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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tamar Hardy loves to read and wants others to as well. As a child, Tamar struggled with her reading skills and felt limited because of it. Today she is an avid reader who has dedicated her time to helping children overcome their limitations with reading.

“The confidence that comes with learning to read is liberating,” said Tamar. As a reading specialist Tamar aims to help those with reading challenges embrace the beauty of reading and the variety of functions it facilitates.

Tamar has been an educator in early childhood and elementary level grades for the last 13 years, most recently teaching third grade at Yeshivat Noam. After years of teaching students, many of whom required reading intervention, she decided to leave the classroom to focus on this latest initiative. She became a certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner and now offers intensive reading therapy for children of all ages.

The Wilson Reading System (WRS) is an instructional program used to help students in second grade and up, and adults with dyslexia and other reading issues. Tamar works mainly with kids in general education settings whose needs can’t be met in the reading area, even with support classes. Most of these students have average or above-average skills in other subjects and do not require a special education school. WRS provides concentrated intervention for struggling readers which is typically completed within two years. At that point, Tamar creates an individualized plan for each of her students to transition out of the program.

Tamar sees kids both in school and at her home office. “The benefit of working with kids at school is getting to see them earlier in the day when they are energetic and enthusiastic,” explained Tamar.

She performs diagnostic testing and evaluations on each student and collaborates with teachers as well. Tamar cares about each of her clients and believes the success of a student requires the collaborative efforts of the child’s parents and faculty members, along with her own.

The progress with Wilson intervention is evident almost immediately, according to Tamar, who sees students begin to excel within the first month of therapy. Even the small milestones are remarkable.

“A child requesting to get a book from the library, trying to read a menu at a restaurant or reading the cereal box at home are all accomplishments to celebrate,” she expressed.

Without reading therapy, Tamar believes these markers would not be reached. The kids she treats naturally shy away from words. To her, these achievements indicate they are overcoming their personal hurdles with reading.

Tamar is excited to be working with students in three Bergen County schools this coming academic year. Her approach to each child is personalized and designed to address very specific issues.

“Reading is my absolute favorite pastime and I want kids to feel the same way,” said Tamar. “When you can’t read you feel embarrassed and it affects interaction in school.”

Tamar hopes to help as many kids as she can gain the confidence and the ability to overcome their challenges and access the wonderful world of reading. For more information please email [email protected].

By Andrea Nissel