By Christine Cooke

Sutherland Institute wants local education leaders to “school” us with what they know about education, which is why we started “You Got Schooled.”

“You Got Schooled” is a social media initiative that highlights schools, teachers, and education programs that are achieving excellence for the individual student by thinking outside the box, implementing new ideas and challenging how we approach learning.

This time, Sutherland Institute visited the Dyslexia Center of Utah, a non-profit in Cedar Hills dedicated to helping children learn to read. Shelley Hatch, the director, brings a passion for helping children learn to overcome dyslexia and an understanding that every child has unique gifts.

Sitting as a desk one-on-one or two-on-one with reading tutors, we watched as students were guided through multi-sensory tasks, an educational approach used by the center’s tutors that uses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways.

We saw children who were happy, who were learning at a pace and in a way that worked for them.

We spoke with parents who told personal accounts of their son or daughter falling behind in school, losing confidence in their ability to learn, and finally finding learning to read at the Dyslexia Center of Utah.

We learned, that one in five students struggles with dyslexia, making it the most common learning disability, and that dyslexia very often goes undiagnosed. Sadly, the majority of students who are not diagnosed by 2nd grade struggle to read into adulthood.

Seeking this personalized education outside of school requires sacrifices of money and time from families and for those who don’t have the resources, from charitable donors.

We are struck by DCU’s commitment to every child. From Sutherland Institute, You Got Schooled.

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Christine Cooke works as a policy analyst for Sutherland Institute’s Center for Educational Progress. Christine has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in English Teaching and graduated from Arizona State University with a law degree. Prior to joining Sutherland Institute, Christine was an English teacher at a public junior high school and a residential treatment center. As a student attorney in the Arizona State University Juvenile Advocacy Clinic, Christine represented clients in juvenile law proceedings and taught community legal education to high school students. She worked in legal and policy research with the legal counsel for the Arizona Office of the Governor, legal counsel for Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, the Goldwater Institute, and The Heritage Foundation. Christine has made appearances on Fox-13 News and KSL’s Sunday Edition and is regularly featured in regional publications and radio shows. She currently sits on a state committee that advises the Utah State Board of Education on specific education issues. When in her home state of Arizona, she loves to spend time with her family. She also loves music, hiking, and making cookies.

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