Education

Wichita nonprofit plans to build new school for children with dyslexia

Krissy McKnight, an instructor at Rolph Literacy Academy, works with a student teaching letters. Rolph Literacy Academy uses methods scientifically proven to help dyslexic children process language. (April 12, 2018)
Krissy McKnight, an instructor at Rolph Literacy Academy, works with a student teaching letters. Rolph Literacy Academy uses methods scientifically proven to help dyslexic children process language. (April 12, 2018) The Wichita Eagle

Fundamental Learning Center, a nonprofit organization that operates a school for children with dyslexia, plans to build a new facility at 143rd St. East and Central in northeast Wichita, officials announced Friday.

The group recently bought 25 acres on the northeast corner of the intersection and plans to launch a $20 million capital campaign to raise money for the project.

“We’re very excited,” said Kristin Bogner, director of marketing and communication for Fundamental Learning Center. “We have a very specific mission — helping children learn to read, and training adults who work with those children — and a very specific facility is needed to fill that mission. . . . This is going to help us expand what we do.”

Bogner said GLMV Architecture will design the new school, which will include a training center for parents and teachers as well as administrative offices. The group plans to release details, including site plans, at a news conference Aug. 21.

The nonprofit learning center, founded by Jeanine Phillips and Gretchen Andeel, is the only accredited dyslexia center in a four-state region. It opened in 2001 at Parklane Shopping Center, at Lincoln and Oliver.

In 2016, the center moved to its current location, 2220 E. 21st St. North, which it leases from the city and which was previously used as a training center by Cessna. It operates Rolph Literacy Academy, a private school for children with reading difficulties.

Phillips, the group’s executive director, said Fundamental Learning Center has found “the perfect piece of land on which to launch our vision of expanding dyslexia education.”

“This property purchase is the first step in helping thousands of additional children learn to read — continuing the mission we have had since we opened our doors,” she said in a news release.

About two dozen West High students spent more than an hour Wednesday learning about fluency, storytelling and how to read books to younger children.

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