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Say Hello To Together in Literacy!

casey emily introduction literacy our story welcome
A literacy instructor works 1:1 with a student in a bright and friendly classroom.

Let Us Introduce Ourselves

We are Emily and Casey and we’re embarking on an exciting new journey. We’re launching a new podcast! Along with our new podcast, Together in Literacy, we’ll also be sharing here on our blog and, building a community of educators, families, and students who want to better understand dyslexia and the connection to self-esteem and social-emotional growth.

So, who are we? We are Emily Gibbons and Casey Harrison and we have quite a bit in common. 

  • We’re both in the OG business (Orton-Gillingham, that is) trained and certified. 
  • We both used to be in the classroom but now we’re in private intervention. 
  • We both have online businesses and tutoring practices. 
  • And, we’re both twin moms! 
  • Fun fact, we’ve never actually met each other in person. (Emily lives in Massachusetts and Casey lives in Texas.)

But, above all, we’re both passionate about dyslexia advocacy and dyslexia awareness. And that’s what’s brought us together on this journey of literacy. 

Emily’s Story

I started out in education over twenty years ago as a classroom teacher. 

2003 was one of the most impactful years for me. It was that year that I finished my MA in Education and Curriculum Instruction with a specialization in Literacy. Throughout that entire program, there was never any discussion of dyslexia. I was a third-year teacher and was hired to a new district. This new district was wonderful! They put me into Project Read training. This is what introduced me to multi-sensory teaching and structured literacy.

At this new school, I joined a book group with my fellow teachers. We were reading a fabulous new book, Overcoming Dyslexia by Dr. Sally Shaywitz. This is the book that lit the flame in me. It ignited my passion for dyslexia advocacy and awareness. It was as if the flood gates of knowledge had been opened.

Now, I knew that I wanted to get into Orton-Gillingham training. I was a 3rd-grade inclusion teacher and I knew I had plenty of dyslexic students each year, but I needed more guidance with how to help them. I did not feel equipped. I began OG training through Massachusetts General Hospital and for the first time I felt like I really knew how to teach children to read. It was tough, it was rigorous, but it was incredible!

After OG training, though, I began to feel very isolated. I felt like others didn’t really know what I was talking about. It became so obvious to me that there was just so much misinformation out there about teaching reading, but also so much knowledge to spread. So I began to search for ways to continue the mission. 

After becoming a mom (to twins!) I left the classroom and opened my own private practice. I just knew I needed to find a community and that it would have to be online. But I also knew there was a big lack of resources out there and a lot of misinformation about dyslexia. That’s when I began to grow my online community and ultimately what brought me and Casey together. Through that online community, I’ve learned to grow and appreciate so many like-minded educators who are passionate about helping kids and want to spread dyslexia awareness.

Casey’s Story

Mine and Emily’s stories run somewhat parallel, and I know we’re not alone! Education has always been my path. When I was little, I loved to play school. I’ve been in education for over twenty-five years and taught in multiple different states, mostly in Title I schools and high-needs areas. I feel strongly that we need to serve all students and literacy is that equity piece. 

My journey led me from being a classroom teacher to a literacy specialist (both at my campus and the district level). Even with all that experience, I hadn’t ever heard of dyslexia. It was never covered in my coursework, or at higher-level training.  

I believe strongly in always seeking higher knowledge and honing my craft of teaching. Even so, I knew there was this group of students each year that I struggled to reach. I sought out my own training in Orton-Gillingham and it was life-changing. It opened my eyes to dyslexia. 

I love that now I have enough knowledge to see deep transformations within my students. I’m excited to share information and collaborate with others to continue to bring this important knowledge about dyslexia to others.

What’s Next?

We plan to release two podcast episodes and two blog posts each month where we’ll be sharing actionable tips for educators, families, and students  

We hope you’ll join us, together in literacy!

For more about us, Emily and Casey, and our plans for this new literacy adventure, check out our latest episode of Together in Literacy. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to rate, leave a positive review, and subscribe!

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