By Stacy Engebretson. CREATED Mar 26, 2014
Green Bay, WI -- Reading a book hasn't always been enjoyable or easy for 11-year-old Caragan Olles.
"I used to put in and take out words when I would read," explains Caragan.
After Caragan was diagnosed with dyslexia, she began seeing tutor Linda Boyer while in Kindergarten.
Boyer says, "Dyslexia isn't a disease. It's a condition. It's just a way your brain learns."
It took four years of an intensive phonics program for Caragan to learn language rules that her brain can process. Most school teachers don't receive dyslexia training, so private tutoring is usually the best option.
"It gets to be pretty costly and a financial burden for a lot of families. I just had a student that dropped because they could not afford it," said Boyer.
It's a difficult decision that Caragan and her brother Carter hope more families will never have to make. Last year, they created the Bright Young Dyslexics Foundation.
"We want to fund tutoring and technology, and we also want to raise awareness about dyslexia so more kids are tested and more kids are diagnosed, so they can have early intervention," explains Carter.
So far, the Olles siblings have raised $2,500 dollars.
Their mother, Monica, says, "It is a wonderful thing that they're doing."
She's proud that her children are paving the way, so other dyslexics have an easier time identifying and treating the neurological disorder.
Carter says, "It makes me feel really good doing it. I really appreciate the great response we've had so far from everyone whose contributed."
Carter's principal at Notre Dame Academy is impressed with the 14-year-old's effort to educate teachers, students, parents and the community.
"I think it shows a lot of ambition, a lot of courage that he's willing to take the time to invest in this project," said Dr. John Ravizza.
Now in sixth grade, Caragan is excelling in school.
"I'm proud of myself I guess," she said.
And she's happy to help other bright young dyslexics get the help they need to succeed.
Click here for more information about the Bright Young Dyslexics Foundation and their April 5th fundraiser in Brillion.