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Posted Nov 19, 2002 at 11:52:09 PM

Lisa Weinbaum & Jessica Blanchard
11025 Black Hills Road
Las Cruces, NM 88011
plw2351@zianet.com or 4jb3@zianet.com

Dear Educator:

"Everyone speaks for dyslexics: teachers, counselors, doctors, and parents. Now, hear from those who know dyslexia inside and out - the children and adolescents whose lives are a daily struggle as they try to maintain the facade of normalcy..."

And so begins Voices of Dyslexia: Children and Adolescents Speak Out, our proposed collection of testimonials and writings from children who seek to dispel the myth that dyslexics are lazy, stupid, or helpless.

Now is your opportunity to showcase your students’ writings in our proposed book, Voices of Dyslexia.... We are inviting elementary, middle, and high school students from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom to submit first person narratives (about living as a dyslexic) for possible inclusion in the book. Along with their narrative, we also ask that they submit another piece they have written on any subject - one that gives them the most pride. This additional selection may be a personal anecdote, essay, letter, or poem that truly conveys the writer’s personality - individual voices must be heard! Submissions may be humorous, poignant, or angry in tone, but most importantly, they need to evoke emotion from the reader. Contributions may be from one to ten pages in length, and all work submitted must be in final draft form.

As remedial reading teachers we understand your schedule is busy; however, we feel this will be a rewarding experience for both you and your students. If selected for publication, you, your students, and your school will receive recognition in the book. We will also accept anonymous contributions. Please feel free to integrate this into your curriculum at your convenience; however, submissions must be postmarked no later than December 20, 2002. Attached is a list of possible topics, but in order to stay true to the project, please encourage your students to write about subjects which are meaningful to them. Also enclosed are some guidelines along with a permission slip that must be signed by each student and his/her legal guardian. Please feel free to make copies as needed and share the enclosed information with your colleagues. After all, without student submissions, there will be no book.

We assure you this is a serious endeavor. A percentage of all proceeds will help fund our local Scottish Rite Children’s Learning Center. Not all submissions will be published, so please encourage your students’ best efforts. At present there are several books discussing dyslexia, but none in this format devoted entirely to children. It is our hope that Voices of Dyslexia ....will serve not only as an inspiration to the estimated 20 percent of all children who suffer from this disability, but also to the parents and teachers who may be on the verge of giving up on them.

Help dispel the Myth of Laziness.* Allow their dyslexic voices to be heard.

Lisa M. Weinbaum & Jessica Blanchard Title I Reading Teachers, Las Cruces, NM

Guidelines for Submissions

______ Does the student display dyslexic tendencies? (Average or above average intelligence, yet has trouble in one or more of the following areas: decoding, reading comprehension, spelling, handwriting, etc.) Please do not submit work of students who do not exhibit these symptoms.

______ Did the student include a first person narrative about life as a dyslexic along with another selection of their choice (personal anecdote, essay, letter, or poem) complete with title?
Only title the additional selection, not the first person narrative.

______ Are the pieces elaborated to their fullest (between one and ten pages) and evoke emotion from the audience? (Poems may be shorter in length.)

______ Is all work in final draft form?

______ Is the permission slip filled out in its entirety and attached to the student’s submission?

Suggestions for Possible Topics
(Remember this is merely a starting point.
Students may write on any topic that is meaningful to them!)
Accomplishments/ Proud Moments
School Experiences
Humorous Anecdotes
Trials and Tribulations
Family Relationships
Dreams and Aspirations
Favorite Teacher
Drug, Tobacco, or Alcohol Abuse
Socioeconomic, Religious, or Racial Issues
A Defining Moment in Their Life
A Coming of Age Story

Permission for Publication

(Student’s Name) (Age) (Title of Submission) (E-Mail)

(Street Address) (City, State, and Zip Code) (Phone Number)

(School’s Name) (Street Address) (City, State, and Zip Code)

(School’s Phone Number) (School’s E-Mail) (Teacher’s Name)

(Director/ Head of School/ Headmaster/Principal)

I affirm this is my child’s original work written in his/her own words. If selected for publication, I grant to Lisa M. Weinbaum, Jessica Blanchard, and their designees the right to publish said work, and I relinquish all financial rights pertaining to it. I further understand only my child’s first name will be used in the publication in order to protect his/her privacy.

(Signature of Parent or Legal Guardian)

(Signature of Student Submitting Work)

Submit To:

Lisa M. Weinbaum or Jessica Blanchard
11025 Black Hills Road 2175 Frontier Drive
Las Cruces, NM 88011 Las Cruces, NM 88011

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