HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- All New York City public school students will be screened for being at risk for dyslexia in what officials are calling the largest and most comprehensive approach to supporting public school students with the learning disorder.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks announced the initiative at a school in Harlem where the pilot program will debut.
"Every child in every ZIP code," Adams said.
Beginning September 23, 2022, the Department of Education will pilot two first-of-their-kind programs, where 80 elementary schools and 80 middle schools across the city will receive targeted support and training to screen and identify students at risk for dyslexia and provide targeted interventions.
Every student will participate in short, adaptive literacy screeners as part of the pilot at these schools.
"Early screening ensures that every child who needs support will get the help and resources they need," Banks said. "These screeners are emblematic of this administration's commitment to uplifting all of our students and making sure they are well equipped to succeed."
In addition, Literacy Academy Collective in P.S. 161 in the Bronx and Lab School for Family Literacy in P.S. 125 in Manhattan will both offer specialized programs for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities.
Adams said he struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia as a child, and he wants children to have the chance to show their full potential in the classroom.
"By changing the way we approach dyslexia, we can unlock the untapped potential in students who may feel insecure about their dyslexia or any other language-based learning disabilities they may have," he said.
Banks said the goal is to have a dyslexia program at one school in every school district by the fall of 2023.
Additionally, by April 2023, all teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade will participate in Made by Dyslexia's two-hour introductory training.
Teachers across the city will have opportunities to participate in training for evidence-based reading programs grounded in explicit phonics techniques.
Teachers will receive additional job-embedded literacy support from trained literacy coaches across all grade levels in targeted schools.
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