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The Waldrop Literacy Foundation aims to help students struggling with Dyslexia

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 11:16 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Around 20 percent of the population struggles with the learning disorder but only 10 percent of individuals are diagnosed and receive adequate help.

So, one Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) is starting a nonprofit to help.

It’s called the Waldrop Literacy Foundation. This is personal for the founder, Claire Waldrop, who struggles with dyslexia and her three children.

Here in Madison County, 44 percent of our students are not at a proficient reading level.

She says something has to change for struggling readers in Alabama and that’s what The Waldrop Literacy Foundation is all about.

”Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee are all ahead of us as far as literacy. What are they doing that’s different? Certified Academic Language Therapist,” said Waldrop.

They’re trained to help with dyslexia and other disorders of written language.

Certified Academic language therapist, Claire Waldrop says Alabama is ranked 49th in reading proficiency - so something has to change.

“That is why I think we need more CALTS in Huntsville. We have 4 and we have 44 percent of children in Madison County that are not proficient in reading,” said Waldrop.

Waldrop and her three children all struggle with dyslexia. She says her schedule is too booked to accept more students and parents are having to travel over state lines to find the help they need.

On Thursday, she launched her nonprofit, The Waldrop Literacy Foundation.

The first goal, train more CALT’s. And the second goal?

“Once we have the CALT’s, to open a school here and help organizations like the Boy’s and Girls Club and Lincoln Village,” said Waldrop.

Meghan Merry’s daughter is a client. She says teachers do the best they can but don’t have specialized training for dyslexia.

“It was really hard in the very beginning to understand what was going on. And them to and what students with dyslexia exhibit,” said Waldrop.

That’s why she supports the Waldrop Foundation because the resources are needed.

“I can’t describe how such a benefit it would be for our community to have this,” said Merry.

“In Huntsville, so local. To be able to help kids, especially kids that can’t afford to get all the therapy’s they need.”

Waldrop says this is more than just an education problem. She says it’s also a socio-economic problem.

Around 80 percent of our prisoners are illiterate. So she also has a dream to create scholarships to train teachers and send CALT’s into prisons to get them the help they need.

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