Ms. Denecia Gulley MEd./Certified Reading Interventionist

My Story

For many years I have witnessed children like yours struggle with reading. I remember a former 5th grade student who struggled with reading and how it caused him years of frustration and anxiety. The student’s name was Jeremy. Jeremy was labeled as having a learning disability because of his reading. Throughout his early elementary school years, no one paid attention to or got to the root cause of his reading challenges. Jeremy failed every test and was left behind a grade. He felt that his friends and classmates were smarter than him. He was a well-behaved child and worked hard to excel but continued to struggle with reading. He loved football and would often attempt to read the sports magazine, Sports Illustrated. I would notice him peruse through the magazine, looking at the pictures to help him read and understand the text.

Jeremy did receive reading intervention to help develop his reading skills but that was difficult for him. Whenever the Resource Teacher pulled him out of class the other students would shout out his name informing him that the Resource Teacher was there to pick him up. In his shame the child would walk to the door with his head down and leave the classroom. Although Jeremy felt shame, he never got angry with the other students or retaliated. What I admired most about Jeremy was his strength and tenacity to want to learn to read.

One day Jeremy came to me during lunch and wanted to talk. At that moment he opened his heart and said with tears and fear in his eyes, “Ms. Gulley, I don’t like to read because I can’t read”. Listening to his words made me sad but also motivated me to help him. It was in that moment; I knew it was my responsibility to help.

I spoke with his mother about what her son had expressed to me. The mother was aware but did not know what to do. She admitted she had challenges with reading, and she left it to the school to help her child.

After speaking with the mother, I decided to offer my own reading intervention services. I decided to have lunch with Jeremy and meet with him for an hour after school. During our meeting Jeremy expressed what happens when he reads. “I get stuck when I try to read a word. I know my letters and sounds but I can’t read the word.”

I began with books at his level and books he enjoyed reading. As I worked with Jeremy, I was able to target the problem. It was his decoding and phonics skills. When I discovered the problem, we were on our way to reading. After receiving the reading services needed, years later Jeremy attended college and was drafted into the NFL. He is now a business owner and doing very well.

Jeremy’s words resonated in my mind and heart years later. His words were the reason why I became so passionate about reading and developing a child’s love for reading. My desire to help as many children as possible, led me to leave the traditional classroom and start an online reading tutoring business.

My students are very dear to my heart and part of my life. Their smiles and successes are my inspiration, and motivation for me to continue teaching. I am excited to see them every day. I am grateful that I was chosen to be a part of their lives. My journey as a virtual reading tutor will continue.

“Your child’s success is tied to my dream”.