On Sunday 14 October 2018, Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast and a band of loyal supporters met at Tacking Point Lighthouse to see the iconic building lit up red for the third consecutive year, as part of the annual ‘Light it Red for Dyslexia’ event.
‘Light it Red for Dyslexia’ is a volunteer initiative to light well-known monuments and landmarks across Australia in the colour red in order to promote Dyslexia Awareness, during the month of October.
Dyslexia is on a continuum from mild to severe and is far more prevalent than first realised. It is estimated that there are between 3 – 5 students with dyslexia in every classroom. The Australian Dyslexia Association estimate 10% of the population are directly affected by dyslexia, and the International Dyslexia Association estimate up to 20% of the population are on the dyslexia continuum.
Light it Red for Dyslexia was originally inspired by World Dyslexia Day, a Dyslexia Awareness event held on 15th of October in the USA. The date of the 15th was selected to represent the 1 in 5 people considered to be on the dyslexia continuum. The colour red was chosen to symbolise the dreaded red pen often used to correct work. By portraying the colour red in a positive light, Light It RED for Dyslexia aspires to empower people with living with dyslexia.
A record number of locations across the country participated in this year’s event, with 48 landmarks and monuments lighting it RED to raise awareness including two locations in Port Macquarie – Tacking Point Lighthouse and Town Square.
Dyslexia Support MNC were pleased to announce a number of new initiatives for our local community on the night, including the Youth Ambassador Program with Riley Dietrich and The Literacy Team – Early Connections Specialist Literacy Service launching in 2019.
A Red Paper Plane Challenge was also lots of fun, encouraging all children to soar and reach new heights. You can check out a video featuring the challenge, below.
About Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast
Established in October 2015, Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast consists of pro-active parents and professionals who are advocates for children with dyslexia. The support group’s focus is to increase awareness, share information and provide support to parents and students on issues involving dyslexia and specific learning difficulties.
Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast supports the Australian Dyslexia Association (ADA), Learning Difficulties Association (LDA), and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) who all recommend the use of evidence based education and intervention programs. We also support the work of AUSSPELD and SPELD NSW.
Their advocacy has a multi-layered approach that aims to:
• increase an understanding of learning differences, particularly of dyslexia in education;
• provide support to parents and students on issues involving dyslexia;
• highlight the need for early assessment and intervention within our education system; and
• empower our schools and teachers to employ effective teaching of reading in the classroom to deliver improved educational outcomes for all students.
Parents in our local region struggle to find the specialist support needed to adequately re mediate specific learning difficulties due to a lack of professional and financial resources. This places a greater reliance on our schools to provide early identification and effective intervention. Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast strongly believes that this should not be limited to a small few, when a significant minority (statistically one in four students) are struggling to attain minimum literacy skills to sustain educational progress.
Some of the main goals that Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast aim to achieve include:
• Referring parents to good sources of help (refer Professional Associations attached).
• Providing an opportunity for local parents to engage with relevant speakers, like-minded professionals and other parents through hosted events (four per year).
• Access to early assessment via screening for dyslexia in Kindergarten/Year One.
• Access to early intervention via Multisensory Structured Language training for teachers.
• Dyslexia aware schools in Port Macquarie.
The Westport Club and Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast
The Westport Club has been a proud sponsor of Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast since its inception in 2015. Thanks to the ClubGRANTS program, The Westport Club has been able to provide funding to Dyslexia Support Mid North Coast to enable them to launch and continue to run the ‘Reading IS Rocket’ Science scholarship in the Hastings Region.
Photo gallery: Light It Red for Dyslexia 2018
Here are some photo highlights from the 2018 Light It Red for Dyslexia event at Tacking Point Lighthouse and Tacking Point Surf Club.