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The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships



The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships offer financial assistance to two graduating seniors with documented learning disabilities (LD) who are pursuing post-secondary education. The Anne Ford Scholarship was first awarded in 2002; in 2009, with a generous donation from Anne’s daughter, Allegra, the award was renamed the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship and granted to two students.

We now offer two separate scholarships, the Anne Ford Scholarship and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship.

Anne Ford Scholarship

The 2012-2013 deadline has passed. Check back in the summer for information on the 2013-2014 scholarship!

The Anne Ford Scholarship is a $10,000 scholarship ($2,500/year over four years) granted to a graduating high school senior with a documented learning disability who will be enrolled in a full-time bachelor’s degree program in the fall of 2013. The ideal Anne Ford Scholar is a student who:

  • Articulates his or her LD and clearly demonstrates the importance of self-advocacy
  • Is committed to completing a four-year college degree and has begun to set realistic career goals
  • Participates in school and community activities
  • Has demonstrated academic achievements consistent with college and career goals
  • Plans to contribute to society in ways that increase opportunities for individuals with LD
  • Excels as a role model and spokesperson for others who struggle with LD

 

To be eligible for the 2012-2013 Anne Ford Scholarship, an applicant must:


  • Be a graduating high school senior who will be attending a four-year bachelor’s degree program in the fall of 2012
  • Have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale (or equivalent)
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Provide most current documentation of an identified learning disability
  • Please Note: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder alone is not considered to be a learning disability; eligible candidates with AD/HD must also provide documentation of a specific learning disability.
  • Be a United States citizen

Requirements to apply include:


  • Application form
  • Personal statement
  • High school transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Financial statement
  • Standardized test scores
  • Proof of LD






















Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship

The 2012-2013 deadline has passed. Check back in the summer for information on the 2013-2014 scholarship!

The Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship is a $2,500 one-time scholarship awarded to a graduating high school senior with a documented learning disability who will be enrolled in a two-year community college, a vocational or technical training program, or a specialized program for students with LD in the fall of 2013. The ideal Allegra Ford Thomas Scholar is a student who:

  • Articulates his or her LD and recognizes the need for self-advocacy
  • Is committed to post-high school academic study/career training and has begun to set realistic career goals
  • Has demonstrated perseverance and is committed to achieving personal goals despite the challenges of LD
  • Participates in school and community activities
  • Demonstrates financial need

 

To be eligible for the 2012-2013 Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship, an applicant must:


  • Be a graduating high school senior who will be attending a two-year community college, a vocational/technical training program, or specialized program for students with LD in the fall of 2012
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Provide most current documentation of an identified learning disability
  • Please Note: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder alone is not considered to be a learning disability; eligible candidates with AD/HD must also provide documentation of a specific learning disability.
  • Be a United States citizen

    Requirements to apply include:


    • Application form, including structured question-and-answer section
    • High school transcript
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Financial statement
    • Proof of LD






















    Read about the 2013 winners of the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships.

    Read about the 2012 winners of the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships.

    Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships.

    2009 Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Scholarship Winners

    The winners of the 2009 Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Scholarship Award are Zeke Nierenberg and Macy Olivas.


    The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is proud to congratulate Zeke Nierenberg of El Cerrito, CA and Macy Olivas of San Diego, CA, the 2009 first prize winners of the Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Scholarship Award. Now in its eighth year and newly expanded due to a generous gift by Allegra Ford, this scholarship provides $10,000 toward tuition over four years to a graduating high school senior with learning disabilities (LD) who will pursue an undergraduate degree at a college or university. A prize of Kurzweil 3000 Scan/Read software is also presented to the award winners and the two award runners up. Runners up for this year's Scholarship Award are Carly Kohler of Forestville, CA and Kimberly Hudon of Milton, FL, who will receive a one-time cash award from NCLD and a Kurzweil software package.

    afwinners-2009When Zeke Nierenberg of El Cerrito, California, struggled to learn to ride a bike, he taught himself to ride a unicycle instead. Identified with specific learning disabilities early in his elementary school years, Zeke has found new and interesting solutions to the challenges he has faced, maintaining a 3.6 GPA and being an active and contributing member of his school and local communities. Zeke has already dedicated his life to helping others, co-founding Future Builders, a nonprofit organization that organizes concerts and other fundraising events to support humanitarian and environmental causes, and spending his summers at Camp Winnarainbow, a circus and performing arts camp in Northern California that “strives to create a living environment of love, safety, and harmony.” Now, Zeke is off to Hampshire College, where he will pursue what he calls “the thing that is standing between me and my dreams: a college degree."

    Macy Olivas of San Diego, California was first classified with a learning disability in her junior year of high school, when she revealed to a teacher that she woke up every morning at three a.m. to finish her homework assignments. Now, she uses her learning disability as “a gateway to discovering fun new methods of learning.” Articulate yet humble about her achievements, Macy has been accepted to numerous colleges and is rounding out her senior year with a 3.8 GPA and a wide array of activities including, (but not limited to): participating in the FIRST Robotics competition, acting as captain of the varsity cheerleading team, working with the interact club, and helping develop workshops for youths through the Building Understanding and Development in Determined Youth Program at local libraries and Boys and Girls Clubs.

    Runner-Up Kimberly “Kimmy” Hudon of Milton, Florida likens the hurdles she ran for the high school track team to the challenges she has overcome in the classroom. Kimmy has hurdled her way through her high school career, maintaining a 3.7 GPA, and staying involved in a wide array of extracurricular activities including Marching Band, Track and Field, Cross Country, Musician’s Club, Drama Club, Spanish Club, and Science Club. She is ready now to face her next set of hurdles as she pursues an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences/ Pre-Pharmacy, She hopes someday to support the Special Olympics and to tutor students with learning disabilities.

    Runner-Up Carly Kohler of Forestville, California, is finishing high school with a 4.0 GPA and a long list of accomplishments in the face of what she calls an “invisible disability.” President of the Interact Club, veterinary assistant at a local animal shelter, and a member of her school varsity track and field and golf teams, Carly maintains a very busy schedule, to say the least! She has devoted herself to many Native American awareness activities, acting as president of the Native American Club at her school, performing in a Native American Pop Group, and linking Native youth on reservations with viewing opportunities through the American Indian Film Institute. She plans to use her activism skills to spread awareness about learning disabilities, stating in her essay, “Now that I have gained the courage to claim all of who I am, I can represent not only my invisible heritage, but my own and others’ invisible disabilities. If our voices can be heard, then people will learn to accept unheard of disabilities as well as common ones.”

    2012 Hidden Thoughts of LD Art Competition

    "Hidden Thoughts of LD 2012" Art Competition Winners and Runners Up

    We were so excited to see all of the amazing entries for this year’s “Hidden Thoughts of LD” Annual Art Competition. Thank you to all of the artists who entered the competition this year; it was a pleasure to review your work, and our Facebook community enthusiastically took part in the voting process. All of the entries are worthy of recognition, but we are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s contest.

    We awarded a $500 prize to the winner of each age group category (Child, Teen and Adult) and a $200 prize for each runner up. Congratulations to our winners and runners up!

    Child: (4-12)

    Winner: Clayton Cain
    Runner Up: Benjamin Bashant

    Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.


         




    Teen: (13-17)

    Winner: Allison Lee
    Runner Up: Lindsey Simpson

    Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.


         




    Adult: (18+)

    Winner: Freddie Nicholls
    Runner Up: Thomas J. Baker

    Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.


         

    Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award

    NCLD’s Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award was created by NCLD’s Board of Directors in 2000 to honor the organization’s founders by recognizing schools that are successful in addressing the learning and social/emotional needs of students with learning disabilities (LD) and other students who struggle with learning. This award is intended to help the recipient school expand programmatic and staff development activities that incorporate effective data-based decision-making practices and progress monitoring activities into classroom and school-wide practice. As of 2010, both public schools and independent schools are eligible for recognized with an award. Eligible public school programs must have met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the most recent school year. Preference is given to schools that serve underprivileged and under-served communities, and programs that have demonstrated unique impact on students with LD.


    Eligibility and Selection Criteria

    The ideal candidates for this nomination are schools or school-related program that are committed to excellence in education for all students, including those with learning disabilities, and have demonstrated: 

    • Extraordinary learning and social/behavioral student outcomes
    • A commitment to data-based decision making and student progress monitoring
    • Demonstrated K-12 transition planning activities that will facilitate student advancement and lead to a regular high school diploma
    • Ongoing staff development and opportunities for professional growth that enhance accountability and promote better student outcomes


    For the public school award, only schools that have met Adequate Yearly Progress goals will be considered.

    Submission process

    Only schools in the New York City metropolitan area are being considered for review at this time. Recommendations for consideration should be sent (email only) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Submissions should include documentation (and links) to:

    • Most current performance data (e.g., report cards) documenting AYP status and specific  examples of student achievement gains
    • School community demographics
    • Policies and practices regarding special education
    • Specific activities and approaches that support the needs of all students, including students with LD and their families

     

    Selection process

    Members of the NCLD Team, in consultation with members of the NCLD Board of Directors, will review all qualified applications and select the winners of this annual award.

     

    Award presentation

    The awards will be announced at NCLD's Annual "Celebrating Our Schools" Luncheon. Members of the school/program community will be invited to attend this event and accept the award.

     

    Award benefits and obligations

      This cash prize of $2,500 per school is made possible by the National Football League, thanks to their generous contribution in honor of Former Commissioner Pete Rozelle and his wife, Carrie, the founder of NCLD

       

      • This award is to be spent in ways that support and enhance student success.
      • Each school’s efforts and accomplishments will be featured in NCLD communications and through other media opportunities.
      • Additional prizes are often made available to the winning school/program. Past winners have benefitted from:
        • gift certificates for educational products from leading companies, including Brookes Publishing and Sopris West Educational Services
        • software from Kurzweil Educational Systems

       

      For additional information, contact:

      The National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc.
      381 Park Avenue South, Suite 1401, New York, NY 10016-8806
      212.545.7510

      Toll-free 1.888.575.7373

      Fax 212.545.9665
      Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

       

      Find out about The Churchill School and Center and The High School for Excellence and Innovation, the winners of the 2012 Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award, and find out about previous recipients of the award.

       

      Past winners of the Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award.


      Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award

      The Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award is presented annually to a general education teacher who demonstrates excellence in teaching and a commitment to all students, including those with learning disabilities.

      Established in 1996, the award honors Bill Ellis, a great humanitarian, educator and visionary who served as NCLD's director of professional services from 1991 until his death in 1995.

       

      It was Bill's vision in the field of learning disabilities that framed much of what NCLD has become. He led the organization by collaborating with other learning disabilities organizations and establishing a growing presence on a national level; he recognized the importance of early intervention for children with learning disabilities; he valued the roles that general educators play in the lives of children with learning disabilities; and he helped create the first of NCLD's highly respected national summits: The 1994 summit, an event that presented learning disabilities to the highest levels of government.

       

      In May 1996, Bill's last great undertaking was realizing NCLD's National Summit on Teacher Preparation. Although sadly, Bill was not able to attend the summit, it was his idea and dream to establish a forum where general and special educators could join together to shape the future of teaching.

       

      Bill saw beyond the world of learning disabilities and recognized the need to reach all educators.

       

      Read about Dr. Lydia Carlis, the 2012 winner of the Bill Ellis Award, and other previous recipients of the award.

      Hidden Thoughts of LD Art Competition (2010)

      "Hidden Thoughts of LD 2010" Art Competition Winners and Runners Up


      Thank you to all the talented artists who entered their work in the NCLD's "Hidden Thoughts of LD" 2010 Annual Art Competition. We're pleased to announce the winners of this year's contest.

      We awarded a $500 prize to the winner of each age group category (Child, Teen and Adult). Congratulations to our Winners and Runners Up!

      Please click on images to view clear, enlarged photos.

       



      Children's Category (4-11 age group)

      Winner — Brian Rhee

       

      Runners Up

      Sabina Yosif I Sarah Liebau I Timothy Olkowski I Paris Starn

      {morfeo 14}

      Poetry:

      "Different" by Paris Starn
      "Figured it Out" by Tim Olkowski



      Teen Category (12 - 18 age group)


      Winner — Noah Yosif


      Runners up

      Tianda McPherson I Marielle Moreno

      {morfeo 15}




      Adult Category (19+ age group)


      Winner — Shannon Twilley

       

      Runners up

      Jennifer Borthwick I Mark Breten

      {morfeo 16}


      Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award Winners

      The Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award is given to a school or school-related program that addresses the educational and social/emotional needs of all children, including those with learning disabilities.

       

      2011 Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award Winner

       

      Public School 380 - The John Wayne Elementary School

      Brooklyn, New York

       

      The Stephen Gaynor School

      New York, New York

       

      Previous Recipients of the Pete & Carrie Rozelle Awards

       

      2010 2009
      • Public School 48
        P.O. Michael J. Buczek School

        New York, New York
      2008
      • Public School 244
        Dual Language School for International Studies

        Brooklyn, New York
      2007
      • Public School 149
        Christa McAuliffe School

        Jackson Heights, New York
      2006
      • Public School 112
        The Jose Barbosa School

        New York, New York
      2005
      • Aragon Elementary School

        Fountain, Colorado

      2004
      • Muskegon High School

        Muskegon, Michigan
      2003
      • Muhlenberg Elementary School

        Allentown, Pennsylvania
      2002
      • Edison Elementary School

        New York, New York
      2001
      • Community Action School

        New York, New York
      2000
      • Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom School

        Bronx, New York
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships FAQ

      Which one of the scholarships should I apply for? Can I apply for both?
      Apply for the one scholarship that best fits your post-high school plans. If you are planning to attend a four-year college, apply for the Anne Ford Scholarship. If you are planning to attend a two-year community college, vocational/technical training program, or specialized program for students with LD, apply for the Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship. Do not apply for both scholarships.

      I have a disability but do not have LD. Am I eligible for the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships?
      To be eligible for our scholarships, you must have documentation of a “specific learning disability” (LD) such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. You are welcome to apply if you have a specific learning disability in addition to other disorders that impact learning, as long as you provide documentation of your LD. (Please note: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) alone is not sufficient to qualify for these awards.)

      What should I submit as documentation of my learning disability?
      Please submit your most recent IEP, 504 plan or LD assessment/evaluation report. If you have questions about whether your documentation is sufficient, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask for guidance.

      I am not sure if I “demonstrate financial need.” Is there a family income limit to apply for the scholarship?
      No, there is no set limit on income. Each applicant’s financial situation is carefully reviewed, taking into account any unique circumstances, combined family income, other sources of financial relief, available assets, number of dependents, etc. If you and your family believe that scholarship money is needed to pay for college, we encourage you to apply. If there is additional information about your family’s financial situation that is not captured by the Financial Statement form, feel free to attach a separate page describing your circumstances.

      I am still waiting to make a final decision about where I am going to go to college. Am I eligible to apply for a scholarship?
      Yes. Many (if not most) students, will not have heard back from colleges as of the December 31st postmark cut-off date for application submission. Others will have received acceptances but not made the decision about where to attend. And still others will postpone making a decision until hearing about financial aid and scholarship offers. There is no need to wait until your college plans are finalized. Apply for one of our scholarships as soon as you can gather all the required information.

      Who should I ask to write my three letters of recommendation?
      The best recommendations are from people who know you well and can speak about your struggles and triumphs with LD. If you are applying to the Anne Ford Scholarship, at least one of your letters of recommendation must be from a teacher. Teachers, guidance counselors, tutors, coaches, are fine, as are volunteer activity coordinators or job supervisors. Letters of recommendation from immediate family members are discouraged.

      I have a learning disability and will be attending a post-secondary program in the fall, but I have been working for a few years since my graduation from high school. Can I apply for a scholarship?
      No. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors in the year that they apply. You can find a list of resources on Financial Aid and Scholarships for Students with LD or look for information about other scholarship and financial aid programs on NCLD’s online Resource Locator.

      I am graduating from high school this year but I am planning to take a “gap year” and defer my admission to college for a year. Am I eligible for the scholarships?
      No. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors intending to enroll in a post-secondary program in the fall of 2013.

      Need more help? Please send an email with your specific question to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

      2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” Art Competition

      2013 LD Superheroes and Superpowers Art CompetitionWe are no longer accepting submissions for the 2013 art competition. Check out the links below to see the entrants in all three categories, and stay tuned on Facebook and via email for updates. Continue reading for details on the competition itself. Winners will be notified by August 19, 2013.


      We hear it from our community all the time. I may have trouble reading, but I’m really good at _______. Or, I’m no math whiz, but I’m a superstar at _______. And how about, I have a lot of trouble organizing information in my brain. Wouldn't it be amazing if I could _______. There’s no question that individuals with learning disabilities (LD) face unique challenges, and they often discover unique strengths that help them work around those challenges. Likewise, we're willing to bet that many people with LD (and we're not just talking about kids!) imagine what it would be like to have super strengths and superpowers that could help them overcome LD-related obstacles. In fact, we’re literally putting money on it! Enter our “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” art competition for a chance to win a cash prize up to $400.

      The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is calling for paintings, drawings, poems, songs, animations, and more that portray the strengths of children, teens, and adults with LD. Ask yourself: If you were a superhero, what special abilities would you have? If superheroes aren't your thing, think about your talents (traditional or non-traditional) — what makes you unique? Or, what superpowers do you wish you had? This can be depicted visually, through the written word, song, or any other medium that best suits you.

      Six prizes will be awarded. One participant from each age category will be awarded $400, and the first runner-up from each category will be awarded $100 each. Prizes will be awarded for outstanding works in each of the following categories:

      • Children: 4–12 years old
      • Teens: 13–17 years old
      • Adults: 18 and older

      To enter, please send NCLD the artwork(s), a photo of the artist, a short paragraph (three to five sentences) written by the artist that explains how the submitted work relates to the “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” theme, and a completed submission and release form. See below for more details on submission requirements and process.

      Entries must be received no later than Tuesday, May 28, 2013.

      Winners will be notified by August 19, 2013.

      Rules and Requirements

      Entries must include:

      1. A work of art, photograph, poem, essay, short story, video, website link, blog, or other form of multimedia;
      2. A photo of the artist. High-resolution digital photos in JPEG or TIFF format are preferred, but not required;
      3. A brief statement (3-5 sentences) written by the artist explaining how their submission relates to the “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” theme; and
      4. A completed submission and release form.

      Works can be submitted in the following manner:

      • Artwork – on paper, canvas, or poster board, no larger than 22” x 28”; can be a drawing, painting, collage, etc. Any medium can be used: paint, cloth, crayon, etc. Art may also be submitted in digital format (high-resolution JPEGs preferred).
      • Poetry – on regular 8 1/2” x 11” paper, poster board, or in digital format.
      • Essays and short stories – on regular 8 1/2” x 11” paper or in digital format and should be five (5) pages or fewer in length.
      • Songs/Videos – on CD or DVD, or by providing a URL link.
      • Personal Web site and blog – URL link(s) should be sent with a short description of their purpose and content.
      • Miscellaneous multimedia – contact NCLD before submission to discuss terms and submission instructions.

      Each entry must be accompanied by a completed submission and release form. If you are mailing or faxing your submission, download the form here. Please indicate the ages of all participants and their Twitter handle if they have one. Entries submitted without a completed release form will not be considered. All submitted work becomes sole property of NCLD. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of participants, submissions will not be returned.

      Please submit all entries through one of these channels:

      • By mail:
        National Center for Learning Disabilities
        Attn: NCLD Art Competition
        381 Park Avenue South, Suite 1401
        New York, NY 10016
      • By fax: 212-545-9665
      • By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , with subject line “Art Competition Submission”

      If you have any questions, or for more information, please contact Jillian Levy at 646-616-1202 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The deadline for all entries is Tuesday, May 28, 2013.

      See past winners of NCLD’s art competition.

      2011 Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Scholarship Winners

      The winners of the 2011 Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Scholarship Award


      Eleigha Love,af_scholars who describes her brain as a computer, and Jared Schmidt, a teenage sky diver, are each recipients of $10,000 Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarships given to two graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities (LD) who are pursuing undergraduate degrees. Anne Ford, Chairman Emerita of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), is a well-known philanthropist and author, who has been a long-time parent advocate for children with learning disabilities, starting with her own daughter, Allegra. The scholarship was created in 2001 by the NCLD board when Ms. Ford stepped down as chairman, in honor of her service. In 2008, Allegra agreed to match the existing award, creating a second scholarship.

      Anne Ford and Today Show Host Al Roker presented the scholarships at this year's NCLD 34th Annual Benefit Dinner, emceed by Paula Zahn in New York City. Jared and Eleigha are two of more than 2.5 million students who are wrestling with learning disabilities. They are among the mere 64 percent of students with LD who graduate high school, and only 10 percent with LD who go on to a four-year college.

      "We received over 300 applications, and everyone of them came from students deserving a scholarship," said Anne, handing out the awards to this year’s winners. “We hear so much about the challenges and struggles of students with LD, and it is so inspiring to see that so many are able to meet and surpass those challenges."

      Runners up for this year's scholarship award are: Claire Simons of St. Johnsbury, VT, and Clark Miner, of Manchester, MO. Honorable mentions include: Cythia Barrie, Kirsten Bell, Kevin Craft, Jennifer Smith, Zoe Troxell-Whitman, Luke DeLaura, Gryphin Kelly, Casey Naab, Jana Simmons, and Teighlor Smith. The winners and runners up receive Kurzweil software, each of the runners up receives a one-time cash award, and honorable mentions receive gift cards from NCLD.

      About the Winners

      Jared Schmidt, 18, is from Hermon, Maine. Home schooled during his early elementary school years, his dyslexia and dysgraphia were first identified at the end of the fifth grade. The oldest of four boys to a single mom, she rarely got to him at homework time because she was busy with the younger kids. Jared also held down an afterschool job to help out at home, working up to 28 hours a week. With the right support, Jared excelled in school, earning A’s in economics and physiology, played basketball, and is part of a Wilderness Intensive Leadership Development (WILD) program in northern Maine that exposed him to other teens with other real life struggles. After college, Jared aspires to work in youth ministry or as a school counselor.

      Read Jared Schmidt’s winning essay.

      Eleigha Love, 16, is from Flower Mound, Texas. After she was found to have dyslexia in third grade, Eleigha made the conscious choice to excel not retreat. She won spelling bees and Latin competitions and became a mentor to others with LD. In high school she volunteered working with incarcerated youth. "I learned that many of those who are incarcerated are very bright individuals who have undetected or untreated learning disabilities. They didn't learn the skills to compensate and advocate for themselves, so many turned to alcohol, drugs and crime to cope and survive. I'd specifically like to work with juvenile offenders, giving them hope that they can succeed and become productive members of society by helping them learn to read and to learn self-advocacy." She is graduating a year early from high school, and may pursue a career in criminal justice or substance abuse counseling. She will be attending the University of Central Oklahoma in the fall.

      Read Eleigha Love’s winning essay.

      Hidden Thoughts of LD Art Competition (2011)

      "Hidden Thoughts of LD 2011" Art Competition Winners and Runners Up


      We were so excited to see all of the wonderful entries for this year’s “Hidden Thoughts of LD” Annual Art Competition. Thank you to all of the artists who entered the competition this year; it was more than enjoyable to review your work. It was a very difficult decision to make, with all of the great entries we received, but we are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s contest.

      We awarded a $500 prize to the winner of each age group category (Child, Teen and Adult) and a $200 prize for each runner up. Congratulations to our Winners and Runners Up!

      Child: (4-12)

      Winner: Gianluca Bonavita, Drawn Different
      Runner Up: Lauren Jeevanjee, My Hidden LD
      Runner Up: Nathan McBride, My Mind

      Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.

         

      Honorable Mentions
      • Angelina Malatesta
      • John Pruitt
      • Joe Southwell
      • Camryn Williams



      Teen: (13-17)

      Winner: Dustin Dahlman, Greatness and Different
      Runner Up: Colleen Ryans, Breaking Books

      Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.

         

      Runner Up: Drew Lynch, The Dyslexic Life (audio)
      icon_podcasts Listen to The Dyslexic LIfe (length: 2 minutes)
      {play}media/audio/Podcasts/life_with_dyslexia.mp3{/play}

      I’ve never been shy about my dyslexia and I actually find it fun to be dyslexic, because I often make myself laugh by mis-reading sentences and forming funny sentences by accident. Some things are easy for me, for example, puzzle-like board games – like chess.
      But my dyslexia also makes it difficult to do textbook assignments or any reading assignments. I’ve been able to overcome it somewhat with audio books. My dyslexia causes me to spend more time doing my studies, which takes away from other activities I like to do.
      So there is some good and bad, ad I choose to focus on the positive because having trouble reading is a small negative compared to all the positive things dyslexia gives me.

      Honorable Mentions
      • Kurt Borgeson
      • Victoria Hernandez
      • August Hunt
      • Delphine Murphy
      • Christopher Rogers
      • Charles Teissonniere



      Adult: (18+)

      Winner: Michael Clarke, Home Sweet Home
      Runner Up: Elizabeth Knecht, My Beast and Me Live Alone
      Runner Up: Israele Costa, Do Not Enter; Enter

      Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.


      Honorable Mentions
      • Luke DeLaura
      • Michael Nguyen
      • Sheamus O’Sullivan
      • Samantha Ruble

      2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” Art Competition: Children Category

      The Avengers better watch out…because there’s a new gang of superheroes in town! With powers ranging from super speed to super math abilities, this crew consists of some of the most powerful superheroes we’ve ever seen. And they’re only ages 4–12! NCLD presents the magnificent superheroes and superpowers of our youngest competitors; kids who fight the obstacles presented by LD everyday. Don’t let their age fool you—these superheroes will change the world one day. Make sure to check back on LD.org everyday for new submissions.

      It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane….It’s the LD Superheroes and Superpowers Art Competition!
      Standing Out in the Crowd
      Don’t Be a Villain…Just Be Chillin’!
      Let Freedom Ring
      I’ve Got the Power
      “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…” for These Artists
      Faster Than the Speed of Light
      Making the World a Better Place, One Artist At a Time
      The Power of the Paintbrush
      Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My!



      It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane….It’s the LD Superheroes and Superpowers Art Competition!Let’s kick off LD.org’s Summer of Art with some of our artists’ super-unique superhero creations. With this week’s theme of “Incredible Super Heroes,” no two artworks are alike. From blowing away stress to teaching learning strategies, these superheroes are on a quest to conquer LD! Which superhero will be your favorite?





      Standing Out in the Crowd Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” At LD.org, we believe that we must not only acknowledge our differences, but we should embrace them. Our differences are what make us special. But this isn’t something we have to explain to today’s artists. They already flaunt their individuality by means of their unique artwork. These artists show why “different” does not mean “worse.” In fact, being “different” is often a wonderful thing!

             




      Don’t Be a Villain…Just Be Chillin’!We could all learn something from today’s artists: the importance of feeling calm and confident. In honor of today’s “Feel Good” theme, the artwork reminds us to take time to “chill.” We know that having LD (or being the parent of a child who has LD) can be super-stressful, and we want to remind you that you deserve some “R&R”. We should all take a note from these artists and “rewind” the next time we get overwhelmed with troubles.



         




      Let Freedom RingIn honor of Independence Day, today’s artists demonstrate a sense of pride in our country. These young artists incorporate American flags into their masterpieces. Their artwork depicts overcoming LD, while celebrating what it means to be an American. We hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing and safe 4th of July!

             




      I’ve Got the PowerWouldn’t it be great if you had superpowers to fight LD? This week’s showcase is a compilation of the amazing superpowers that the contestants have created to help them overcome the daily struggles of LD. Although none of us may get to be Iron Man or Batman and have “real” superpowers like you see in the movies, the work ethic and determination of these contestants are real-life superpowers.





      “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…” for These Artists Obstacles: sometimes they make you feel like giving up. However, if you persist through them, you can achieve greatness. If you don’t believe it, check out the art submissions for this week’s theme of “Overcoming Obstacles.” Let these artists inspire you to overcome whatever obstacles you may face in life, especially those surrounding LD. It may not be easy, but success is always a possibility when you give it your all.





      Faster Than the Speed of Light These next few days, we will be showcasing our artists who desire the ability of super speed. Super speed gives these young artists the ability to finish their work quickly, so they can go outside and enjoy the rest of the day. These kids seem to be onto something… because that’s one superpower we’d all like to have, no matter if we have LD or not.





      Making the World a Better Place, One Artist At a Time This week, we’re displaying the work of some very selfless artists. These artists seek superpowers not to better themselves, but to help the greater community. How commendable is that? These artists have a passion for helping others, and we appreciate that. Let’s acknowledge their altruism by admiring their artwork these next few days.





      The Power of the Paintbrush Oh, the irony! This is an art competition about superpowers, and this week’s contestants named “art” as their superpower. These artists prove that art, such as the pieces created for the competition, can be empowering. Make sure you view this week’s creations, and see why a skill as “mundane” as art is actually not mundane at all. In fact, it makes for a superpower as admirable as flying or invisibility!





      Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My! For all the animal lovers out there: this week’s for you! These artists exemplify their superpowers through dogs, cranes, fish, and more. And these animals were not chosen at random—each artist explains the rationale behind his or her animal selection. You’ll have to check out their artwork to see what animals they chose and why.

      Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award Winners

       

      2012 Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award Winner

      Dr. Lydia Carlis

      Chief of Research and Innovation, AppleTree Institute

      Washington, DC

       

      Previous winners of the Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award

       

      2011

      Karin Lewis

      Reading Specialist, Hill Elementary School

      West Aurora, Illinois

      2010

      Thomas Komp

      Principal, Boulevard Elementary School

      Gloversville, New York

      2009

      Evelyn Rivera, M.Ed.

      Professional Development Resource Teacher

      School District of Lee County, Florida

      2008

      Judy Elliott

      Chief Academic Officer, Los Angeles Unified School District

      Los Angeles, California

      2007

      Kimberly Weber

      Principal, Chavez Elementary School

      Long Beach, California

      2006

      Joyce Bannerot

      Popham Elementary School

      Del Valle, Texas

      2005

      Jennifer Combs

      Whitney Elementary School

      Boise, Idaho

      2004

      Cathy Graf

      Charlotte Park Elementary School

      Nashville, Tennessee

      2003

      Brian Coffey

      William H. Kelso Elementary School

      Inglewood, California

      2002

      Francine N.K. Cummings

      Scottdale Child Development Center

      Scottdale, Georgia

      2001

      Sandi Apuna

      Superstition Springs Elementary School

      Mesa, Arizona

      2000

      Mary Hailes

      Seaton Elementary School

      Washington, DC

      1999

      Lisa Mosier

      Frances Starms Early Childhood Center
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      1998

      Peggy Couch

      Antioch Middle School
      Overland Park, Kansas

      1997

      Luis Velazquez

      Roger C. Sullivan High School
      Chicago, Illinois

       

      1996

      Carolyn Denise Witcher Sessoms, Ed.D.

      Rudolph Elementary School
      Washington, District of Columbia

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Public School 48, P.O. Michael J. Buczek School

      The 2009 Pete & Carrie Rozelle Award winner is P.S. 48, the Michael J. Buczek School, located in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan in NYC.

      PS 48 is a school on the move! It is the academic home to 555 students from pre-K to grade five, with 47 percent of students receiving services as English Language Learners (ELL), and 87 percent qualifying for free or reduced lunch. Principal Tracy Walsh describes the instructional approach at PS 48 as one that relies on data-based and interdisciplinary decision-making and parent engagement. The staff at PS 48 is committed to integrating all students into the learning community, including those who are new speakers of English, bilingual learners, students with learning disabilities and those with cognitive and behavioral disorders. Push-in and pull-out programs are designed to address the specific needs of each child, and the school is an early (and successful) adopter of Wilson Reading as a core approach to supporting literacy development in grades 3-to-5.

      Named after a 24 year-old-police office killed in the line of duty in October 1988, the school is a vibrant place, offering a range of after school and evening programs for students and their families. “Parents feel like they can trust what is happening in the school”, said Principal Walsh, “and an air of respect makes PS. 48 a special place for faculty and students alike."



      2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” Art Competition: Adult Category

      Who said superheroes were just child’s play? Our contenders ages 18 and up prove that you can have superpowers at any age! These inspirational adults persevere through the daily challenges of having LD, so let’s honor them by checking out their art submissions everyday on LD.org. Regardless of who ends up winning the prize money, all of these artists are fantastic real-life superheroes.

      It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane….It’s the LD Superheroes and Superpowers Art Competition!
      Standing Out in the Crowd
      Don’t Be a Villain…Just Be Chillin’!
      Let Freedom Ring
      I’ve Got the Power
      “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…” for These Artists
      The Power of the Paintbrush
      Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My!



      It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane….It’s the LD Superheroes and Superpowers Art Competition!Let’s kick off LD.org’s Summer of Art with some of our artists’ super-unique superhero creations. With this week’s theme of “Incredible Super Heroes,” no two artworks are alike. From blowing away stress to teaching learning strategies, these superheroes are on a quest to conquer LD! Which superhero will be your favorite?

           




      Standing Out in the Crowd Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” At LD.org, we believe that we must not only acknowledge our differences, but we should embrace them. Our differences are what make us special. But this isn’t something we have to explain to today’s artists. They already flaunt their individuality by means of their unique artwork. These artists show why “different” does not mean “worse.” In fact, being “different” is often a wonderful thing!

           




      Don’t Be a Villain…Just Be Chillin’!We could all learn something from today’s artists: the importance of feeling calm and confident. In honor of today’s “Feel Good” theme, the artwork reminds us to take time to “chill.” We know that having LD (or being the parent of a child who has LD) can be super-stressful, and we want to remind you that you deserve some “R&R”. We should all take a note from these artists and “rewind” the next time we get overwhelmed with troubles.

             




      Let Freedom RingIn honor of Independence Day, today’s artists demonstrate a sense of pride in our country. These young artists incorporate American flags into their masterpieces. Their artwork depicts overcoming LD, while celebrating what it means to be an American. We hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing and safe 4th of July!

             




      I’ve Got the PowerWouldn’t it be great if you had superpowers to fight LD? This week’s showcase is a compilation of the amazing superpowers that the contestants have created to help them overcome the daily struggles of LD. Although none of us may get to be Iron Man or Batman and have “real” superpowers like you see in the movies, the work ethic and determination of these contestants are real-life superpowers.

             




      “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…” for These Artists Obstacles: sometimes they make you feel like giving up. However, if you persist through them, you can achieve greatness. If you don’t believe it, check out the art submissions for this week’s theme of “Overcoming Obstacles.” Let these artists inspire you to overcome whatever obstacles you may face in life, especially those surrounding LD. It may not be easy, but success is always a possibility when you give it your all.





      The Power of the Paintbrush Oh, the irony! This is an art competition about superpowers, and this week’s contestants named “art” as their superpower. These artists prove that art, such as the pieces created for the competition, can be empowering. Make sure you view this week’s creations, and see why a skill as “mundane” as art is actually not mundane at all. In fact, it makes for a superpower as admirable as flying or invisibility!

             




      Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My! For all the animal lovers out there: this week’s for you! These artists exemplify their superpowers through dogs, cranes, fish, and more. And these animals were not chosen at random—each artist explains the rationale behind his or her animal selection. You’ll have to check out their artwork to see what animals they chose and why.

             

      2008 Anne Ford Scholarship Winner

      The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is proud to congratulate Lenora ("Lenny") Somervell of Brasstown, NC, the 2008 winner of the Anne Ford Scholarship Award. Now in its seventh year, this scholarship provides $10,000 toward tuition over four years to a graduating high school senior
      with learning disabilities (LD) who will pursue an undergraduate degree at a college or university. A prize of Kurzweil 3000 Scan/Read software is also presented to the award winner and the two award runners up. Runners up for this year's Anne Ford Scholarship Award are Nathan Porter of Wilmington, NC, and Rachel Origer of San Antonio, TX, who will also receive a cash award from NCLD.

      Despite struggling with learning throughout her early school years, Lenora Somervell ("Lenny") was not formally classified as having a learning disability (LD) in reading and math until her freshman year of high school, the tipping point being her struggle mastering Algebra I. At first, she admits to having felt "stupid, defective, and doomed to failure," but with encouragement from her parents and the help of a special education teacher, Lenny learned more about her specific strengths and weakness and renewed her commitment to high achievement in pursuit of her dreams. In her junior year she was among a select few students to attend the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) where she has excelled both socially and academically.

      In hopes of promoting awareness and improving services for students with LD at NCSSM, Lenny co-founded a campus group called E=LD². The group provides networking opportunities for students (with and without LD) to share study strategies and information about LD, and has offered workshops to help teachers better understand the types of instructional strategies and accommodations that will help all students achieve to their potential. In addition, Lenny is an active member of many school-based clubs and she enjoys fencing club, camping and backpacking, playing and listening to music, and volunteering for a student-run humanitarian organization on campus.

       

      Lenny is setting high goals for the future. Her plans are to earn a degree in chemistry, perhaps volunteer for work with the Peace Corps, and then decide whether to pursue graduate school or enter the workforce. She has a special interest in neuro-chemistry and would like to study how this field of science relates to individuals with LD, perhaps hoping one day to help improve the lives of individuals with LD.

       

      Read Lenora's winning application essay.

       



      The Gateway Schools

      One of the 2010 Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award winners is The Gateway Schools, located in New York City. Families who arrive at Gateway feel a profound sense of relief as they come to know a school that is committed to addressing a student’s learning challenges while allowing her abilities, interests, and passions to shine.

      For nearly fifty years, Gateway has trained educators to follow a personalized academic approach to meeting students’ educational needs; this policy compels students with learning disabilities to become self-sufficient problem solvers who understand themselves better as learners and who can work successfully to achieve personal and academic goals. The school also maintains a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary academic style in which arts and technology are emphasized along with traditional academic disciplines, allowing students to consider learning situations from many perspectives. Gateway’s healthy teaching environment serves to complement its innovative curriculum.

      Gateway strives to raise awareness about providing education for children with learning disabilities. Through parent and professional workshops, a network of charter and traditional public schools, professional development support for individual charter schools in Harlem, and the establishment of NYC’s first bilingual, collaboratively-taught kindergarten program at a public school in Queens, Gateway is able to reach hundreds of teachers and students in New York City each year. In addition, by developing academic and professional partnerships with schools in Puerto Rico, Denmark, Japan, India and Mexico, the impact of Gateway’s outreach is felt well-beyond the classrooms of New York City.

      2009 Bill Ellis Award Winner

      Evelyn Rivera, M.Ed.

      Professional Development Resource Teacher
      School District of Lee County, Florida


      drakeduane-evelynrivera-2009bellis-winner
      Evelyn Rivera, M.Ed. receives the
      2009 Bill Ellis Award from
      NCLD Board member, Drake D. Duane, M.D.
      Evelyn Rivera has had the privilege to work with struggling learners for the past sixteen years. Her classes consisted of English language learners, students with disabilities, and struggling readers and writers. She treated these unique groups of students as an opportunity to discover their strengths and to take them to the highest levels of success. The well-proportioned blend of research-based curriculum and materials and knowledge of how students learn guided her instruction every day. Her students' success in the classroom and in standardized tests is proof that all students can learn despite their learning abilities and linguistic proficiency. In her own word, "I held their hands throughout the path, but I never walked the path for them. I helped them discover new knowledge, facilitated the mastery of learning strategies, and most important, I made sure they believed in themselves as much as I believed in them."

       

      For the last nine years, Evelyn has served School District of Lee County, Florida as a trainer/facilitator of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses through Staff Development. The training opportunities have allowed her to exchange valuable educational insights with her colleagues. This exchange of communication invigorated her teaching with new ideas, sound classroom practices, and effective strategies. In addition, the courses allow her to facilitate new knowledge to teachers that seek the state-mandated ESOL endorsement.

      2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” Art Competition: Teen Category

      What makes Bernard a superhero? Well, you’ll have to check out our art competition submissions to find out! Forget what you already know about teenage superheroes. These teens (ages 13-17) are so powerful that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are weeping with jealousy. From dealing with the daily drama of high school to conquering college admissions, these teens display what the powers of determination and perseverance can do for people with LD. And best of all, new submissions will appear daily on LD.org. We hope you enjoy these teens’ creativity as much as we have.

      It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane….It’s the LD Superheroes and Superpowers Art Competition!
      Don’t Be a Villain…Just Be Chillin’!
      I’ve Got the Power
      “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…” for These Artists
      The Power of the Paintbrush
      Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My!



      It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane….It’s the LD Superheroes and Superpowers Art Competition! Let’s kick off LD.org’s Summer of Art with some of our artists’ super-unique superhero creations. With this week’s theme of “Incredible Super Heroes,” no two artworks are alike. From blowing away stress to teaching learning strategies, these superheroes are on a quest to conquer LD! Which superhero will be your favorite?

           




      Don’t Be a Villain…Just Be Chillin’!We could all learn something from today’s artists: the importance of feeling calm and confident. In honor of today’s “Feel Good” theme, the artwork reminds us to take time to “chill.” We know that having LD (or being the parent of a child who has LD) can be super-stressful, and we want to remind you that you deserve some “R&R”. We should all take a note from these artists and “rewind” the next time we get overwhelmed with troubles.

             




      I’ve Got the PowerWouldn’t it be great if you had superpowers to fight LD? This week’s showcase is a compilation of the amazing superpowers that the contestants have created to help them overcome the daily struggles of LD. Although none of us may get to be Iron Man or Batman and have “real” superpowers like you see in the movies, the work ethic and determination of these contestants are real-life superpowers.





      “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…” for These Artists Obstacles: sometimes they make you feel like giving up. However, if you persist through them, you can achieve greatness. If you don’t believe it, check out the art submissions for this week’s theme of “Overcoming Obstacles.” Let these artists inspire you to overcome whatever obstacles you may face in life, especially those surrounding LD. It may not be easy, but success is always a possibility when you give it your all.

         




      The Power of the Paintbrush Oh, the irony! This is an art competition about superpowers, and this week’s contestants named “art” as their superpower. These artists prove that art, such as the pieces created for the competition, can be empowering. Make sure you view this week’s creations, and see why a skill as “mundane” as art is actually not mundane at all. In fact, it makes for a superpower as admirable as flying or invisibility!

             




      Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My! For all the animal lovers out there: this week’s for you! These artists exemplify their superpowers through dogs, cranes, fish, and more. And these animals were not chosen at random—each artist explains the rationale behind his or her animal selection. You’ll have to check out their artwork to see what animals they chose and why.

             

      2008 Bill Ellis Award Winner

      Judy Elliott, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer
      Los Angeles Unified School District


      Dr. Elliott is the Chief Academic Officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Some of Dr. Elliott's many interests include effective instruction for students with diverse learning and behavior needs, IEP development and its alignment with standards and assessments, decision-making for accountability, and accommodation and assessment of special populations.

      judyelliott-shoroqitz-drakeduane
      Sheldon Horowitz, director of professional services, NCLD; Judy Elliott, Drake Duane (l-r)

      She has trained thousands of staff, teachers, and administrators in the United States and abroad, in the areas of inclusive schooling that include:linking assessment to classroom intervention, strategies and tactics for effective instruction, curriculum adaptation for students with mild to severe disabilities, andcollaborative teaching.

       

      She received her degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her most recent writing efforts include: "Strategies and Tactics for Effective Instruction-II," Timesavers for Educators," "Testing Students with Disabilities: Practical Strategies for Complying with State and District Requirements (2nd ed)," "Improving Test Performance of Students with Disabilities on District and State Assessments (2nd ed.)," and "Response To Intervention: Policy Consideration and Implementation," "Response to Intervention Blueprints: District Level (NASDSE, 2008)."

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Public School 164, The Caesar Rodney Elementary School

      One of the 2010 Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award winners is Public School 164, The Caesar Rodney Elementary School, located in Brooklyn, NY. Public School 164 is one of the most forward thinking schools in New York City. As a Title I school, PS 164 has received an "A" on their annual progress report for the last four school years by providing an exceptional education for its 515 students.

      Realizing the importance of literacy in the early grades, the teachers and administrators of P.S. 164 have successfully improved instruction for all students. P.S. 164 now embraces 13 Special Education classes that support struggling learners at various stages. These classes maintain an “integrated” approach by holding all students to the same academic expectations. This high-accountability model promotes a culture of responsible inclusion while demanding all students understand and respect each others’ differences, in and out of the classroom.

      Teachers at P.S. 164 empower their students to understand their strengths as learners while monitoring their learning progress and encouraging them to take charge of their own learning styles. Special education and general education faculty meet regularly and collaborate on how to best support each other and meet the unique needs of individual students. At P.S. 164, all students are expected to succeed and each child is entitled to and receives an exceptional education. With its integrative learning models and collaborative academic approaches, P.S. 164 raises the bar for public school education.




      2010 Bill Ellis Award Winner

      Thomas Komp, Principal

      Boulevard Elementary School

      Gloversville, New York

      tom and drake
      Thomas Komp receives the
      2010 Bill Ellis Award from
      NCLD Board member, Drake D. Duane, M.D.

      According to Principal Tom Komp, "my day starts by meeting and greeting students and faculty, and after ‘good morning’ I ask them about their progress data!”

      Gloversville may be a small, struggling city in upstate New York, but times have never been better for the students of Boulevard Elementary School. Tom Komp has been part of the school district community for 15 years and he remembers watching capable students slipping through the cracks, becoming casualties of well-intended but ineffective instruction. He and his fellow faculty members recall their feeling enormous frustration knowing that they could be doing more to accelerate learning, but not having the tools to gauge progress or to make decisions that would improve the effectiveness of instruction and result in higher achievement and improved behavior. Twelve years ago he started collecting data on student performance. It took a lot of time and energy, but he knew it would make a difference: a better educational experience for the students (and faculty) of Boulevard Elementary School.

      Tom’s multi-year effort helped him learn what needed to be done. He received two Reading First grants, and he committed himself to accelerating staff development opportunities and to embracing a school-wide response-to-intervention (RTI) model. The results were dramatic:

      • Referrals for special education classification (due to “dysteachia”) were reduced by more than 60%.
      • Special education and general education professionals are now working side by side as instructional partners, no longer in separate classrooms and needing permission to reach out and tap each others energy and expertise.
      • Parents are infused into the schools’ plan for success, with an active Parent Partnership Team that meets regularly, an in-school parent coordinator who facilitated monthly meetings between parents and teachers, workshops, and frequent formal and informal opportunities to share student progress data.

      View a video clip to see Principal Tom Komp and his staff at Boulevard Elementary School discuss their successes and challenges with implementing RTI. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)

      Tom has been a mentor in the national Leadership Network of NCLD’s RTI Action Network since 2008 and he serves on the Advisory Council of the RTI Action Network as a representative of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

      In 2008 he was the recipient of a National Distinguished Principal Award from the Association of Elementary School Principals. Tom is currently serving as a mentor to 14 school principals through the New York State Technical Assistance Center.

      2007 Bill Ellis Award Winner

      Kimberly Weber
      Principal of Chavez Elementary School
      Long Beach, California


      Before moving to Chavez, Ms. Weber implemented a successful Response to Intervention (RTI) model, a multi-step approach to instruction that provides intervening services for students who struggle with learning, at Kettering Elementary School. Kettering, despite limited resources, was successful in meeting its Annual Yearly Progress goals, an index of how well schools are doing to provide high quality, effective instruction to all students under No Child Left Behind.

      sheldon-kim-james-certificate
      (l-r) Dr. Sheldon Horowoitz, Director of Professional Services, NCLD; Kimberly Weber, 2007 NCLD Bill Ellis Award Winner;
      James Wendorf, Executive Director, NCLD
      Among her many achievements at Kettering, Ms. Weber maintained a positive school climate fostering trust, risk-taking, and collaboration; provided instructional leadership to the K-5 staff in order to meet (and exceed) academic goals, including a 74 point gain in Academic Performance Index scores within only two years; provided direct instruction to first, third, fourth, and fifth grade students in the areas of reading, writing, and math; collaborated with parents and teachers of students with special needs to ensure educational and behavioral goals were clearly established and appropriate support was provided to students and teachers; and supported the successful implementation of a MAP2D math program in grades four and five.

      At Chavez, 55 percent of its 563 students are English language learners, and 100 percent of the students receive free and reduced lunch. Ms. Weber has been instrumental in preparing the school for the implementation of an RTI model that will feature new instructional approaches, enhanced communication, pooling of school-wide talent and resources, and an overall coordination of effort to raise and sustain achievement levels for all students.

      Ms. Weber describes her teachers at Chavez as dedicated, sincere, and concerned about student progress and is committed to working closely with her staff and the entire community to boost student learning and get the school off the California state “program improvement” list.

      One of her goals is to stabilize faculty mobility so there is continuity from year to year. As a way to model the decision-making behaviors that she wants her teachers to embrace, she has assigned herself (in addition to her responsibilities as school principal) to be “case manager” for the second grade, coordinating staff reviews of students’ profiles and progress, spending instructional time in the classroom, and modeling the types of behaviors that she knows to be keys to enhancing school-wide decision-making and student-centered progress.

      Dr. Drake Duane, a member of NCLD’s Board of Directors and former President of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) conferred the 2007 Bill Ellis Award at the 58th Annual Conference of the IDA in Dallas, Texas on November 2, 2007. Along with a cash prize from NCLD and a one year membership to IDA, Kimberly Weber received gifts from Kurzweil Educational Systems, Sopris West, and Brookes Publishing. Ms. Weber is thrilled to have been selected for this honor and is appreciative of the opportunity to attend the IDA conference and share her experiences, new knowledge and resources with other principals, district administrators, and teaching faculty and support personnel.


      2011 Hidden Thoughts of LD Art Competition

      Content Submission and Release Form

      I understand and agree to the terms of agreement as listed below, and am submitting the following material to NCLD. (Please note that a separate form must accompany each submission.) This form is for online submissions only.

      Artist Name Required
      Artist Birthdate Required.
      Category Required
      Parent or Teacher's Name Required
      (if the artist is under 18)
      School Required
      (if submitted by teacher)
      Address Required
      Required
      City Required
      State Required
      Zip Code Required
      Email Required
      Telephone Required
      Describe your experience with LD Required
      Upload your photo Required
      Upload your artwork Required


      Terms and Conditions

      • NCLD will hold the sole copyright to all materials received by it and will not accept materials copyrighted by third parties.
      • NCLD may grant permission for materials included in NCLD publications to be reproduced elsewhere without separate permission, provided that an accurate citation is given to NCLD and its publication.
      • NCLD does not guarantee that material received will be published.
      • NCLD reserves the right to edit submissions without artist's consent.
      • NCLD reserves the right to create derivative works without the artist’s consent.
      • NCLD will be held harmless in all matters pertaining to the materials accepted and published.
      • NCLD will be exempt from any costs related to materials submission, unless agreed to in writing prior to the date of receipt.
      • Acceptance of materials by NCLD does not constitute endorsement of any product, agency, professional, or practice described in manuscripts/photographs.

      Content Release

      Required

      Required
      Signature
      Required
      Date
      Required



      Contributors are advised to keep duplicate copies of all materials; submissions to NCLD will not be returned. Please do not submit materials already submitted to other organizations for publication. NCLD will not notify of receipt of materials.


      2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” Art Competition: Winners and Runners Up

      Thank you to all of our amazing artists (and viewers!) for participating in the 2013 “LD Superheroes and Superpowers” art competition. Without further ado, it’s time to announce the winners and runners-up. Drum roll please…

      Children

      Winner

      Jessica Cox will help kids turn their frowns upside-down! In her poem, “I Am The Super Hero Girl,” Jessica bravely notes: “I am a superhero with a learning disability…and can overcome anything!”

      Runner-Up

      Hannah Whittemore gets by with a little help from her friends. We’re blown away by Hannah’s drawing entitled “My Friends Under the Willow.”

      Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.

           

      Teens

      Winner

      School may get tough for Yaunique Hill, but she’s always at peace when she’s creating art—so much that “At Peace” is the title of her winning work. She doesn’t let her LD and speech/language impairments dissuade her dreams of reading to other kids.

      Runner-Up

      Here comes Joshua Goodnight to the rescue! In the battle of the century, Joshua defeats the “Monster in my Head.” Joshua’s strength and determination surely conquer his auditory processing disorder and visual processing disorder. Keep on fighting, Joshua!

      Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.

           

      Adults

      Winner

      Taylor Tabb enlightens us about the power of sight in his work “Seeing Clearly.” His dyslexia enables him to appreciate the power of comprehension. Clearly, we’re impressed.

      Runner-Up

      Sydney Wellen shares an important lesson about triumphs and failures in her work “Gears.” Sydney courageously notes: “Hopefully, in the future more people can learn to be proud of who they are.”

      Click on images to view a description and full photo of each winning submission.

           

      The Stephen Gaynor School

      NCLD is proud to announce the 2011 Independent School Recipient of the Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award: The Stephen Gaynor School, in New York, NY.  Head of School, Scott Gaynor proudly accepted the award at NCLD’s 2011 Celebrating Our Schools Luncheon, which was presented to him by Cassidy Kahn, a Stephen Gaynor School alumna.

      The Stephen Gaynor School is an independent, nonprofit elementary and middle school for bright students with learning differences. Students facing learning challenges, from Attention Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to speech, language, and motor delays, learn in a comfortable, nurturing environment and with an unparalleled level of personal attention from the Gaynor School’s experienced and expert staff.  Students at the Gaynor School break down barriers to learning, build self-esteem, and bridge the gap between their intellect and performance.

      The Stephen Gaynor School prides itself in taking a “whole-child approach,” giving students every opportunity to explore their interests and nurture their talents. In addition to general subject areas, they offer strong programs in computer literacy and physical education and exceptional experiences in the arts including drama, photography, music, and sculpture. The average class size is just 11 students, taught by two teachers who are able to get to know each child individually and design a curriculum ideally suited to each student’s needs. Challenged to perform at their best while advancing at their own pace, Gaynor students are joyful learners.

      Founded when the field of special education was in its infancy, the Stephen Gaynor School pioneered the highly individualized, multisensory approach still used today. With an ongoing commitment to research, adopt, and develop the most effective teaching methods, the Stephen Gaynor School remains one of the most highly regarded schools of its kind in New York City and beyond.

      2011 Bill Ellis Award Winner

      Karin Lewis, Reading Specialist

      Hill Elementary School

      West Aurora, IL

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      Karin Lewis receives the 2011 Bill Ellis Award from
      NCLD Board member, Drake D. Duane, M.D.

      Karin Lewis exemplifies the value that Bill Ellis placed on schools as vibrant learning communities. A 20-year veteran of the education field, Karin began her career as a classroom teacher in New Hampshire. After completing her M.Ed. at Notre Dame College in Manchester, New Hampshire, Karin shifted her focus to specialize in providing a wide range of reading interventions for K-5 students as a Reading Specialist. In 2001, Karin moved to Illinois with her family and worked in the LaGrange and St. Charles districts before landing in her current role at Hill Elementary School in West Aurora.

      Karin has been a proactive and powerful force for improvement in each of her school communities. Working closely with Dr. Susan Hall and others, Karin was instrumental in the successful implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) practices at Hill Elementary that have led to a strengthening of core curricula, highly engaged parents, well-informed and skilled educators, and a school community that feeds on data to serve all learners.

      “Here at Hill Elementary we are committed to daily, uninterrupted reading instruction, collecting and analyzing data, facilitating dialogue in a process that involves all faculty and includes parents, and taking steps to meet students at their academic level, providing differentiated instruction to help each student realize his or her own learning potential. And the person who is in the trenches, making this happen, is Karin,” says Cindy Larry, principal of Hill Elementary School.

      Karin describes teaching as “both an art and a science” where problem solving is key to serving struggling learners. She explains that while not every program or intervention will be the answer for all students, the key is to keep collecting and using data to inform new and innovative approaches.

      Karin’s belief in the power of data-driven, differentiated instruction is evident in all of her work as a Reading Specialist. In addition to working with at-risk students, her responsibilities include coaching and mentoring teachers, facilitating grade-level data meetings, training reading paraprofessionals and presenting literacy workshops for parents.

      The High School for Excellence and Innovation

      NCLD is proud to announce the 2012 Public School Recipient of the Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award: The High School for Excellence and Innovation, in New York, New York. Principal Tyona Washington proudly accepted the award at NCLD’s 2012 “Celebrating Our Schools” Luncheon, on Monday, November 5th.

      The High School for Excellence and Innovation (HSEI) is the first of its kind in New York City, providing transitional support for students who struggled with seemingly insurmountable challenges in middle school. Many of HSEI’s students have a documented learning disability or other learning struggles, and all students are empowered through the school’s positive culture and personalized support.

      HSEI has championed the ReDesign Education model, an education innovation in which all best practices are combined in a complete approach to curriculum. For example, the program for student literacy includes cross-discipline development among texts; universal access to the High School English Language Arts (ELA) scope and sequence in reading, writing, speaking, and listening; development of metacognition as an active process during reading; and weekly professional development for all teachers.

      With a firm connection to the community, HSEI provides a full-time, on-site academic counseling service called The East Side House Settlement. This service assists the school’s youth development model by providing workshops for parents, alongside social, recreational, and educational opportunities for HSEI’s students and their families. This support allows students to graduate in four to five years, and to be able to pass the required New York State graduation requirements and the Regents Exams.

      At the High School for Excellence and Innovation, students who are off-track before high school are given the individualized support necessary to catch up and earn their high school diploma fully prepared to succeed in college, post-secondary training, or employment leading to a career track.

      Public School 380, The John Wayne Elementary School

      NCLD is proud to announce the 2011 Public School Recipient of the Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award: Public School 380, The John Wayne Elementary School, in Brooklyn, New York.  Principal Diane Vitolo proudly accepted the award at NCLD’s 2011 Celebrating Our Schools Luncheon, which was presented to her by Jillian Fortuna, a P.S. 380 alumna and current parent.

      P.S. 380 is an exceptional New York City school for all students, but especially for struggling learners. Students identified with learning disabilities have their progress closely monitored and receive the additional time and support that they need to be successful.  P.S. 380 uses an “integrated” model and makes no distinction between general and special education classrooms. All students work together and are encouraged to be understanding and accepting of each others differences in learning style and learning challenges.

      Teachers at P.S. 380 work together in a collaborative environment and are in constant communication about their students.  A special team, the Academic Intervention Services team (AIS), works with teachers to identify students who are struggling and may require extra attention and additional instruction. AIS then works with students to support their learning and also works directly with teachers to support professional development, especially for new teachers. The entire faculty meets weekly to discuss the progress of every student.

      P.S. 380 is more than a school – it is a community.  Parents of students at P.S. 380 are extremely involved in school activities and learning. The building offers a PTA gathering room, where parents visit daily to stay connected and informed.  Teachers, parents, and school leaders maintain great relationships and work together to support student success.

      At P.S. 380, all students are encouraged to take charge of their own learning and are empowered to understand their strengths as learners, create individual goals to work towards, and monitor their learning progress. Every child is expected to succeed and is entitled to and receives an exceptional education.

      The Churchill School and Center

      NCLD is proud to announce the 2012 Independent School Recipient of the Pete and Carrie Rozelle Award: The Churchill School and Center, in New York, New York.  Head of School, Dr. Robert Siebert, proudly accepted the award at NCLD’s 2012 “Celebrating Our Schools Luncheon on Monday, November 5th.

      The Churchill School and Center is an accredited, independent K-12 school that serves students who have been identified with specific learning disabilities. The average class size at Churchill is just 12 students, guided by two professional teachers. Students benefit from a rigorous, multi-dimensional “Teaching Learning Model” that provides individualized learning profiles, adapted and updated curricula, and systematic observation towards the goal of improving student learning. Churchill provides all appropriate accommodations to ensure students have full access to a general education curriculum and every opportunity to succeed.

      The program at the Churchill School encourages intellectual curiosity, while identifying and using students’ strengths to achieve essential academic skills expected of all students in New York. The Performing and Fine Arts program and an all-inclusive athletics program are vital parts of accessing the students’ talents outside of the academic classroom. Leadership and Volunteerism are nurtured at Churchill through partnerships created between the high school and elementary-age students. These programs, like the Nature’s Classroom in Rhode Island, create a culture of mentorship and learning-by-teaching that begins at an early age.

      Students and teachers have access to a full, in-house support team that includes Learning and Reading Specialists, Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Social Workers, and Occupational Therapists. The Churchill School and Center has also created the Reading Initiative, an after-school program which provides free phonics instruction to students outside Churchill.

      The Churchill School and Center provides a model of continuous improvement for its faculty and students. Every child receives an exceptional education, is taught how to advocate for themselves, and learns in a safe, happy, and nurturing environment at Churchill.

      2012 Bill Ellis Award Winner

      Dr. Lydia Carlis, Chief of Research & Innovation

      AppleTree Institute and AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter Schools

      Washington, DC

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      Dr. Lydia Carlis receives the 2012 Bill Ellis Award from
      NCLD Board member, Drake D. Duane, M.D.

      Dr. Lydia Carlis, the 2012 winner of the Bill Ellis Teacher Preparation Award, exemplifies dedication to the art and science of teaching in a truly inclusive environment. Dr. Carlis currently serves as Chief of Research and Innovation for the AppleTree Institute, which provides accelerated early language and literacy programs to the underserved preschoolers of Washington, DC, to raise the trajectory of their future learning success. In her current role, Dr. Carlis is responsible for development, deployment, and validation of AppleTree’s instructional model, Every Child Ready. She also oversees policy development on implementation protocols for AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter Schools instructional activities including academic programs, student support services, assessment and evaluation, and professional development.

      A lifelong educator who holds a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction and Bilingual Special Education from The George Washington University and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Maryland, Dr. Carlis has an unrelenting focus on the importance of active engagement with data.  Under her leadership, formal screening data is regularly collected on the 620 students served by the AppleTree schools. Curriculum-based assessments are conducted in three-week cycles, and staff receive ongoing professional development on reviewing and acting on collected data to make sure that no child is allowed to fall through the cracks. This approach allows learning goals to be targeted and shared among teachers and with parents, and needed interventions are implemented without delay.

      Dr. Carlis believes that addressing the needs of children includes all children, including those with learning disabilities and others who struggle to learn. Early in her teaching career, she began studying special education as a means to better support her first grade classroom of diverse learners. As a graduate student, she learned about Response-to-Intervention (RTI) and found that the principals of RTI were a natural support for her inclusive educational philosophy.

      When Dr. Carlis joined AppleTree in 2007 as a Literacy Coach, she immediately connected with the organization’s mission to close the achievement gap for children before kindergarten and their use of the RTI model to meet this goal. She has been central in the development of Every Child Ready, AppleTree’s comprehensive preschool curriculum that employs a three-tiered RTI model.
      Colleagues at AppleTree describe Dr. Carlis as a leader who is wired to collaborate. She is able to help all stakeholders in students’ lives—their parents, teachers, classroom aides, and school volunteers—understand how monitoring young students’ progress is critical to their preparation for school success. She deeply understands the whole child and how young children’s academic, social, and emotional needs can be met by a program where they “play with a purpose.”

      Dr. Carlis is an example of the tremendous impact one person can have in helping parents, educators, and school administrators join hands to meet the needs of all students, especially those who struggle with learning. Like Bill Ellis, she understands that making smart decisions and delivering high quality, effective instruction is all about blending teamwork with professional wisdom, intuition with data and charging ahead with relentless energy to ensure that children are afforded the best possible opportunities to succeed in school, at work, and in life.

      2010 Competition page: Hidden Thoughts of LD Art Competition

      Join the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) in sharing your “Hidden Thoughts of LD” for our 2010 Annual Art Competition. Help NCLD in showcasing your artwork that tells what life is like for those with learning disabilities (LD).

      richardc-birmingham-miWe are looking for works of art, photography and poetry that express what life is like for individuals with LD. If you or someone you know has been affected by LD, please help us in promoting our art competition!

      We will award a $500 prize from each of the three categories:


      • Children (Ages 4-11)
      • Teens (Ages 12-18)
      • Adults (Ages 19 and older)

      Please note the following:


      • Submissions will only be accepted electronically through email, please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      • All artists must sign a release form providing NCLD permission to reprint and display your work. Each submission must have a separate release form.
      • Winners must verify their learning disability by providing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a letter from a school professional.

      Deadline to submit artwork: June 15, 2010


      Please e-mail questions and submission(s) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      Help us in supporting our art competition,
      DONATE NOW!

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      *All artists must sign a release form providing NCLD permission to reprint and display your work and must verify they have a learning disability.