Hope for Reading Challenges: A Q & A with PLS’ Reading Intervention Program Director
Since our founding, Proactive Life Skills has been dedicated to enhancing the lives of those who seek our assistance. We help individuals with neuro-developmental, anxiety and impulse control disorders to promote inclusion and boost independent potential.
Our Reading Intervention Program is led by longtime special ed advocate and educator, Bobbie Rountree. Bobbie is a Jacksonville native, a Bishop Kenny grad who received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Jacksonville University. Her passion for education then led her to earn a Master’s in Reading Diagnosis and Research from the University of Florida. Bobbie also has 17 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools here in Jacksonville.
When asked why she decided to become involved in a reading intervention program, she responded:
“It is my passion. I believe all children have the right to learn and to read. It is so disheartening when a child thinks or assumes they are ‘dumb’ just because they struggle with reading. A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success at school and in work.”
PLS’ Reading Intervention Program follows the original design created by Barbara Wilson whose main goal is to teach the English language step-by-step in a manner that allows students to gain complete mastery over their weakness(es). Wilson initially created this program for adults with dyslexia. However, Rountree explains that the program has since been rewritten several times, and now includes programs for early childhood through adults and also aids those with APD (Auditory processing disorder), Dysgraphia, Short-term memory deficit, Language based disabilities (the ability to understand or produce spoken language), etc.
At the PLS Therapy & Learning Center, Rountree uses the Wilson Language System which includes direct instruction, multisensory instruction, and student modeling when in small groups. While it’s never too late to seek help, to achieve optimal results, it is imperative that parents enroll their child in a reading intervention program as soon as a deficit is established.
“Once they [the children] are a full year behind in grade level reading, their chances for catching up begin to decrease significantly. The longer a parent waits, the more frustrated and behind the child will become. The weaknesses need to be addressed as soon as they are identified to help a child reach success. Getting help sooner than later is key. A child’s success and confidence depends on it. It should also be remembered that most people diagnosed with a learning disability are very intelligent. There are ways to succeed with these types of diagnoses when interventions and help are obtained.”
When asked why she chose to work at Proactive Life Skills over other centers, she stated
“I like working at a center I believe in. A place where I know I am helping develop the whole child in order for them to be successful in school and later in work. I am giving them confidence to work independently.”
Giving clients the means and tools to develop themselves is paramount here at PLS. Our center and services are unique to the Jacksonville area and extremely beneficial to the community. We offer parent and teacher training and support, and interventions for children and young adults with social skills and academic weaknesses. Rountree’s hope, as well as the entire PLS team, is that families, district schools and the private sectors will take full advantage of our center.
For more information on our Reading Intervention Program, or to schedule your child for a reading assessment, click here.