Grand Opening of Norwalk Center for Specialized Learning in Literacy

Grand Opening of Norwalk Center for Specialized Learning in Literacy
Posted on 09/26/2018
Norwalk Literacy Center SignThe Norwalk Center for Specialized Learning in Literacy officially opened its doors today, bringing state-of-the-art interventions to students with reading disabilities, including dyslexia. The grand opening marks the final phase of a Norwalk Public Schools (NPS) initiative to support learners within the district, without outsourcing services. Governor Dannel Malloy joined NPS Superintendent Dr. Steven Adamowski, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, state and locallegislators, and special education teachers, administrators, and students to celebrate the Norwalk Literacy Center.

The Norwalk Literacy Center will provide the gold standard of research-based strategies and interventions to diagnose and assist students 
Literacy Center Ribbon Cuttingwith reading disabilities, including dyslexia. According to the International Dyslexia Association, 15-20 percent of the population have symptoms of dyslexia. While not all of these students will require special education, they are likely to struggle with many aspects of academic learning. Approximately 200 students districtwide will now receive intervention services each year. Individuals and small groups will receive intensive services at the Norwalk Literacy Center over an eight to 12 week session with continuous progress monitoring. 

“Every single child in Norwalk deserves the opportunity to succeed at reading. Our goal is to build capacity through the Literacy Center in order to help eliminate illiteracy for all NPS students,” said Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services Yvette Goorevitch. 

The Norwalk Literacy Center offers a variety Literacy Center Classof services including a fully equipped audiology testing booth onsite. This feature allows the district’s certified audiologist to conduct screenings for hearing loss, audiological disorders and auditory processing disorders. The Literacy Center also has three reading intervention rooms with contemporary equipment and materials.

The Norwalk Literacy Center will be staffed with a full-time coordinator and certified audiologist. Classroom educators trained in multiple Orton-Gillingham methodologies will work with students at the Literacy Center before, during and after school on a regular basis.

Over the past year, Fairfield University, in collaboration with Literacy How, has trained two cohorts made up of 18 teachers including special education and speech and language specialists to provide systematic, intensive instruction and intervention services. A third cohort of 30 educators will occur during the 2018-19 school year. Orton-Gillingham is a nationally recognized instructional approach for the treatment of reading, spelling and writing disabilities including dyslexia. 

Aspects of the Literacy Center have been funded through The Noble Trust and Fairfield University, supported by the Norwalk Special Education Development Fund. 

The Literacy Center is located on Main Street at Nottingham Place. The former home of a school based health center, the inside of the approximately 5,000 square foot building was updated in late 2017.