What Makes The Bridge Academy Special

- March 02, 2021

Thank you to Adrienne Lambin, MSW for this week’s feature. Adrienne began her career as an Orton-Gillingham practitioner in the spring of 2006. Originally a substitute teacher at The Bridge Academy, she witnessed the undeniable success of students who received Orton-Gillingham intervention. Incredibly inspired, she proceeded to become certified by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). The rigorous training she received has enabled Adrienne to help countless children and young adults improve their literacy skills.

What Makes The Bridge Academy Special

“For the first time, I understand what the teachers are saying!”

“Thank you, Bridge Academy, for giving me my son back!”

“The Bridge Academy saved my life.”

While these statements may seem dramatized, they are actual quotes from Bridge Academy students and parents. It is not uncommon for our staff to receive similar heartfelt messages of gratitude. (We treasure each one.) The words may vary, but the sentiment persists, and they are crafted of pure gold. They represent a lost child found; a non-reader now literate; a parent who can finally breathe knowing that their child is no longer struggling needlessly in school. These communications may pop up in our inboxes or as handwritten cards left on our desks; sometimes, we are spontaneously gifted with expressions of thanks from across the table at a parent-teacher conference. (At least one of us always cries.) While the literacy skills Bridge Academy students attain are reflected in formal and informal educational assessments alike, emotional gains are unable to be quantified by any standardized measure. Yet, these too have proven to be life altering and enduring.

What is it about “The Bridge” that so reliably transforms the educational experience of struggling readers and writers when others could not? The power of a highly-qualified, dedicated staff that collaborates across content areas to serve the dynamic needs of each student in combination with small class sizes cannot be ignored in this equation. However, none of the above could be achieved were it not for The Bridge Academy’s commitment to strictly adhere to the Orton-Gillingham (“OG”) approach to instruction.

Why Orton-Gillingham? Ask a person with dyslexia, dysgraphia, or similar language-based challenges who has received Orton-Gillingham intervention, and they will quickly assert it worked when little else did. For those searching for more than just anecdotes, the OG approach is time-tested and evidence-based. Since its inception approximately 80 years ago, it has been utilized to effectively remediate reading and writing difficulties in dyslexic and non-dyslexic students alike. The principles which underpin Orton-Gillingham, often referred to as “Structured Literacy,” have been scientifically researched and endorsed by those at the forefront of the remediation of language-based learning disabilities. (A comprehensive review can be found in the reports of the subgroups of the National Reading Panel at www.nichd.nid.gov.) In addition, the components integral to the OG approach are endorsed by the International Dyslexia association, and have been well researched by The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity.

Join us next month as we give more details about the Orton-Gillingham approach and what it means for your child.