Page 22 - Giving Back Guide - 2022
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story by Lynn Lofton photos by Arielle Victoria
  In 2019, a school was started
in Ocean Springs to meet the educational needs of students who were not being served. Lighthouse Academy for Dyslexia came
into being specifically for the remediation of dyslexia present in the community. Approximately 80 percent of people with learning disabilities have dyslexia, which makes it the most common learning disability, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics Joint Technical Report on Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, and Vision. The Academy is one of only three schools in the state designated
as special purpose schools and is accredited through the Mississippi Department of Education.
“A group of educators came together and began the arduous task of starting from scratch to get a school off the ground,” said school spokeswoman Stephanie Hill. “We started with four classrooms, 33 students, and 11 employees. In our first year of operation, we offered free screenings to the community where we screened over 50 students for dyslexia.”
By the beginning of the school’s second year, it received state accreditation status and hosted
a major Southeastern Dyslexia Summit for 170 teachers on the Gulf Coast. Currently, Lighthouse Academy serves 42 students in grades two through six.
“The evaluation process for dyslexia enables identification in specific learning disorders, including reading and writing, language- speech disorders, and related academic challenges. Students
must have a primary disability in dyslexia to apply for the school,” Hill explains. “Dyslexia affects one in five of our population, yet it is largely unknown still to the regular classroom teacher.”
The mission of Lighthouse Academy for Dyslexia is to foster community-wide awareness of dyslexia, to identify children with the characteristics of dyslexia, and to provide an academic rich, research- based, multi-sensory, educational environment to include positive experiences that challenge students while building necessary skills for academic and personal success.
Lighthouse Academy for Dyslexia
610 Ward Ave., Ocean Springs 228.447.4941
Together We Are Making a Difference
22 | December 2022 - Giving Back Guide | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living

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