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Dyslexic Students Find Love for Reading Through Competition

These days, many students show up to school already knowing how to read.

For some, that skill is harder to get, and schools are looking for ways to help make it easier.

"I see big words I can't say, and it makes me feel upset," said fourth grade student Georgia Bobo. She is dyslexic, and it's hard for her to even explain how words on a page look to her.

Georgia and other dyslexic students at Nola Dunn Academy come to Donna Blackaby's class for help.

Phonics, flashcards and one other trick that has students who normally aren't so fond reading coming back to the classroom at lunch — even recess — to sit and read.

"It's a competition between all the schools in the United States," said student Holden Frantz.

It's called the Great Reading Games. It's series of audio books which reads to the students, highlighting the words as it goes. It's a common tool people with dyslexia use.

"All the books I was reading were super funny," said Frantz.

The kids got hooked and started reading so much, their reading skills and star test scores were skyrocketing.

"Many dyslexic students won't finish a book on their own, but they've finished hundreds of books now," said Teacher Dana Blackaby.

It's a competition, and the students at Nola Dunn won first in the nation.

"I was beating every single kid in the us except for one," said Frantz.

Georgia Bobo is proud to say she was in the top ten in the nation too, but that’s nothing compared to the fact she can now say she loves to read.

This is just one example of the type of learning at the Academy at Nola Dunn, where students are often exposed to what the school calls “brain-based leaning.” It includes lots of hands-on work that uses technology and novel ideas to not only find academic success but develop a love for learning.

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