Success is Foundation for the Future

Michele shares success stories about A+ and Kurzweil 3000...

Intelligence Coming to the Fore
"Intelligent students with dyslexia were hiding their disability but they struggled to make the grade in Advanced Placement classes. Kurzweil 3000 allows these students to stay in their AP classes and succeed," relates Michele.

Life-Changing Addiction to Reading
Michele remembers another student who was a slow reader who would find ways to get out of heavy reading assignments. When told he had to read War and Peace, the student was encouraged to tackle the book using Kurzweil 3000. "He became addicted to the software, finding he could read faster and comprehend more. It changed his life because he no longer avoided his reading assignments. In fact, he continues to use Kurzweil 3000 as a literacy support in college."

Declaration of Independence
Another student whose twin brother was going to attend St. John's was worried he wouldn't be able to attend because he had cystic fibrosis, dyslexia, and dysgraphia. "I interviewed the boy and realized he was very smart. He said his favorite thing to do was read but to do that his mother had to read to him," said Michele. She showed him Kurzweil 3000, which the boy described as "magic software," and "he lit up and started to cry because he realized he could read any book he wanted without help." The student is still in school and does very well.

Common Ground and Level Playing Field
According to Michele, there is no stigma attached to using the inclusion learning center and Kurzweil 3000 because everyone goes to A+. "Students with Individualized Education Plans don't stand out as being 'different' and are just as 'cool' as their peers." Students on the school's sports teams benefit, too, as Kurzweil 3000 files have been converted to MP3 files, so all athletes can listen to content on their iPods.

80% Participation, 100% Culture of Inclusion Learning
A+ started out small and focused on serving the average student. By the second year, the number of students served doubled. Now, ten years later, nearly 80 percent of the students at St. John's, no matter their learning styles or abilities, voluntarily find their way to A+ during the school year.

"The learning center changed the whole school culture and it all started with Kurzweil 3000," says Michele. "Students have been introduced to the powerful reading and writing tools in Kurzweil 3000 and to the convenience of Kurzweil 3000. Those who require a multisensory platform, who have a physical or learning disability, or need help increasing their vocabulary, taking notes, or improving their writing, benefit from Kurzweil 3000 ."

Plans are to expand A+ to include school library staff who will teach research and media skills. "As we grow our program, we look forward to working closely with parents and teachers to find solutions for any student who is struggling. Kurzweil 3000 is an integral piece of this future," says Michele.

Return to Page 1: Academic Inclusion and Achievment for ALL
Return to Page 2: The Challenge, The Objective, The Solution

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