Summer is a time to relax and recharge, but for students with dyslexia, it also offers an opportunity to gain academic skills without the pressure of daily schoolwork.
According to Caryl Frankenberger, Ed.M., a psycho-educational evaluation and school placement counselor in Branford, Conn. and Newport, R.I “There are many ways to boost reading and academic skills. It can be anything from tutoring to reading for 30 minutes a day at home to attending a residential summer program.”
Below is a partial listing of summer programs on the East Coast to help parents begin the process of finding a situation that best suits their child. Frankenberger advises that, "Talking with administrators at the various programs, parents of alumni and your child’s own teachers can help you make the match between the program and approach and your child."
Please note that YCDC does not endorse any particular course; the list is for your convenience.
Centers located across the U.S.
Program: One-to-one instruction utilizing the Lindamood-Bell programs. Will work with students who have a variety of diagnoses beyond learning disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders, selective mutism, anxiety, opposition defiant disorder, and others.
Skills stressed: Research-validated instruction addresses an individual’s specific learning needs by addressing the underlying causes of learning difficulties.
Duration of program: Varies; some children come five days a week for eight weeks; others for as little as two weeks before the start of the school year. Some children come for two, four, or six hours a day. The appropriate intensive, daily instruction can close the gap between performance level and potential.
Age/grade level: pre-kindergarten through adults
Cost: Varies based on student; scholarships available.
Comments: Lindamood-Bell has 49 learning centers across the United States and in London, England and Sydney, Australia. While there is no formal social time, students gather in the break room for games, contests and snacks. Students range from those with severe dyslexia to those whose parents who parents simple want an assessment of whether their child is reading at grade level.
Manchester, MA and Prides Crossing, MA
Programs: The grades 8-12 program in Prides Crossing offers three academic classes plus a one-to-one language tutorial. The High School Program offers residential and day options. The Elementary & Middle School is a day program and offers three classes which includes a one-to-one language tutorial. Recreation activities are offered in the afternoon for day and residential students.
Skills stressed: Individualized program focuses on building language skills, phonemic awareness, written expression, learning strategies and study skills. Three academic periods for lower school students; four academic periods for high school students.
Duration of program: five weeks for students in grades 1-7 (Manchester); four weeks for students in grades 8-12 (Prides Crossing)
Age/grade level of participants: grades 1 through 12
Cost: elementary and middle school, from $4,625-6,450, high school, from $4,800 - $7,775, depending on whether student attends the half, full day, or residential program
Subjects available: Lower, Middle and high school students all receive a one-to-one language tutorial and language arts class.
Comments: North Shore location offers many opportunities for recreation. School requires academic testing to determine needs of the students. Small class size, six or fewer. Teachers are regular faculty of Landmark School.
Linden Hill School
Program: Co-ed camp for children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder that provides academics in the morning and sports, arts and activities in the afternoon. Focuses on remediation, previewing upcoming schoolwork and preventing academic regression.
Skills stressed: Language training emphasizing phonics; spelling, reading, writing, and vocabulary; organization and study skills; math and English as a second language.
Duration of program: month of July
Age/grade level: age 7 to 17
Domestic Boarding $6,650.00
Day Program: $4,700.00
International Boarding: $7,800.00
One-On-One daily tutorial (M-F) $700.00 (additional)
Comments: Since 1961, Linden Hill has succeeded teaching boys of high potential who are experiencing academic failure due to attention issues; typically due to language based disability. Other challenges such as ADD/HD, Expressive and Receptive Language Disorders, Nonverbal Learning Disabilities and Executive Function deficits may also contribute to this inability to attend. At the heart of the school lies the premise that Linden Hill will be a home away from home for all of the community members and will bolster student and teacher alike in their own growth.
Camp Dunnabeck at Kildonan
Amenia, New York, near the northwest corner of Connecticut, 90 minutes from New York City
Program: One-to-one tutoring using the Orton-Gillingham method followed by a study hall in which students implement what they have learned with tutors. Duration of study hall is from one to three hours depending on the age of the student. Afternoons focus on typical summer camp activities like swimming, horseback riding, boating, karate and archery.
Skills stressed: Language skills including reading, writing and spelling. Math tutoring available for an additional $25 per hour.
Length of program: six weeks beginning the last Friday in June and ending the last Friday in August.
Age/grade level: 8 to 16 years old
Cost: $10,000 Boarding, $7,500 Day, and $5,000 for half-day.
Comments: Director of Student Recruitment and Financial Aid Beth Rainey said that because of the intensity of the remediation, children can gain two to three grade levels in reading, writing and spelling skills.
She added that her niece attended Dunnabeck last summer, so she got an inside look at the camp experience. “It was an amazing thing to see,” Rainey said. “My niece is very dyslexic and she realized that not only can she really learn how to read, but she was with 50 other children just like her and having a wonderful time. She can’t wait to come back this summer.”
Eagle Hill School (Greenwich)
Program: The summer program at Eagle Hill School, Greenwich, is designed for children experiencing academic difficulty. The heart of the Summer Program is an intense schedule of academic instruction based on diagnosed needs. Each will receive a language arts tutorial each day, as well as four additional classes in related subject areas.
Skills stressed: reading tutorial, math, handwriting, spelling, writing workshop, oral language, literature, study skills
Duration of program: June 27 to August 3, 2012
Age/grade level of participants: Co-ed, ages 6 to 12
Comments: Eagle Hill has added an extended day program that provides Summer Program students the opportunity to continue their day by participating in outdoor and indoor camp activities. Tuition for this program is an addition $1,550.
Eagle Hill School
Program: Academic enrichment and skill development for students who have been diagnosed with specific learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder. Four core academic classes are combined with four elective classes in arts, world languages, desktop publishing, psychology and more. Clubs and athletics are offered in the afternoon, trips and adventures are offered on the weekends, including baseball games, movies, downtown Boston and Cape Cod. Social skills development also offered.
Skills stressed: reading, writing, math, pragmatics, and study skills. 1:1 Tutorials
Duration of program: Boarding program, five weeks beginning in early July through early August.
Ages: 10 to 18.
Comments: A learning disabilities boarding school during the academic year, Eagle Hill Hardwick staff publishes a journal about learning disabilities. This year, they are offering ACT Prep for students entering grades 9, 10, and 11 in the fall
Eagle Hill School (Southport)
Program: Day program includes reading tutorials, individualized instruction, small classes and multi-modal learning activities.
Skills stressed: Reading, reading comprehension, language skills, targeted study skills, math, handwriting, written expression, literature, creative writing
Length of program: June 27 to July 31, 2012. Choice of two-week programs in writing skills, study skills or math or five-week programs in academic skills and learning strategies. Classes last from two hours to a half-day.
Age: 6 to 14
Cost: $2,500 for the five-week programs; $540 to $600 for the two-week programs
Comments: Focus is on remediation and completing academic work early in the morning so children can enjoy recreation in the afternoons. Teachers in the summer program are the same as those who work in the school during the academic year.
Program: One-to-one tutoring program using the Orton-Gillingham method, a highly structured, multisensory approach. Individualized for each student. Sessions 50 minutes long.
Skills stressed: reading, writing, spelling, math, word structure, phonics, and language
Duration of program: students typically attend 20 sessions; four days a week for five weeks. Additional hours available if desired. Summer program runs from June 13 to end of August. Tutoring available year-round.
Age/grade level: all ages
Cost: Please call
Comments: While there is no scheduled social time for students, children mingle in the waiting room. Parents can request that their child be scheduled at the same time as another child, if it would benefit them. The Learning House is the only clinic in Connecticut certified by the Orton-Gillingham Academy.
The Windward School
White Plains, NY
Program: Improve skills and enrich knowledge in reading, writing, math and science. There is also an opportunity for sports, art, technology and drama in the afternoon.
Skills stressed: Developing self-confidence, understanding their learning differences so students can advocate for themselves and acquiring skills to reach their academic potential.
Duration of program: July 2 to July 27, 2012, half-day academic program (9am to 12:15pm) followed by afternoon activities ending at 2:45pm.
Age/grade level: entering grade 3 through 9
Comments: Taught by Windward faculty. Courses include book club for reluctant readers. Staff is Orton-Gillingham trained.
Wolfeboro: The Summer Boarding School
Program: For any student who wants to prepare for the upcoming school year, Wolfeboro offers a rigorous, college-prep program. Especially recommended for students who will be a new school setting in the fall. Not limited to students with learning disabilities. Academic classes in the morning and again in the evening. Additionally, afternoons and weekends are spent in typical summer pursuits like swimming, sailing, and kayaking as well as trips to the White Mountains and water parks.
Skills stressed: written expression, literature, reading, math, history, foreign language, science, study skills, SAT prep and English as a second language.
Duration of program: six weeks, June 28 to Aug. 8, 2012
Age/grade level: ages 10 to 18, rising grades 6 to 12
Comments: Established in 1910, beautiful lakeside campus. Paper and pencil are used; no Internet, computers or cell phones.
The Newgrange School
Program: The summer program is an extension of the year-round school, which specializes in teaching students with language-based learning disabilities. Each student has an individualized educational plan.
Skills stressed: reading, language arts, social skills instruction
Date Range: July 2 to August 13, 2012
Age: 7 to 21
Comments: Newgrange also offers tutoring at its Princeton location. All teachers are New Jersey State certified as well as trained in a variety of multisensory teaching techniques.
Program: Using the Benchmark Word Detectives program, students take classes in language arts in the morning, and transition to summer camp activities in the afternoon including a confidence ropes course with a zip wire, arts adventure, swimming, and science discovery.
Skills stressed: small group reading instruction, writing process instruction, word-identification instruction, read aloud sessions, and independent response-to-reading activities. Math tutoring also available.
Date: July 2 to Aug. 3, 2012
Age: 6 to 12
Full Day (8:15am – 4:00pm) — $3,140 (Reading, Writing & Recreation)
Half Day (8:15am – 12:15pm) — $2,280 (Reading, Writing & Recreation)
Reading and Writing Only:
(8:15am - 10:00am or 10:30am – 12:15pm) — $1,120
Comments: The Benchmark Word Detectives reading program was devised at this school.
Program: The Schenck School conducts academic camps for children entering kindergarten through eighth grades. The Orton-Gillingham Approach is used in direct instruction aimed at maintaining gains the child has achieved and preparing for the upcoming school year. Enrichment activities are offered in the afternoon.
Skills stressed: Six different academic camps address the needs of each age group.
For example, younger children work on all academic skills including, reading, writing, spelling and math. Older kids focus on word structure, breaking down words into syllables, fluency, and reading comprehension strategies. Another camp focuses just on writing. Our newest camp addresses the needs the dyslexic student has in math. The oldest campers write on laptops every day, in addition to practicing reading, spelling and studying morphology.
In the afternoon, various enrichment activities are pursued: a camp in which kids “travel” around the world, write post cards, make pizza in Italy for example; a program exploring Greek gods, Harry Potter, American Girls dolls, nature, cooking, rock-climbing and more.
Age: Kindergarten grade through eighth grade
Cost: varies from $850 to $2,040 for a half-day program. Afternoon activities billed separately. Financial aid available; must apply by March 1 to receive financial aid.
Comments: “Families come from across the country and even from Kenya to attend the camp, because programs like ours are not available everywhere,” says Kim Youmans, summer program coordinator. All teachers are Orton-Gillingham trained and the same staff who teach in the school also work at the camp.
The Gow School
South Wales, NY
Program: With curriculum specifically geared for students who have language-based learning disabilities, The Gow School’s summer program is open to both boys and girls. The program aims to provide a multisensory approach to learning in an academically challenging environment while also offering enrichment opportunities in the form of afternoon activities--which include basketball, arts & crafts, horseback riding, among others--and weekend adventures off campus. Summer Program participants can be day students or live on campus.
Skills Stressed: Classes such as “Reconstructive Language” and “The Writing Process” enable students to develop and enhance their language and writing skills, while courses such as studio art, videography, and metal technology provide a chance to express creativity.
Duration: 5 weeks
Age: 8-16 years
$6,950 for residential students (includes the cost of instruction, lodging in dormitories, meals, transportation, day trips and weekend excursions).
$4,500 for for day students who attend both academic sessions and afternoon activities (8 AM - 5 PM).
$3,600 for day students who attend only academic sessions
Limited financial aid is available.
Notes: Average class size is five students. Individual tutorial sessions are available for an additional fee.
Program: Four hours of academic development including, supervised guided oral reading, one-to-one tutoring using the Orton-Gillingham approach, touch typing class that also works on writing and grammar skills and multimedia, followed by a study hall at the end of the day in which students implement what they have learned with tutors. Throughout the academic day, we build natural talents with swimming, art, wood shop and outdoors, where the campers are taught rock climbing, archery, paintball, tent pitching and camping preparation as well as hiking. Afternoons and weekends focus on the arts with glass, blacksmithing and studio tours. We also provide waterskiing, camping, gem mining and waterfall hikes. Each evening staff provide a read-aloud from chapter books.
Skills Stressed: Language skills including reading, writing and spelling. Math tutoring is available for an additional $125 per week.
Duration: 4-8 weeks, beginning June 10 to August 3, 2012
Age: 6-14 years
Cost: Ranges from $7260-1452o for residential, $6,316-12,632 for day students.
Notes: Since we cater to small groups of children we are able to get to really know all aspects of each camper. We nurture a holistic approach, understanding the whole child and helping to develop natural talents and strengthen language challenges. Our 4-week session is intended for younger children or those already receiving multisensory instruction throughout the year so that the child does not lose ground in the summer but gains a springboard to success. 6-8 weeks has often yielded 2-4 years gains in skills and enormous gains in self-confidence and independence.