Posted by Carrie Fenn on Feb 12, 2020
The Stern Center's Stefanie Waite and Laurie Caswell Burke with President Keith

Charlotte Shelburne Hinesburg Rotary Trinity Episcopal Church

Stephanie Waite and Laurie Caswell-Burke, from the Stern Center, are the speakers today.

Guests todayare Jim Ross and Lori York. Keith led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Today’s devotional: “Success” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keith continued his series on Rotary history and mission, highlighting the
Four Way Test. Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in business and professional lives. The Four Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for personal and professional relationships.
The Four Way Test was written in 1932 by Hubert J Taylor adopted by Rotary in 1943.
It has been translated into more than 100 languages.
Of the things we think say or do:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Keith would like the Club to start working on setting up cross linking websites with our partners.

Judy Christiansen has offered to help coach the next RYLA coordinator. Susan said the time commitment is dedicated to just a couple of weeks, and it’s fun to go to CVU and interview the students. Coordinator would start with advertising in early spring and the event is in Lyndonville in June.

Office of Secretary is still open- need a good ear for listening and ability to keep the Club organized.

Fundraising update- total letter writing campaign has brought in $4810. While the letter writing campaign has typically been a specific time period, this year we are choosing to keep the campaign going. The finance committee reported that the letter writing campaign needs to bring in $10,000 and only 1/3 of members have submitted names. Get your names to Ric and his team will turn them around into letters for you to send in a few days. This campaign is a critical part of our fundraising efforts so please participate!

Board meeting for February is Thursday, February 27, 7:30 at the Church.

Today’s Speaker: Stephanie Waite of the Stern Center.

Stephanie is the professional learning director at the Stern Center. She is a passionate educator with over 25 years of teaching experience. She’s performed comprehensive evaluations dyslexia, dysgraphia and language based learning disorders and giftedness for almost 3 decades. She received her Master’s from St. Michaels in Colchester and is currently enrolled in a doctorate program at Concordia.

The Stern Center has a diverse staff of over 80 people. Founded in 1983 by Blanch Podhasiski “Because all great minds don’t think alike”, the Stern Center is a non-profit providing 3-fold direct services to all age groups. The Center provides courses and workshops for teachers and parents, researches best practices in teaching and educational support for students.
Physically located in Williston and globally online, the Stern Center is able to impact thousands of students across the country.

Only 37% of Vermont’s 4th graders performed at or above “proficient” on NEAP, showing a strong need for teacher trainings.

This morning’s devotional really spoke to the heart of the mission at Stern. Stern offers Ssrength based approach to learning, helping students achieve their potential.

Zach Terwilliger, US Attorney for Eastern Division of West Virginia, was a student at Stern Center. He was evaluated in the second grade and found to be dyslexic. He recently spoke at the Stern Center 35th anniversary party, offering his thoughts on doors that were opened to him because of the Stern Center and the learning he did there as a child.

560 students received services through the Center last year.
Scholarships are awarded to students who need help in paying for services, $43,251 in scholarships were provided to educators who need assistance in funding professional development.

In addition to teacher training, the Center is currently developing training modules for medical students, residents and fellows through the Departments of Neuroscience, Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the UVM.

Lead To Read is a professional partnership with schools providing teachers, curriculum developers and superintendents with literacy research to bring into the classroom. Trend in children’s reading levels is going down. When children can’t read well in the 4th grade, the prognosis is not great that they will catch up without intervention. Teachers in K-3 need to understand the best practices to deliver good instruction.
3 pronged approach:

1) Provide an online comprehensive reading course for educators;

  1. 2)  Develop communities of practice- meet with teachers in a group or teams to talk about lesson planning, assess students.

  2. 3)  Embedded coaching- provide additional coursework for educators within the schools to act as coaches who train their colleagues with a goal of getting the knowledge into the hands of the people in the schools.

Impetus is 50 years of research- we know more and need to use it in the classroom.
Our brains need to be rewired to read print. Most kids have speech when they come to school. The bigger job is to teach kids to match speech to print.
The current practice of teaching reading in the classroom isn’t matching up with the research.
Common belief says socioeconomic factors create barriers to learning, but research disagrees. Everyone can learn to read unless they have a cognitive disability. 95% of children can learn to read between the ages of 5-10.

What children need to learn how to read:

  1. 1)  Phonological awareness

  2. 2)  Phonics

  3. 3)  Fluency

  4. 4)  Vocab

  5. 5)  Comprehension

Elements of reading:
Language comprehension is portion of reading plus the mechanics of getting the print off the page.

Research says kids need really explicit directions matching sounds to letters. Strategies that weaken a child’s ability to learn to read:
Using the context

Skipping words Using picture cues Anchor words

Stanford study on brain waves shows how different teaching methods affect reading development.
MRI data showed how different instruction for poor readers created brain activity that brought kids closer to skilled readers.

Teachers matter more to student success. Study of 1200 elementary teacher prep program sound that only 26% provide adequate instruction in all 5 of the essential components of literacy instruction.

Lead to Read started with 2 programs in Hardwick Elementary and Hinesburg Community School. This year the Stern Center is working with over 100 teachers in 5 different schools. The program is outcome based:

  1. 1)  Improved teacher knowledge

  2. 2)  Improved student performance

Several bills in the Vermont legislature to address dyslexia and stronger teacher prep programs are working their way through the statehouse.

The Stern Center hosts a comedy event on March 22 at Arts Riot. The event is a fundraiser with three comedians raised in Shelburne. Tickets are $25 to raise money for the programs.

Early intervention is key to helping kids learn. The best thing parents can do early on is to be aware of any family history of learning issues. Screening for learning disabilities can start at age 4, and screening for issues related to social learning starts much earlier, at age 2 or 3.

Thanks so much to Stern Center for joining us. The Power of Showing Up is being donated to the Carpenter Carse Library.

Good luck and best wishes to all the folks headed off to Tela. See you next week!

Respectfully submitted, Carrie Fenn