March is National Reading Month

ReadingMonth_social mediaThe Hope Center at Wellsville is working to help children and adults overcome reading difficulties, including dyslexia, which can have multiple negative impacts upon their lives.

The Hope Center, an initiative of the Mission Genesee Valley coalition of churches and other Christian organizations, is located at 4194 Bolivar Road (State Route 417 West) – #5, next to McDonald’s.  In addition to free reading assistance, the facility also houses drop-in, information and referral, and public and church education centers, along with a developing Christian lending library.  Monthly learning opportunities on a wide range of subjects involving life issues also are provided.

A significant percentage of both children and adults in Allegany County have reading difficulties.  At younger ages this can lead to bullying by others, lack of self-esteem, juvenile delinquency and the inability to learn in some areas.  As individuals age into adulthood, negatives can include difficult interpersonal relationships, trials in obtaining higher paying jobs, the embracing of negative behaviors including substance abuse, and even incarceration.

Sometimes parents take children out of public schools due to feelings they aren’t being helped and attempt to teach them at home, while not understanding the reasons for reading difficulties or being aware of the teaching techniques which can be important in helping their child.

Although individuals may be labeled as having reading or learning disabilities, they often are very gifted in other areas and, if able to overcome these difficulties, become very successful in highly thought of occupations such as music, education, engineering, psychology and science research.  Many famous people, including international leaders, have been determined to be dyslexic.

Early intervention is important, with significant speech delays, such as not starting to talk with at least a few words by a child’s first birthday, stuttering, the inability to tie shoes, difficulty in spelling one’s last name, and oral speech articulation with letters such as r, l, m,, n and sh/ch, difficulty memorizing, and poor spelling,  being some of the noticeable trends.

Individuals, family members and friends seeking more information in regard to this or other assistance for individuals or families can contact Casey Jones, Hope Center Planning Group chair at or (484) 435-0503.  The group’s ongoing activities also are available at and

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