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Column: Patterson, JES do what it takes to educate

By Louise Pitts

Jemison Elementary School supports the principle “whatever it takes” in educating our students.
A review of the No Child Left Behind Act quickly demonstrates that it does not list programs to be used to accomplish the standards established by the act; it is understood that not all children learn in the same way or under the same programs. JES officials also understand this same principle.
Therefore, at JES, in addition to our reading programs, we use the Scottish Rites Foundation Dyslexia Program. Teacher Judy Patterson laid the groundwork of establishing the guidelines for beginning the program at our school. Patterson attended meetings with personnel from the Scottish Rites Foundation to obtain a solid working knowledge of the foundation of the program.
Through the years, Patterson has seen numerous students, who were intelligent but struggled to read, become successful readers with their self-esteem restored.
This past fall, Patterson attended the International Dyslexia Association conference as a presenter. She and Denise Gibbs from the Scottish Rites Foundation presented data on the academic success of the students at JES. In fact, the dyslexia program has increased student achievement at JES to the point that Patterson and Gibbs were able to point out in their Power Point demonstration that students at JES achieved well above the state average.
The program has grown at JES over the past 7 years to the point that Patterson has mentored another teacher, Peggy Ray, who now also is a facilitator for the program at our school.
Teachers, parents and students are proud of the program and the success at JES. Jemison Elementary School is certainly fortunate to have Judy Patterson, who has become an expert facilitator for the dyslexia program and who is willing to do “whatever it takes” for the students who enter her room.

Louise Pitts is the principal of Jemison Elementary School.