Welcome to the Reading Corner

@ Benway School with Ms. Jo! 

September Updates

Welcome Back to Benway’s Reading Corner!

I am enthusiastic and eager to begin working with Benway students after what I hope was a relaxing summer break for all of us. I’ve always loved the refreshed energy a new school year presents. Here is a glance at what to expect during the beginning of the year as I get our students ready to read!



Reading Instruction

The goal of Reading Instruction is to meet readers where they are and strive to advance students’ reading skills.

Let’s call them…


The BIG Goals:

  • To be skillful and
  • To discover a lifetime love of reading



The Developmental Reading Assessment, (DRA3)

The Developmental Reading Assessment, referred to as the DRA, can aid in determining a student's independent and instructional reading level with an evaluation of three reading components: reading engagement, oral reading fluency, and comprehension. 

Initially, I use the DRA to assess a student’s reading level. This detailed information allows me to inform my instruction and develop an action plan with specific areas of focus that will begin remediating reading skills as well as enriching student strengths, also noted during the reading assessment.

The Next Steps…

 The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Systems 

 A Leveled Literacy Intervention, (LLI), is a powerful, short-term intervention that can aid in providing supplemental materials to a research based reading approach such as the Orton-Gillingham Approach. The LLI system provides leveled books that I imbed into a multisensory reading intervention approach.  

The Orton-Gillingham Approach

The Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Approach is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, and diagnostic and prescriptive way to teach literacy when reading and writing and spelling does not come easily to individuals, such as those with dyslexia. It is most properly understood and practiced as an approach, not a method, program, or system.

Using my expertise in the Orton-Gillingham approach, I use all the learning pathways: seeing, hearing, feeling, and awareness of motion brought together by the thinking brain, to engage students in multisensory teaching and to convey content in the most understandable way. 



As we all get ready to engage in this new and promising school year, please take a moment to read about, SORA. 


What is SORA?

SORA stands for (Student Reading App)

SORA provides access to ebooks and audiobooks from Benway School and your district public library. 

How Can You Access SORA?

Sora can be accessed through School Devices, Phones, and /Other Devices. You will only have to Install the SORA App. 

How Do You Find Books in SORA?

Use the Search for a book on the Explore page, upper left side.

How Can You Check out a Book in SORA?

Your Choices are:

Sample: Read or listen to a SAMPLE before checking out the book. Some titles are limited by the number of checkouts. 

Borrow: The book is available for immediate check out.

Hold: The book is checked out and not available to be read immediately. Click the “ Place Hold” button if you would like to be on the waiting list. You can click the clock icon to see how long the wait time is. 

What is The Science of Reading, anyway?

Watching students learn to read? Magic. Knowing how they get there? Science. Read on to find out how that science works.


The Science of Reading reveals the complexity of how the brain learns to read. The Reading Rope simplifies it all, helping us visualize and understand that exceptional process.

Say Hello To A New School Year!

As we all get ready to embark in this new school year, please take a moment to read about, The Science of a Nightly Reading Routine. Below you will find some practical ways to enhance your nightly reading routine.

Family time

    Reading is a great way to spend quality time with your children. From nightly bedtime stories to trips to the library, your children will look forward to spending this one on one time with you every day.






Practice makes perfect

    The more you and your child read together, the more they will improve their vocabulary, comprehension and sight reading skills. A reading routine goes a long way in building important reading foundations.

Do you hear what I hear?

    Reading to your child boosts their listening skills, which are important for later reading and understanding. Listening to a parent read aloud even helps children increase their ability to concentrate in school.






Get ready for school

    If you want your child to walk into school each day ready to succeed, the best thing you can do is read to them each day. A reading routine builds their vocabulary, even for older kids, and benefits them when they start reading on their own.

Know it all

    All subjects, including science and math, require reading and comprehension skills. When kids read more outside of school, they have higher math scores.* Reading is an essential part of education from kindergarten through college no matter what you are studying, so starting early and reading often will set your children on the path to academic success.


Stop and give me 20

    We all know it's important to exercise your body, but it's just as important to use your brain. Reading every day builds new brain synapses and forges new connections. One study shows that reading instructions can cause the brain to rewire itself and produce new white matter, and it improves communication throughout the brain.**

Reading is just what the doctor ordered

    The American Academy of Pediatrics says "Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime."

Five Fun Reading Facts:

1. Reading reduces stress by 68 percent.

2. When children have a home library, as few as 20 books of their own at home (think: one bookshelf full), they achieve three more years of schooling than children who don’t have any books at home.

3. Read 20 minutes a day, and you’ll read 1,800,000 words per year.

4. Children who read 1,000,000 words a year are in the top two percent of reading achievement.

5. Reading is the fastest way to build vocabulary. Children learn 4,000 to 12,000 words per year through reading.

Building a Reading Corner at Home is as Easy as A, B, C…

Building a reading corner at home is a great way to support your child's learning from home. And you can build one using materials you already have on hand.

Step 1: Pick a cozy spot where your child can display their favorite books and crafts. Make sure the space is well-lit and that there’s a comfortable place to sit (a pillow will do or you could use a small table and chair).

Step 2: Decorate the reading corner. Your imagination is the only limit. You can add a shelf to display books; hang yarn or string between two corners and use clothespins to display arts and crafts and make your own literacy games with materials you might already have in your home.

Step 3: Enjoy a good book together in your new reading corner. Creating a reading corner shows your child that you value reading and encourages them to practice their literacy skills. It also serves as a reminder for parents and caregivers to create room in the day to read with our children.

  Vilma Reyes, Reading Specialist M.Ed

Training and Experience

Philosophy and Teaching Approach

  • Master’s in Instruction and Curriculum with an Emphasis on Reading from Grand Canyon University
  • Orton-Gillingham trained from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators-AOGPE Orton-Gillingham Academy
  • Teacher and Reading Specialist at Roselle Public Schools for over 15 years
  • Benway Reading Specialist since October 2021

"My philosophy is defined by the Science of Reading, 'a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing' (The Reading League [TRL], 2022). My teaching approach is founded by the simple view of reading. “The Simple View of Reading shows us that reading comprehension is not the sum, but the product of two components - word recognition and language comprehension - such that if either one is weak, reading comprehension is diminished. No amount of skill in one component can compensate for a lack of skill in the other” (TRL, 2022)."


Thanks for Reading and Please reach out with any questions!