Mississippi Strong: The Reading Nook/Millie Porter - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi Strong: The Reading Nook/Millie Porter

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Superman could leap tall buildings, but some super people have taken a leap of faith. Millie Porter of Brookhaven took a leap of faith and in the process has helped a bunch of school-agers find their place in the academic world, and in the world in general.

This is Millie Porter’s leap of faith, The Reading Nook. It is a private school with a very focused approach.

It’s a leap of faith because Millie never went into the work-a-day world with any idea of starting a school. Her career was a speech therapist with the school system. But she kept noticing some unaddressed reoccurring issues.

"They were not learning their letters fluently, they weren’t learning numbers fluently," said Millie. "And I just picked up that they needed some extra help.

Meanwhile, Maggie Woolley was one of the parents stumped when her bright youngster bogged down by the end of 1st grade.

"Started out 1st grade in regular school and by Christmas, they were like, you know, he’s having behavior issues," said Maggie. "Couldn’t find any answers. By the end of the year, he had regressed from being one of the top readers in his class to being one of the last readers barely able to read his name. He had digressed socially. He was shutting down."   

Let me go straight to the punch line for the sake of time, her son has dyslexia. Diagnosed, so the problem was solved. Right?

"Tested him. He’s dyslexic, no big deal. Go back to the school," added Maggie. "There’s really nothing in the schools for dyslexia.

That’s the same situation Millie discovered in her therapy practice. When school is designed for the masses, it’s hard to squeeze in such specialized programs for one segment of the population.

At first, Millie started tutoring children. But there turned out to be so many she ended up opening a school not exclusively for but certainly accommodating kids with dyslexia.

"Within two weeks here at The Reading Nook, my son is back at the level where he was when he started regressing," said Maggie.

"The best part is when a child comes to me and they do not know their letters and they walk out the door a year or two later, maybe six months later and they’re reading," added Millie. "That’s my biggest accomplishment."

The alternative for a lot of parents is to try to home school their youngsters. Some succeed, others don’t. And for those who don’t, an otherwise very bright to brilliant child goes out into the world thinking they are a failure.

So thank you, Millie Porter, for taking the chance and opening a school and being Mississippi Strong in doing so. 

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