Return to Headlines

Opening Doors at the Academy for Literacy, Learning & Innovation Excellence

Teresa Hinote, ALLIES Take Flight therapist, points out curriculum to students Aug. 2. Approximately 85 students entered the doors of a new school dedicated to serving students exhibiting profiles of dyslexia. The Academy for Literacy, Learning, and Innovation Excellence open in District 49’s POWER Zone Aug. 2.

“Welcome to ALLIES,” said Pam Weyer, volunteer, checking students in as they arrived for the first day of school.

ALLIES, serving students in grades two through five, began as a specialized program within Odyssey Elementary School. Children identified as fitting a profile for dyslexia received an extra 50 minutes of targeted instruction through the Take Flight program, in addition to the regular classroom providing accommodations for their style of learning, including additional time to take exams.

“The program at Odyssey was a big success, these students were seeing growth in their reading and literacy scores that showed the targeted instruction and techniques to serve them in the traditional were really making a difference,” said Rebecca Thompson, director of academic services.

“See all those things on the wall?” said Teresa Hinote, Take Flight therapist, to four new ALLIES students. “All of that is going to help us read.”

A key component of the ALLIES curriculum is 50 minutes of targeted instruction each day through the Take Flight program, developed at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

“These children are very intelligent,” said Hinote, in a documentary about the program. “They just learn language in a different way from most of the population.”

Take Flight was designed for use by certified academic language therapists for children with dyslexia ages 7 and older. Three therapists will serve the ALLIES learners.

The Take Flight program is designed for one-on-one or small group instruction with no more than six students per class. Students will be in a more traditional classroom setting outside of the daily Take Flight work, and these classes will cater to learning styles that are effective for how their brains are wired.

Jeannie Martin, ALLIES online and blended professor, goes over expectations with students Aug. 2.  ALLIES students move between classrooms on the first day of school Aug. 2.

Matt Meister