On May 17th Offaly celebrated the remarkable achievement of Clara man Shane Lowry. This remarkable amateur golfer surprised everybody by winning the 3 Irish Open Golf Championship, despite appalling weather conditions and strong professional competition.

An Offaly Hero

The Offaly Dyslexia Group is proud to congratulate Shane on his success and wishes him all the best for the future.

We would also like to thank Donal Molloy, owner of Shane’s home club, the now famous Esker Hills Golf Club for his extraordinary generosity in supporting our fund raising efforts.

This is not the only link with fame for The Offaly Dyslexia Group, one of our young members is not only a fan, but hails from Ballykilmurray and actually knows this talented young golfer!

Just in case you didn’t know Ballykilmurray is where all the action takes place…

With three workshops under their belts children with “The Gift of Dyslexia” (Ronald D Davis) have reported to their parents that they have enjoyed things so far. Indeed one parent stated that their child actually looked forward to attending the workshops…

A major complaint expressed by the parents of children attending The Offaly Dyslexia Group workshops on Monday evenings is that their children appear reluctant to tell them much about it at all. As parents, we can reassure them that this is probably a sign that all is well.

The age groups of the children in question ranges from seven to twelve at present and any parent will tell you that often children just don’t want to include them in their world. This does not mean that anything is wrong, in fact it is quite the opposite, it’s a good sign…

If and when your child feels the need to confide in you, he or she will do so. This mightn’t come as a huge announcement, more likely they will drop it naturally into a conversation and pay little heed to it. Listen out for the small things like this and hear what your kid’s have to say and you will eventually get to piece things together!

Our tutors are excellent. They are all qualified teachers, who have undergone special training in the area of dyslexia at their own cost. The approach used is quite an informal one, working in small groups and also on an individual basis.

Emphasis is placed on enjoyment of words and play is used as a media for learning. Resource materials are needed to help us in the provision of this service for these children. At present we are hoping to raise funds through a variety of means, donations are very acceptable either financial or in the form of learning media.

Presently we need to purchase four dictionaries and thesaurus’s suitable for use by children, (ie Collins), educational games, stationery supplies, white paper, coloured paper, ink, etc.

Suitable software also has to be purchased for use with laptop computers (donated by the OAK Partnership), books and  coloured acetate sheets especially for the dyslexic reader are also required. The list is endless!

If you have ideas regarding fund raising or wish to make a donation please contact The Offaly Dyslexia Group…

The EBS (Educational Building Society) are welcoming applications for The EBS Community Fund 2009. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 5th June. Completed applications may be handed in to your local EBS office.

The Offaly Dyslexia Group urges interested parties to nominate us for support from the EBS Community Fund this year, 2009. Only one nomination per member is permitted, application forms may be downloaded here.

If you are an eligible member, or know someone who is please download an application form for the EBS Community Fund and submit it, having first nominated The Offaly Dyslexia Group!

If however, you are not a member don’t let that stop you from supporting us,  tell your friends and colleagues about the good work this worthy cause is doing – they might just be one of those 440,000 eligible members spoken about earlier in this post!

Once again we ask you to talk about us, blog about us, enlist the help of your friends and colleagues and help us get some more financial support. The expertise of our tutors is worth paying for if it’s going to make a difference to the lives of children with “The Gift of Dyslexia!” (Ronald D Davis)…

Children blessed with the “Gift of Dyslexia” (Ronald D Davis) have been attending workshops  (DAI) provided by The Offaly Dyslexia Group for the past three weeks. On Monday evenings, from 5pm – 7pm specialised tutorship is offered, in accordance to guidelines given by the Dyslexia Association of Ireland.

One of our benefactors, The EBS (Educational Building Society) recently produced its Summary Financial Statement 2008 – reView. This periodical is sent to all EBS customers and reaches a target audience of at least 440,000 readers.

On page sixteen is a summary of the EBS in the Community. In October 2008 a new EBS Community Fund was launched, whereby members around the country were called upon to nominate local causes in their area to benefit from the fund.

Over three hundred applications were received from members, which were then reviewed by a group of EBS members and employees who decided on how the fund should be allocated. Of these over 150 causes were chosen with donations ranging from €250 to €5,000.

The Offaly Dyslexia Group (aka North Offaly Dyslexia Association) was one of these lucky recipients. In one fell swoop we acquired funding, press photography, local and now NATIONAL exposure!

So, if you are a member of the EBS be sure to read this article and don’t just bin it when you have finished with it. Why not take it into work and leave it in the coffee room or even your doctor’s surgery waiting room for other’s to read!

Show it to your friends, blog about it, send it to the local paper or radio station, shout about it from the roof tops! Whatever you choose to do, it will help us to raise the profile of the group and maybe generate more funding which in turn will help us purchase essential supplies and pay for our tutors expertise in this area…

Further information may be obtained by contacting The Offaly Dyslexia Group.

At 5pm on Monday 27th April 2009 members of the Offaly Dyslexia Group group opened the doors of Daingean National School to welcome the parents and children participating in the Dyslexia Association of Ireland workshops.

In total eleven children attended the first of the Offaly Dyslexia Group workshops. These will be held over a six week period, in line with the academic year, with further workshops being planned for September 2009.

Initially the first workshops will serve a ‘getting to know you’ purpose, which will allow the tutors and co-ordinator Ms Susan McGann to assess the children’s individual learning requirements. Each child will have the opportunity to work in small age determined groups and also individually with the tutors.

During this time, the group hopes to determine and purchase learning support materials that are best matched to the participants needs. Presently the Offaly Dyslexia Group is in the process of purchasing two lap-top computers which will allow students to use Information & Communication Technology software.

At present the Offaly Dyslexia Group has a ‘live’ waiting list of several prospective students wishing to avail of the workshops. Should you wish to make enquiries about adding your child’s name to this list please contact us.

As these activities require funding it is intended that the Offaly Dyslexia Group will hold a number of fund raising activities throughout the year. All offers of help will be gratefully received and should be directed to 086 2309009 or info@offalydyslexiagroup.org

On Monday last, 20th April 2009, the founding members of the Offaly Dyslexia Group were proud to present the opportunity for parents to register their children for the forthcoming Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) workshops. The in-inaugural pre-registration parents meeting was held at Daingean National School and was a great success, with the parents of nine children attending.

The meeting was opened by David Walsh, (Chair) who welcomed the parents and briefly introduced the committee members, tutors Susan McGann (workshop co-ordinator), Elaine Norris and Ethne Crowley. Also present was Ms Mary Ball of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland.

Mary Ball, DAI spoke briefly about the aim of the DAI and what to expect from the workshops for children with Dyslexia. Susan McGann (workshop co-ordinator) gave a brief run-down of what to expect in practical terms. Following this there was the opportunity for a questions and answers session, which proved to be lively.

Afterwards the tutors spoke with each parent and some of the children on an individual basis, accompanied by a quick review of their psycho-educational assessment. Parents were re-assured that tuition would be aimed to fulfil the children’s individual needs, with group tutoring and private tutoring combined.

Dyslexia is considered to be a specific learning disability, which means that mainstream teaching cannot always provide the assistance required. DAI workshops provided by the Offaly Dyslexia Group endeavour to introduce learning skills to children who are affected by this condition.

The key to success is to find an alternative learning style by which these children will succeed. Sadly mainstream schools follow only one academic pattern, which does not allow for alternative learning styles, therefore workshops provided by DAI affiliated groups, such as the Offaly Dyslexia Group are invaluable.

The one clear goal which is clearly identified by those with experience of tutoring dyslexic children is that their self esteem is greatly improved as a result of being taught in a way specific to their needs. This in itself is a great triumph on the part of those concerned and often is the motivator needed to accelerate the learning process.

The Offaly Dyslexia Group are thankful for the generosity of The EBS Building Society Community Fund, The Community Foundation For Ireland, The OAK Partnership and Mahon Oil. Also for the tenacity of those parents whose determination to help their children find the help that they require. Without them, the Offaly Dyslexia Group would not exist.

After months of planning and a lot of hard work the group can proudly look forward to DAI workshops commencing on Monday 27th April.

For more information please contact the Offaly Dyslexia Group.

In case anyone dropping in missed our previous announcement, tomorrow evening, Monday 20th April,  the Offaly Dyslexia Group will hold its inaugural pre-registration parents evening. This  will take place at Daingean National School from 5pm – 7pm.

The aim of this meeting is to provide parents with the opportunity to meet the teachers who will be working closely with their children at the Offaly Dyslexia Group workshops. These will commence at 5pm on Monday 27th April, in Daingean National School, each workshop will last two hours.

The initial workshops will serve a ‘getting-to-know-you’ function for the teachers and the children. During the initial ‘term’, which will run until the end of the academic year the teachers will have the opportunity to assess those children attending and devise a programme suitable for their individual needs.

In order to do this it is essential that parents attending Monday’s pre-registration meeting bring the required documentation. The provision of workshops involves a huge commitment by all parties and your co-operation from its inception will be much appreciated.

For further enquiries please contact David Walsh, Chairperson, Offaly Dyslexia Group.

The Offaly Dyslexia Group is a voluntary organisation. As a registered charity we would appreciate all offers of assistance.

Parents will be required to give assistance on a rotational basis regarding the supervision and security of the workshops. We anticipate that this will not occur more than once per term.

From time to time Offaly Dyslexia Group will be holding Fund-raising activities. Assistance will be requested from the parents of children availing of workshops.

Offaly Dyslexia Group welcomes ideas regarding fund-raising activities!

To ensure that  your child receives the maximum benefit from attending the Offaly Dyslexia Group workshops it is important the the student is fully committed:

  • Full and regular attendance
  • Coming to class on time
  • Full co-operation in class
  • Willingness to do the work assigned.

Places in the workshops are normally assigned for one full academic year, unless otherwise specified. Fees are due for the full year as they are set on an annual basis.

To facilitate parents,  fees may be paid on a weekly basis, however the full annual amount remains payable, EVEN if the student misses a class. Therefore, it is wise to make sure that your child understands that attendance at the workshop is a commitment for a full school year.

However, as Offaly Dyslexia Group workshops are commencing in April this year the initial contract will cover the period from April to June ’09 only.  Fees are payable for this period only.

The first full Offaly Dyselxia Group academic year will commence in September ’09 commensurate with the school year. This contract will be renewed with each new school academic year.

Further enquiries should be made to Offaly Dyslexia Group

The Offaly Dyslexia Group is delighted to announce that we will be commencing workshops in the very near future! In fact, it is envisaged that the first will take place on 27th April 2009.

Before children can be admitted to our waiting list for the Offaly Dyslexia Group‘s workshops a number of pre-requisites must be met. These consist of a) Workshop Enrolment Form, b) Medical Consent Form and c) Parental Contract Form.

In addition to this an original copy of your child’s Psycho-Educational Assessment must also be submitted for the attention of the Workshop Co-ordinator who will treat it in strictest confidence. This requirement will enable the Co-ordinator to draw up your child’s individual profile*.

If available your child’s STEN/Percentile scores as indicated from their school end of year test results would also be helpful in assessing your child’s needs.

To securing a place at workshop (when available) a refundable* deposit of €50.00 per child is required. *This may be off-set against the cost of workshop attendance.

Please contact Offaly Dyslexia Group for further details.

*this post was edited by Admin on 28/8/09 to reflect the correct terminology when referring to children’s unique learning profiles. In a formal educational setting these are commonly referred to as Individual Education Plans (IEP).