From: Craig Atkinson
To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Make funding SB 117 a priority
Date: Mon Apr 06 21:21:23 MDT 2015

Dear Utah State Representative – District 002 Lifferth,

Education is a key driver of Utah’s economic opportunity and future prosperity. One of the key principles within Prosperity through Education, a 5-year plan to place Utah in the top 10 among states in education is helping children read confidently by 3rd grade. I urge you to prioritize funding SB 117 Interventions for Reading Difficulties Pilot Program this session to ensure positive educational outcomes for young children. Reading is fundamental to a child’s academic success. SB 117 provides teachers with the training to be able to recognize and help children with reading difficulties (like dyslexia).

My son and daughter both have dyslexia, our struggle to get them help has impacted every part of our families life. We have stopped saving for retirement and collage for our kids to pay for private tutors because our schools don't have the programs to help them.

We had the choice of waiting for them to fail so they could get help or pay for the help ourselves. We choose to act, but we are very fortunate that we have the resources to do this. Dyslexia is equal across race, gender and economic background, but access to help is not equal. SB 117 is the first step in addressing this problem.

The economic benefits of early childhood education outweigh the costs of providing these educational opportunities indicating a wise financial investment. Evidence has shown us college and career readiness begins with the ability to read fluently. I ask that you please help ensure reading success in the early years by supporting the funding of SB 117.

Sincerely, Craig Atkinson 5530 Windsor Way Stansbury Park, UT 84074