Official Kids Mag

March 2021

Official Kids Mag is specifically written for kids ages 5 to 12. It contains activities and stories ranging from kid heroes, cooking, gardening, STEAM, education, fun facts and much more every month.

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By Suzanne Rhodes Official Kids Mag Do you have trouble reading and making sense of words? Is spelling a struggle? You might be one of the many millions of Americans who has dyslexia. It's a big word to describe the difficulty so many boys, girls and grownups have with reading, writing and spelling. The word dyslexia simply means "difficulty with words." Those with dyslexia are just as smart as other people, but their brains work a bit differently. Addi Martin is one of those girls, and her story is very inspiring. She's our Kid Hero this month because of the hard work and determination she has put into overcoming dyslexia. A fourth grader at Shaw Elementary school in Springdale, Addi is now reading at a fifth grade level. And that's a big deal! Here's Addi's story. Her mom said they knew that when her daughter started school something wasn't right. Her preschool teacher noticed a problem and then, in kindergarten and first grade, her teachers did too, but they didn't know exactly what was wrong. Mrs. Martin noted, "She was always a sweet, respectful and hardworking student, but they couldn't tell me anything specific about what I could do to help her." Addi explained how she felt. "It was very hard because I couldn't read easily. I would get frustrated." Her mom said she remembers trying to help Addi read early in kindergarten, "and the tears … oh, the tears … from both of us! It was obvious she was trying and just couldn't. She wanted to read so badly." Well, Mom decided it was time to take action. So she sent Addi to a reading specialist for testing. That's when Addi was diagnosed with dyslexia. At that time, she was going to Hunt Elementary in Springdale. She was placed in a special group with other children who had dyslexia. "She would be pulled out two and three times a week for 20-30 minutes and would get direct instruction on phonics and other foundational reading skills," said Mrs. Martin, who is a reading teacher herself. These are called small group interventions. In the third grade and with the help of some medication, Addi began showing improvement. But then COVID-19 hit in 2020, school buildings closed, and Addi and her little brother Cruz were home-schooled like so Teachers, mom, hard work and graphic novels paved the way to Addi's success reading is 'now 40 • march 2021 •

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