Athens Bible School has made a commitment to providing top-notch reading therapy and
instruction for students with a diagnosis of dyslexia. We are blessed to have Mrs. Kerry Cox,
who holds Associate Level certification from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and
Educators, spearheading this program.
The Dyslexia Program at Athens Bible School
Students with dyslexia have difficulty with the written, and sometimes spoken language. At Athens Bible School, a program was established two years ago to teach students with dyslexia to learn to read and be successful in and out of the classroom. The program is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, a structured, multisensory, individualized plan to teach reading and language skills that are beneficial for all students, but especially those with dyslexia.
Dyslexia Program Director/Instructor, AOGP Associate.
Mrs. Cox earned her Baccalaureate degree from the University of North Alabama and her Master’s degree from the University of Alabama, both of which are in elementary education. She taught 28 years in the public schools, retiring from the Lauderdale County School System. She taught first grade at ABS for three years and fourth grade for one year. Both of her sons are ABS graduates. Tyler graduated in 2010 and Hunter in 2012. She achieved membership at the Associate Level in the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE)-the gold standard for dyslexia training- after an 18 month practicum. In 2019, she worked part-time as a Reading Interventionist for Limestone County Schools.
Credentialing for this specialized teaching is very important, even critical and essential, if the job is to be done correctly. There are five levels of membership in AOGPE: 1.) Subscriber 2.) Classroom Educator 3.) Associate 4.) Certified, and 5.) Fellow. Each level brings progressively greater qualifications and allows the instructor to do more advanced work with and for dyslexic students. Mrs. Cox is now working to obtain the Certified Level status. In fact, during the last part of July, she traveled to Silver Springs, GA (near Atlanta) to study at the well-known dyslexia school known as the Schenck School. While there, she completed about twenty-five percent of the requirements to achieve Certified Level status. Mrs. Cox’s original goal was to reach Fellow Level status, so she could instruct other teachers in the Ortin Gillingham approach. That continues to be her goal. Some of her well-respected, even renowned, instructors in this area include Fellows, Ron Yoshimoto, Rosalie Davis, and Josie Calamari. Even Fellow Marcia Ramsey, who began the Greengate School (the only AOGPE accredited school in Alabama) which is now part of prestigious Randolph School in Huntsville, came to the ABS campus for part of the AOGPE training done at the end of last school year. In order to become a Fellow, students must first possess a Master’s degree. These qualifications, along with her Alabama State Department of Education teacher certification, allow Mrs. Cox to assign subject area grades for the instruction for those that have an official dylslexia diagnosis, when deemed necessary and appropriate.
The Orton Gillingham approach is considered the “gold standard” for teaching reading and language skills to those with dyslexia. Parents who have a child with dyslexia can find it difficult to locate reading therapy for their child. Athens Bible School is thrilled to be able to fill that need for students in our county, as well as neighboring counties. Mrs. Kerry Cox, an Associate member of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, directs the program.