Local reading programme wins

2019-03-26 06:00
Orna O’Brien, Elizabeth Nadler-Nir and Wang Xi.

Orna O’Brien, Elizabeth Nadler-Nir and Wang Xi.

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A home-grown online remedial reading programme, Virtual Reading Gym (VRG) has won the Educational Learning Resources Award in the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards.

The programme was developed by speech therapist Elizabeth Nadler-Nir and her partners David Lewis and Natalia Pereira.

The winners were announced last Tuesday at a prestigious ceremony that took place in London.

The awards, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association (PA), celebrate publishing success in 17 categories, representing the best publishing ambassadors, innovative publishing, and groundbreaking initiatives in the industry.

In each award category, the judging panel comprised of experts in that sector.

Nadler-Nir says they are absolutely thrilled. “When we started this journey we would not have imagined that VRG would have this impact. VRG is dedicated to the thousands of delayed readers who helped to conceptualise this intervention.”

This online reading programme has found a unique way to teach the challenged reader how to be a better reader.

VRG’s uniqueness is in that it learns about the reader and it teaches them based on their reading challenges.

It was developed for the delayed reader of any age, who can’t cope with a basic Grade 2 text. Readers are not born with ready-made reading circuitry in the brain – this needs to be developed through a great deal of practice, and encouragement.

“For many this process is painless, but for others, it is fraught with struggles. Delayed reading can result in a wobbly academic self-esteem and a lack of confidence around learning. The VRG treats errors as treasures, because the programme is tailored to the area of need, and the reader gets rewarded for choosing to work on their errors.

“Readers work with a more experienced reader mentor who can create a supportive environment to practice targeted reading skills. The reading partner can be a parent, peer mentor or therapist. The mentor is also supported through video demonstrations of every part of this reading tool,” says Nadler-Nir.

Jacks Thomas, director of the London Book Fair, said: “The International Excellence Awards always remind us of the innovative, important and inspiring work being done by all those in the global publishing community.

“From translators in India and librarians in Finland to literary festivals in Ukraine and literary agents in France, these awards show the breadth of talent working in the publishing industry around the world today. It is absolutely brilliant to recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations here at the London Book Fair, in the creative capital of the world.”V For more information about the awards visit hub.londonbookfair.co.uk/the-london-book-fair-international-excellence-awards-2019-winners-announced/

V For more information about VRG visit www.virtualreadinggym.co.za/

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