An excited child was thrilled to tell Georgina Smith that his family had ordered an Indian takeaway – because for the first time he could read the menu.
Georgina, of Leek, set up her own dyslexia assessment and tuition service 10 years ago, after initially volunteering to work with adults who have difficulty reading and writing. It represents a subject close to her heart after her own father, Richard, left school with literacy difficulties.
Now the 48-year-old has written a dyslexia programme, called CodeBreakers, which is already being piloted in schools around Staffordshire – and she has also been nominated for a Sentinel Our Heroes award, as an education star.
She said: “I wanted to do some voluntary work and I have always had an interest in adult literacy. My father had left school in the early 1960s with difficulties in reading and writing, so I knew the impact it has had on my dad’s life.
“From volunteering, I started doing some courses and before I knew it I was a qualified post-16 teacher. I got a job working with the long-term unemployed, and rehabilitated offenders.
“But I realised that programme was not working for those people, and I came across dyslexia. I did some more qualifications and set up my own practice.
“I started doing parent support courses, helping parents understand dyslexia and what they could do at home.
“Over the years I realised I had this amazing resource. Not everyone can afford private tuition and over this last year I have been able to get into schools.”
Georgina’s CodeBreakers programme aims to help children struggling with the disorder which means people have difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters or symbols.