$20,000 grant available to offset cost of camp for dyslexic youth

The Dyslexia Institute of Indiana will use a $20,000 grant from the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County to expand a summer camp program entering its second year.

The grant will provide financial-need scholarships for dyslexic students through the organization’s signature program, Camp Delafield, in Columbus. The camp is the only formalized camp for individuals with dyslexia in the state.

Camp Delafield was established in 1990 in Indianapolis and provides a rigorous summer academic program using the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach for individuals ages 7 to 12 who have dyslexia. The Orton-Gillingham approach is a theory that combines multi-sensory techniques along with the structure of the English language, according to the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education website.

The camp provides academic remediation and instruction in the areas of phonics, reading, spelling and writing. A focus is also made during the camp on STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.

“Our son attended Camp Delafield in Indianapolis in 2012. He gained a year’s worth of reading growth in the 20 sessions delivered by a trained Orton-Gillingham tutor that summer,” said Adrienne Mormino, co-founder of Columbus Indiana R.E.A.D.S., which stands for Recognizing, educating and Advocating for Dyslexic Students.

Bill Herman, CEO of the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana, said the camp provides students with dyslexia the opportunity to not only maintain skills taught during the school year, but to also grow. The organization serves about 40 individuals at its camp in Indianapolis, Herman said.

The Dyslexia Institute of Indiana piloted its first expansion of Camp Delafield in Bartholomew County in 2016. The camp, which also provides one-on-one tutors, was able to serve 11 students last summer and hopes to have 18 participate this year.

“Having a camp presence in Bartholomew County provides residents with an innovative, educational option to address a lack of resources available for individuals with this learning disability,” Herman said.

Herman said the Columbus camp was successful in its first year, providing $19,400 in financial assistance to individuals. Cost is $2,400 per individual.

“The need in the community is great, yet the cost is high for many families. With support from Heritage Fund in 2017, many more families and kids can be helped,” Mormino said.

Financial assistance will be provided this year through the organization’s Camp Delafield Columbus scholarship fund. The amount of financial aid that families receive will be based on financial need and will be evaluated by a third party, Herman said.

He said most families who qualify for assistance likely will receive $500 to $1,000. Funding assistance will remain available as long as there are openings in the camp.

About Camp Delafield

The Camp Delafield program for dyslexic students will take place 8 a.m. to noon June 5-30 at the Columbus Youth Camp, 12454 W. Youth Camp Road, where individuals can utilize the Youth Camp’s recreational opportunities .

Information: call 317-222-6635 or visit diin.org/how-we-help-you/camp-delafield-columbus/.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com