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  • Russ Thompson


October 19, 2022.

When students have difficulty with reading, they feel frustrated, embarrassed, and scared.

As they get older, the frustration and embarrassment become worse. Students go to school in constant fear that they will be called upon to read and laughed at.

Instead of making progress, they fall further and further behind. Frequently, they lose hope and drop out. Statistics compiled for the year 2020 by the U.S. Department of Education show a 5.3 percent national dropout rate, approximately two million students.

And these students don't just drop out of school. They drop out of society.

In a University of Texas study done in 2000 by Moody, Holzer, Roman, Paulsen, Haynes, and James, approximately eighty percent of Texas prison inmates were found to be functionally illiterate.

Dr. Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D. and Dr. Bennett A. Shaywitz, M.D. of the Yale University Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, state that dyslexia affects twenty percent of the population and eighty to ninety percent of students with learning disabilities.

It's a serious problem. But it's important to understand that dyslexia has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence. With the right interventions, students with dyslexia can learn to achieve at high levels.

Click below for an inspiring interview from the 2014 documentary, Embracing Dyslexia. Paul Vasquez, at the age of twenty, describes his experiences with dyslexia and what happened to help him overcome it.

Russ Thompson, Ed.D., is a retired reading teacher and high school principal who is the founder of Finding Forward Books.

During his time as an educator, mostly in high-poverty areas of Los Angeles, he worked closely with at-risk students.

He observed many successes and saw a lot of students overcome their learning problems. Tragically, however, he also saw many students fall through the cracks and fail.

Our schools can do more to ensure that all students experience success and learn at high levels.

Providing the right books to teens is an essential step in helping them catch up and improve their reading skills.

In the Teacher and Principal School Report published by Scholastic Books in 2020, 54 percent of the teachers indicated they wanted more high-interest, low-reading-level books for their classroom libraries.

To address this need, Finding Forward Books publishes hi-low novels for reluctant and struggling teen readers. The books are printed in a special font that's easier to read for students who are dyslexic. They have compelling stories, short sentences, and easy vocabulary to give teens a positive experience with reading. Lexile readability measures range from 390 to 540.

See all of our titles and request a free exam copy at:

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