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Mayor Adams, Chancellor Banks, Assembly Member Carroll Announce Investment in Landmark Dyslexia Programs in Brooklyn

  • Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2023

NEW YORK – Today Mayor Eric Adams, Schools Chancellor David C. Banks, and Assembly Member Robert Carroll announced a $100,000 investment in specialized programming for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities.

With these funds, PS 107 and PS 295 in Brooklyn’s Community School District 15 will join the landmark Structured Literacy Schools pilot. Educators at these schools will receive in-depth training on evidence-based literacy instruction, as well as interventionists who will provide specialized instruction for students who are at risk for or diagnosed with dyslexia in standalone classes. 

"For far too long, children across the city suffered in silence as they struggled in school with an undetected learning disability, just as I did, and their parents hopelessly agonized over the inability to help their little ones, just as my mother did," said Mayor Adams. "Stories like these are too common, which is why our administration has put literacy at the forefront of our policy and citywide programming. We will continue to invest in these upstream solutions in our education system to provide our students with the support they need to thrive."

“We are building on our early successes and scaling our specialized instruction pilot. Our schools are truly preparing students for bold futures when every student can read,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “Thanks to this generous investment, we're another step closer to making sure every student has access to the services they need without leaving their neighborhood.” 

“I am proud to have secured $100,000 in the state budget for PS 107 and PS 295 to invest in NYC DOE’s landmark structured literacy pilot program. With two-thirds of New York State’s fourth graders currently failing to read at grade level, it is clear that there is a reading crisis among our school children,” said Assembly Member Robert Carroll. “As someone who was fortunate to have my own dyslexia identified in 1st Grade and receive evidence-based literacy interventions that were structured and sequential, I know how important early identification and intervention are to remediating dyslexia and making all children academically successful.  Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks, with their landmark structured literacy pilot program are showing the courage of leadership to confront this crisis, not just for students with dyslexia, but for all of our children. These funds will provide the teacher training in literacy that is required to teach all of our children to read and I am so proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with this Mayor and Chancellor to support this vital pilot program.”

This initial cohort of Structured Literacy Schools first launched in September 2022 at PS 125 in Manhattan and PS 161 in the Bronx.

This pilot is one part of this administration’s comprehensive approach to literacy. In addition to offering specialized classes, over 500 students in grades 1 through 5 at 40 schools have been screened for risk of dyslexia and other print-based learning disabilities. There are also 62 Academic Intervention Service (AIS) Coordinators serving at the school district level, providing targeted support to schools that need additional interventions. 

“We have a responsibility to provide each and every student with the tools they need to learn in their own way,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Too often, students with dyslexia go without the instruction and accommodations that we know can improve literacy. Thanks to Mayor Adams, Chancellor Banks, and Assembly Member Carroll, that’s beginning to change. I’m so excited for PS 107 and PS 295 to begin to see the great benefits of the Structured Literacy Schools pilot program.”

“This historic investment for dyslexia programs in Brooklyn is a step in the right direction,” said Council Member Rita Joseph. “All New York City children deserve to have the adequate support they need to thrive in the classroom. When key investments are provided for students in communities who need it the most, we are providing equitable support.”

“Dyslexia is the most prevalent learning disability in children, and yet it is woefully misunderstood, unrecognized and too often just plain ignored. However, we know that when educators use evidence-based literacy instruction and when kids get the right interventions, we can dramatically improve literacy rates. I applaud Mayor Adams, Chancellor Banks and Assemblymember Carroll on bringing this pilot to Brooklyn and I look forward to working with them to ensure the expansion of these programs. Literacy is a matter of social justice and ensures that young learners can thrive as their full selves,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, who litigated a landmark disability rights case on behalf of a dyslexic law school graduate.

“We applaud this investment in specialized programming for students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. We must do everything in our power to ensure every one of our children are proficient readers and have access to the supports they need in their local schools,” said Council Member Alexa Avilés. “This is the direction our city should be going in to ensure every school has the full investment in services and resources our children need to succeed.”