If a child cannot learn the way I teach, then I must teach the way he learns.
--Anna Gillingham, educator and psychologist

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Laughlin Children’s Center to offer PSSA Written Language help

Laughlin Children’s Center is offering a series of classes designed to help students in fifth grade prepare for the written language portion of the Pennsylvania Standardized System of Assessment (PSSA). The PSSA, which is a state-wide exam, will be administered by local school districts the week of April 19, 2010.

The small group will meet at Laughlin, 424 Frederick Avenue, Sewickley, on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 beginning on 16 February, 2010, and will finish the seven-session course the week before the PSSA exams. The sessions will assist students in properly organizing their thoughts and ideas, help them gain confidence in their writing skills, increase their overall writing capabilities, and teach them to master the key components of writing a five-paragraph essay for PSSA. Enrollment will be capped at six students, and seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The course will be taught by teacher Erin Frederick, who has PA-certification in elementary education, special education, and secondary English Language and Literature, as well as experience in K-12 gifted programs. Part of Laughlin’s new Writing Lab, the PSSA Written Language course will combine traditional one-on-one instruction with small group work, and offers the added benefit of working with laptop computers. Because of its small-group nature, students of various abilities can participate and receive the individualized help they need.

Sally Reichard, the Director of Laughlin Children’s Center Academic Department, and a certified reading specialist with extensive Orton-Gillingham training, collaborated on the development of the seven sessions, in order to maximize their effectiveness and real-life applicability. “We want children to have the skills necessary to do well on the PSSA, but more importantly, we want them to be equipped for success in life. The basis for that success is the ability to communicate effectively.”

Laughlin Children’s Center has been offering educational support services since 1956. As a community non-profit, its focus is on individual students and helping them discover learning success. Tuition for the Written Language course’s seven 90-minute sessions is $225; a generous financial aid program is available. For more information, call 412.741.4087 or click on www.laughlincenter.com.

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