2016 Teacher of the Year Award – Mary-Margaret Scholtens



Strasburg, Virginia – President Robert W. Sweet, Jr. today announced the selection of Mary-Margaret Scholtens as the recipient of the National Right to Read Foundation’s 2016 Patrick J. Groff Teacher of the Year Award.  Scholtens is a founding member and the Executive Director of the Apple Group, Inc. located in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  She has been educating parents, teachers, including those who are dyslexic, about how to teach students to read proficiently.  She is the author of several teaching manuals, including Connections:  OG in 3D, a multisensory, direct, explicit, structured, sequential, and evidence-based approach to reading instruction.

Scholtens is an experienced teacher and has gained a reputation for not giving up until she could find a way to teach ALL children to read.   Since then she has been sharing that knowledge with other teachers.  She trains educators, has a private tutoring practice and teaches courses at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA).  She serves on the boards of several other organizations that promote and train teachers about the findings of the most recent scientific research in reading instruction.

Her objective is to expand the use of these proven methods of reading instruction to reach ALL students, regardless of their socio-economic background so they can learn to read when they begin their formal schooling.  Her approach includes a teacher-friendly, step by step, fun, science based reading curriculum that can be used successfully for an entire class, or in one-on-one instruction.

As school administrators begin to see reading scores improve, there is a demand for more and more teachers to be trained.  Teachers get to see actual students who have succeeded in mastering the skill of reading, and they get to take field trips to local classrooms to see these teaching strategies in action.  They are excited to present their own success stories, including the impressive data that demonstrates how they are able to teach ALL students to read proficiently.

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has now modified its “Masters in Reading” program to incorporate the principles of the Connections:  OG in 3D model program.  UCA became the first university in Arkansas to become accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).  Both the undergraduate and graduate programs now follow the IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards.

Press Contact:  Bob Sweet (540) 270-9201 or nrrfone@gmail.com

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