The Reading Academy is an educational platform which provides services to schools, teachers, organisations, parents and potential Reading Academy tutors set up by Sarah McGuire and Sarah Watchorn. Sarah McGuire participated in EMPOWER Growth. Born and raised in the USA, she attended Western Michigan University, earning her bachelor degree in Science, specialising in teaching reading, maths and science. She went on to earn an honours Masters degree in Teaching, Special Education at the University of Charleston, S.C. Sarah has been teaching students with dyslexia for twenty-two years, in the USA and in Ireland. She has taught in a number of settings including resource, self-contained and special school. Sarah has completed the Wilson Reading System Advanced Diploma and the Orton-Gillingham practitioner’s course. This company is located in Belmullet, Co Mayo.
The Reading Academy is a solution based programme that enables people to successfully teach struggling readers and individuals with dyslexia how to read. This is an independent, self-paced course that includes lesson plans, word lists, quizzes, video instruction, whiteboard animations, worksheets and more. There is also a supported private Facebook group page, where members can communicate with each other throughout the programme. School teachers have can avail of the opportunity for face-to-face training at locations around the country. The Reading Academy also offers small group, face-to-face, specialised tuition.
The Reading Academy provides a course that is unique and different from any other:
Schools: The Reading Academy offers an online course designed for teachers that provides specific training in how to teach students with dyslexia and struggling readers how to read.
Parents: We offer an online course to teach parents how to teach their struggling reader or child with dyslexia to read. This is an independent, self-paced course that includes lesson plans, word lists, quizzes, video instruction, whiteboard animations, worksheets and more. There is also a supported private Facebook group page, where members can communicate with each other about the programme. Parents also have the option of enrolling their child in our face-to- face classes. Currently, these classes are for struggling readers and students with dyslexia from 2nd – 6th class.
We asked how EMPOWER influenced The Reading Academy and Sarah said:
“The Empower programme highlighted the need for good planning and to see the company on a larger scale. It encourages you to take the leap and be a little more inclined to push yourself forward and see where the business can go. The women in the group help with this and they are pushing themselves on also s it encourages you to do the same’
When asked about scaling the business, Sarah said ‘Yes we are starting to build nationally and then take it internationally. As we build the brand nationally we are going to be working on creating the Programme using Virtual Reality (VR) and then take that international.