learning, and relationships. "We focus on a great deal of repetition to cope with and overcome our obstacles daily. If you were to ask my students to repeat something, I tell them all the time, "Repetition pays off, and never give up”. “Reading is hard and they struggle with various aspects of the written word every day, but they know that with hard work and determination things will get easier." said Mrs. Newsom.
About the Chromebook Project
Mrs. Newsom, Dyslexia Therapist/ Reading Teacher at Travis Elementary, wanted to find new and creative ways to get her students excited about learning. She decided to use an online non-profit organization called Donors Choose, which allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects.
Founded in 2000, by a high school teacher in the Bronx, DonorsChoose.org empowers public school teachers from across the country to request much-needed materials and experiences for their students. Mrs. Newsom was able to create a classroom project request for eight Chrome books, and donors could give any amount to the project that inspired them.
The opportunity to put Chromebooks in the hands of her students at any time would encourage them to read grade level books at will through audio book programs. Writing would become less of a struggle through tools such as voice text allowing them to express orally what would have been laborious with pencil and paper. Simply put-these devices remove the fear of reading and writing through programs such as Learning Ally and Read Write Google.
Writer's block, struggle with the written word, poor penmanship due to Dysgraphia, and decoding issues start to lessen as the students are allowed to practice with technology. Newsom's students will be able to focus on what is important and feel successful every time they pick up a book or are asked to compose a paper because sponsors in our community provided them with a tool to knock down a barrier that otherwise would have hindered their success.
Mrs. Newsom and her class are very thankful for those who assisted in funding the project. Her students are going to be so excited to have the Chrome books ready and waiting for them anytime they are needed. The donors made a dream of hers come true. Mrs. Newsom can put technology in their hands and send them down the road to success. Her students cannot wait to share their work with the community in the months to come.
To view Mrs. Newsom's journey, please click here.