In recognition of Dyslexia Awareness Month, The Code Academy is emphasizing its mission to raise awareness and understanding of dyslexia. By nurturing support and advocating for donations, The Code Academy strives to ensure students with learning challenges at the Dyslexia School of Houston can embrace their full potential and become literate. Tammy Spencer, known as the “Dyslexia Lady of Houston ISD”, launched the Dyslexia School of Houston and its sister non-profit The Code Academy in 2020, and are committed to eliminating financial barriers for essential intervention services for dyslexics.

Training tomorrow's dyslexia therapists

Starting in a small garage apartment and progressing to a physical storefront, the journey of both The Code Academy and Dyslexia School of Houston has been one of continuous growth and evolution. Now, the organizations are poised to enter a collaborative endeavor with the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children’s Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders, bringing their highly regarded curriculum to Houston.

The establishment of a cutting-edge facility in the Memorial area signifies a monumental development in the scope of The Code Academy’s services. This innovative facility will house Dyslexia School of Houston Training Center and Lab School.

“Our primary goal at this facility is to train and develop future dyslexia educators, referred to as Certified Academic Language Therapists. Their training will specifically emphasize the dyslexia component,” Spencer said. “Once they complete our training program, they can then seek licensure through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to become Licensed Dyslexia Therapists.”

Construction of this new facility will greatly expand the reach of our services. Spencer said. “If we can multiply our efforts and methodologies through additional instructors, we have the potential to impact the lives of thousands of children. We are targeting 2024 for our first cohort training session for interested candidates."

Addressing dyslexia’s prevalence

According to Spencer, the opportunity to raise awareness about dyslexia is crucial since about 20% of the population suffer from this reading difference.

“This has significant implications for our literacy rates. Here in Houston, we have faced challenges with Houston ISD being taken over and our student’s reading scores consistently declining,” Spencer said. “I'm concerned that we're not doing enough to identify and support those with dyslexia and reading difficulties.”

With a mission rooted in inclusivity, The Code Academy strives to offer unparalleled dyslexia intervention support to all students, regardless of their economic status or their school district.

“Our goal is to drastically reduce the illiteracy rate in our local community. The consequences of illiteracy are heart-wrenching,” Spencer said. “Achieving literacy success can change the entire trajectory of a person's life and we're dedicated to ensuring that children with dyslexia are given the tools they need to succeed."

Expanding reach for free student services

On Sept. 9, The Code Academy hosted its inaugural Cirque Dy Slexia Gala, a captivating evening aimed at raising money for the scholarship fund of the Dyslexia School of Houston.

"It's a local initiative. We are the heart of dyslexia and reading difficulties for support in the Houston area, and I have no ambitions to expand to other locales. Our mission is here at home,” Spencer said. “Currently, we're at an exciting juncture. For the first time, we've developed a community outreach partnership to amplify reach and services. We will be starting our training center and lab school, training future therapists to reach even more children.”

The enthusiasm surrounding this initiative is further reflected by an official partnership with Neighborhood Schools Inc. operating a non-profit serving two charter school locations and three child care centers in Houston. Beginning in October 2023 this collaborative endeavor will provide services to approximately 35 students predominantly near Jensen, just north of 610, at no cost.

"We are committed to making a difference. Every weekday morning, we will deliver research and evidence based curriculums to students using combined funds from private foundations and our own budget,” Spencer said. The anticipation and potential for change are truly exhilarating."

Donate to The Code Academy this Dyslexia Awareness Month and help them achieve their mission of ensuring literacy is within reach for all students.

The above story was produced by Multi Platform Journalist Holly Galvan with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.