From: Donell PONS
To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Make funding SB 117 a priority
Date: Mon Apr 06 20:47:57 MDT 2015

Dear State Representative 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).

Dyslexia is a challenging issue that does not get better by ignoring it or minimizing its devastating effects on education and vocational success. As a mother of a child with dyslexia, I have seen and experienced a lack of adequate funding for reading intervention. Proper training for teachers and adequate funding looks like qualified teachers for every classroom and supports for one-on-one reading intervention in the early grades. This is not a volunteer parent with no training or a stressed teacher pulling a child aside in a noisy classroom. Real intervention has professional development with financial support to implement that intervention. Please be a part of the solution to this pervasive problem. Attach your name to a bill that finally says, “Enough is enough. We want every student to be a competent reader, and we're willing to work hard to make it happen.”

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, Donell PONS U of U Reading Clinic 3696 Lois Lane Salt Lake City, UT 84124