Raguet-Schofield’s GoFundMe fundraiser already has raised more than $2,400 — her original goal was $1,000. Raguet-Schofield, a veteran ultrarunner — someone who competes in races far longer than a 26.2-mile marathon — will run 43 miles on the Colorado Trail.
“It has felt great to take all this negativity and turn it into something positive,” said Raguet-Schofield, who has a bachelor’s and PhD from University of Illinois. “Providing for this reading center will be able to help children who would otherwise possibly end up on a really bad path.”
Raguet-Schofield said William, who just finished second grade, had been terrified to read books. After he had finished first grade, she asked him to read a “Finding Dory” picture book meant for preschoolers, and he couldn’t do it.
“He was reversing ‘Saw’ and ‘Was,’ and he couldn’t sound out ‘Fish’ and ‘Swim,'” Raguet-Schofield said. “He told me he could see the letters and knew what sounds they make, but he couldn’t put them in the right order.”
Last September, Raguet-Schofield enrolled him at the CSRC with reading teacher Valerie Backo. William spends two hours a week at the center after school focusing on OG training.
Backo said she and William use CLOVER to teach the six types of syllables. They also utilize animal names to teach how to divide syllables, what the sound should be and what the spelling rule is.
For sight words, Backo said she’s been making a visual inside the word to help William remember the word’s spelling and pronunciation. She also uses a boggie board to trace, copy, cover the word, and then write the word with William’s eyes closed. William comes up with the picture clue to help him remember the word.
Backo puts paint inside a zip lock bag to have William spell words with a Q-tip or with his finger.
She also employs see-through plastic cups to have him spell words. When William has to determine the correct vowel pattern, vowel rule, or ending to a word he can rotate the cups to find the correct one. If he writes the wrong one, Backo has him tell her the puzzle and why it is not spelled that way.
“It’s not about who is the fastest to run the race of figuring out the code of language, but training the brain to enhance one’s gifts,” Backo said. “Will has taught me that endurance is his greatest asset to the world. He believes, ‘dyslexics can fly’ and states often, ‘dyslexia is my gift.'”
Raguet-Schofield, who has competed in races up to 100 miles, decided to fundraise for the CSRC instead of spending money to enter races this year.
She said helping the nonprofit organization has been an important way for her to “give back.”
“They’re doing such great things for the community,” Raguet-Schofield said. “I wish I could raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for them.”
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