KINDERHOOK – Kinderhook Memorial Library has a collection of decodable reading books aimed at helping dyslexic children learn to read.
These types of books can be useful for anyone learning to read, and having them in the library allows anyone to use the otherwise expensive volumes.
“They are designed to support the literacy development of those who are learning to read,” said AnnaLee Dragon, director of the Kinderhook Memorial library. “They use this different structure, scientific phonetic approach, which teaches children to decode words by understanding phonetics, syllables and morphology, and while they are very useful for people with dyslexia, they are also good for anyone learning. to read. They are fundamentally a different way of teaching reading that makes sense for people with dyslexia.
The collection is the only one of its kind in the Mid-Hudson library system, Dragon said. The library system, which includes all of Columbia County, consists of 66 libraries in five counties and allows anyone in one of the libraries to borrow books from other libraries.
“While some libraries have a book or two from one of the publishers, we’re the only ones that have, at this point anyway, this type of complete collection,” Dragon said.
The new collection includes a sub-collection of books called Geodes. Part of the collection has different levels, each containing several modules. The entire collection includes hundreds of books.
The collection became available for purchase in part through a $ 2,000 grant to the library from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation Fund for Columbia County, with the assistance of administrator and teacher Karen Vecellio. A client who initially brought the books to the library’s attention worked to personally raise over $ 7,500 in additional funds to help the library build its collection of decodable readers.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability referring to a set of symptoms that cause difficulty with specific language skills, especially reading.
It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of the population suffers from dyslexia, but that number could reach 17%, according to Dragon.
“Dyslexia is considered the most common language-based learning disability,” said Dragon. “And it’s the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. “
The library catalogs the new books, and Dragon said they will be available for the public to use and view in the coming weeks.
One of the things a library focuses on is leveling the playing field and providing accessibility of resources to everyone, Dragon said.
“Particularly when things are specialized or too expensive for an individual,” Dragon said. “There are a number of things that can create barriers to access. Money is one of them, but it’s not just that. It’s an awareness of what’s available and it’s also just having people who understand, like with these books. With decodable readers, it’s not just about having the book collection here, it’s about the library staff understanding what they are and who to recommend them to, and what they’re for. It’s like internet access, you can access the internet in a lot of places, but the library is where you can get help with these things as well and I feel like the library is also a place where people make connections.
The library hopes to help develop a group of people who support each other in this process, Dragon said. They want to have a support group of students, clients and families who would be able to share information and help each other.