How RAM came to be...
Reading About Me! was developed by the Down Syndrome Association of Southern Oregon (DSASO) in conjunction with Patricia Oelwein, author of Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome and co-author of Literacy Skill Development for Students with Special Learning Needs: A Strength-Based Approach, in order to provide individuals who have not typically been successful readers in school a chance to show that many can successfully learn to read.
From 2003 to 2006, DSASO, under the direction of Ms. Oelwein and reading instructor, Joyce Rogers, piloted a one-to-one reading program in southern Oregon. Working with students ages 3 – 43 and with a variety of intellectual disabilities, Ms. Rogers was able to successfully work with more than 30 individuals, personalizing the experience for each. By following the lead of the learner and concentrating on making reading FUN with high interest words, both reading vocabulary and expressive verbalization was increased.
Out of that program, DSASO developed the Reading About Me! Notebook which was a collection of lessons and materials designed to be used by any interested person—parent, teacher or significant other. The RAM! Notebook coupled personal words with preset lessons, creating a fun, high interest approach to teaching reading. Using Ms. Oelwein’s “match”, “select” and “name” method of acquiring new words and letters, along with worksheets, games and lots of praise, the RAM! Notebook has been successfully used by student teachers, special educators, regular educators, parents and peers in school districts, private schools, households and as part of the education curriculum at Southern Oregon University.
Spurred by feedback from users, DSASO in 2010 began raising funds and developing the prototype to convert the RAM! Notebook to an online, subscription-based program. Utilizing world renown software developer, Project A (creators of the award-winning “Art Authority for iPad”), the current online version of Reading About Me! was launched in 2013 making this unique approach to teaching reading available to many more who can benefit.
Made possible through the generous support of:
The Carpenter Foundation
Meyer Memorial Trust
Oregon Community Foundation
West Family Foundation
Many thanks to:
Patricia Oelwein, creator of the technique of Match, Select and Name, who has provided inspiration and encouragement, and served as an invaluable mentor to the creation of Reading About Me!
Joyce Rogers, RAM Reading instructor since 2003 and co-designer of Reading About Me!
Deb Evans, co-designer of Reading About Me!
Original art by Kathleen Manley
Graphic Design by Chris Mole Design
Videography by James Parker
Software Development by Project A
And, OF COURSE, to the individuals--young and old--who have taught and inspire us every day...THANK YOU! Your determination, enthusiasm and joy of learning to read have shaped our efforts and it is to you we dedicate this program!