A new multi-sensory reading program in New York City has attracted the personal attention of the City Schools Chancellor and the Staten Island Borough President as the program is being initially tried out at PS 57 in Staten Island.
City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña was on hand to observe the new phonics based program which serves students in both general education and special education classes.
The Department of Education partnered with the Rose Institute for Learning and Literacy at Manhattanville College to implement the program through classwork and mentoring. Teachers use multi sensory approaches in lessons, which benefit students with identified print disabilities, including dyslexia.
Fariña observed a first grade integrated co-teaching class and a language arts and reading lesson. The teacher she observed was Laura O’Brien, who was trained at the Rose Institute at Manhattanville.
The chancellor noted that the program gives students the skill of “decoding” letters and sounds. “If we can get them at an early age — even pre-k — the earlier the better — we have a greater chance of keeping them engaged,” she said.