On a warm Friday evening, Chiara and her friends are huddled over paper and computers. They aren’t distracted by the shouts and laughter drifting in from the playground behind them. These students are deep in their thoughts.
Like one in five students, 9-year-old Jacob Forst has language-based learning disabilities that affects his reading and writing abilities. A school like The Hyde Park Day School sounded just right for Jacob. But first he had to get in.
Thousands of students in the Chicago area struggle with reading.For many, a learning disability is the root of the problem. But within Chicago Public schools, learning disabilities, like dyslexia, can easily go undiagnosed unless a parent demands help.
New Common Core standards require students to become proficient with a keyboard. Forty-five states have adopted this comprehensive change to K-12 curricula. Now educators must decide whether they want to make time to teach cursive writing – even if there’s not a grade for it on report cards.
In a sunny classroom, first graders at the Chicago Waldorf School are not picking up books. Instead, in every student’s hands are two wooden knitting needles. Waldorf teaches kids the mechanics of reading years later than most U.S. schools.
Coya Paz lives in Chicago with her partner and Ida, their three year-old daughter. Reading is central to their family life. But one of the things that gets Ida most excited about reading isn't on those shelves.