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In honor of October’s Dyslexia Awareness Month – along with the memory of the person who helped to institute the William Carey University Dyslexia Therapy Program – officials from the 3D School in Petal are gearing up to host the Dr. Regina Boulware Gooden Memorial Dyslexia Symposium.
The event will take place from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 October 14 at Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg, with three keynote speakers: Tim Odegard, Suzanne Carreker and Elsa Cardenas Hagen.
“Boulware was just instrumental in helping us to get the dyslexia program at William Carey started, and she passed away in September of cancer,” said Cena Holifield, executive director of the 3D School. “So I wanted to do something to bring honor to her, and to remember her.”
Check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m., with a welcome and opening remarks set for 8:30 a.m. That time period will entail a tribute to Gooden.
Odegard will speak from 8:30-10 a.m., with a panel titled “Science of Reading and the Reading Brain.” Odegard serves as chair of excellence in dyslexic studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
Carreker, who serves as the principal educational content lead at Lexia Learning, will speak from 10:15-11:30 a.m. on “Reading Research to Practice (Structured Literacy Intervention in Action). Carreker was named the 2018 recipient of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Larry Byrd, who represents District 104 in the Mississippi House of Representatives, will speak from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. for a Lunch and Learn on an “Overview of Mississippi Dyslexia Laws.” That will be followed by Donna George, who will speak on “The Effects of Basic Language Skills Instruction on second-grade Children With Dyslexia.”
Hagen, who serves as the director of Valley Speech Language and Learning Center in Brownsville, Texas, will speak from 1:30-2:45 p.m. on “Identification, Assessment, and Diagnosis of Dyslexia with Special Considerations for Diverse Populations.”
A Q&A with speakers will take place from 2:45-3:30 p.m.
“October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and so each October we try to do something special to recognize dyslexia and bring awareness to our area,” Holifield said. “This is the first year in three years that we’ve been able to have a face-to-face live conference due to COVID, so we’re very excited to be able to do that this year.
“So it’s Dyslexia Awareness Month, and also we’re just using this opportunity to remember a dear friend of ours who helped us to establish the dyslexia therapy program at William Carey University.”
Registration information can be found online at www.msdta.org. Members of the Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Association can register for $100, while non-members can register for $125.
WCU elementary education majors can register for $25, with student ID required at check-in.
“Right now, we have 125 registered; we can take up to 150, so we can still take 20 to 25 more registrants if someone would like to register,” Holifield said. “It’s been very well attended in the past; it’s that time of the year that we’re just bringing awareness.
“We want to bring awareness of the types of intervention these children need, having them assessed and how to go about doing that, and providing them with the best intervention possible for them.”
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