It is estimated that 25% of the population has Dyslexia which impacts on literacy/numeracy development. Literacy/numeracy are essential skills used daily to communicate and interact, are needed to gain an education, employment, and to be able to fully participate socially and contribute economically to the community.
SPELD NZ as a not for profit is heavily reliant on sourcing local funding to support our Western Bay of Plenty Local Liaison Group to continue the work they do assessing and teaching individuals with specific learning difficulties (SLD) (e.g. dyslexia) so they can manage their disability and learn to read/write and do math.
Demand for our services currently exceeds our ability to supply. Without local funding that supports our financial assistance scheme for SLD learners from low income families, many parents would not be able to afford to help their children. It is hard for parents to accept that their child has a learning disability; it is even harder when they realise they cannot afford to pay for the help needed as they watch their child’s frustration grow and confidence fall.
Acorn Foundation funding helps local schools that are already cash strapped (particularly low decile schools) afford to send their teachers on this valuable professional development course.
Local funding also helps us keep membership fees low and affordable. There is a known genetic component to Dyslexia. Many of the families we serve are in the low-income bracket, as it is likely many of our parents received no remedial intervention themselves and are in low paying jobs. Teaching the next generation the skills to gain educational qualifications can help break familial poverty cycles.
Engaging those with SLD in learning before negative behaviours develop improves individual learning outcomes, reduces family/whanau stress, improves classroom dynamics, reduces teacher, school principal workloads/stress, improves employment pool (more with NCEA quals) , reduces costs of social welfare (less long term benefit dependency), health (mental health issues) and justice system (youth offending, crime).
In 2019, funding was provided by the R&M McGowan Fund.