Reading Rays was born out of founder Lucinda’s belief that everyone is entitled to a foundation of literacy. As an avid reader, an impactful early memory was realizing that reading is not a universal skill nor is it easily acquired by all. Even when she was young, she took reading for granted and was sobered to learn that there were individuals with limited literacy in our society.
Lucinda loved teaching from an early age. Like most children, she enjoyed playing make believe, especially playing “school.” She was the self-appointed “teacher,” and her younger siblings were the “students.” Although it started as a game, she found that as she taught, her siblings were actually learning. This ignited her fascination with the learning process and sparked her inner teacher. Lucinda eventually pursued a career in teaching and chose to focus on literacy for all.
Following years of teaching as a reading specialist and professional development leader, Lucinda offered after-school tutoring to struggling readers while her children were young. She then served as a reading specialist and tutor in partnership with a private parochial school. The school where she served wanted to offer Wilson-based reading tutoring to struggling students during the school day as a way to increase the accessibility of academic support services. In this role, Lucinda became a certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner.
Lucinda has always cared about the whole child, viewing reading as an essential skill among children’s many interests and activities. Through her various tutoring experiences, she saw first-hand how important it is to allow children to pursue their strengths and interests. For example, her first Wilson-based student was an avid football player. School-day based tutoring enabled the student to improve reading skills while pursuing a personal passion. By contrast, after school tutoring often resulted in students needing to give up some or all of their other interests, leaving them "off-balance" and resentful.
Lucinda also realized that other schools would love to provide students with reading specialist services but lacked the capacity to expand their staff. Contracting with an independent reading specialist such as Lucinda meant smaller schools could offer an intervention for struggling students who previously lacked access. There are many models for increasing literacy, and Lucinda noticed a gap in the provision of intensive one-on-one support during the school day, as well as reading specialist services in small schools.
After seeing the positive impact of tutoring during the school day and the need for contract reading specialist services, Lucinda formalized her reading tutoring services in 2020 as she added a new client— St. John’s of Little Canada. She also brought in another experienced reading specialist to increase capacity. Reading Rays was created!
Today, Reading Rays employs a small number of Wilson trained reading tutors and is increasing the number of schools and students served. Reading Rays looks forward to brightening many more students' futures through increased literacy!