WY Lit has a mission and we mean business:
To reduce the cost and socio-emotional impact of illiteracy in Wyoming by providing comprehensive, evidence-based literacy instruction delivered in a direct, explicit, sequential, manner to every child starting in the general education classroom
To ensure every teacher and administrator in Wyoming is empowered with the knowledge
to understand the science behind how children learn to read
To offer training in comprehensive, evidence-based literacy assessment, instruction, and intervention and how to identify the signs of dyslexia and other reading difficulties
To dream big: a brick-and-mortar center that provides evaluations, tutoring, advocacy, and regional support throughout the state of Wyoming
Heather Fleming's wish is to help prevent the social and economic impact of reading failure in Wyoming.
Heather’s literacy journey began in 2015 when her 3rd grade son was diagnosed with dyslexia after several years of academic struggles. The diagnosis led her to do a deep dive into dyslexia and the gap between what science tells us about how children learn to read and educational practices.
Heather’s first career was as a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City. Heather has since become an International Dyslexia Association accredited structured literacy teacher. She holds a master’s degree in Reading Science from Mount St. Joseph University, where she is currently a doctoral student. She tutored dyslexic children at Vertical Skills Academy in Evergreen, CO and at the Rocky Mountain Camp for dyslexics. Heather serves as Treasurer and Legislative Chair of the International Dyslexia Association Rocky Mountain Branch. Heather is the former Board President of Vertical Skills Academy, a K-8 school in Evergreen, CO that serves dyslexic students. She is a Fellow of the 2019 Haskins Laboratories Summer Institute.
Heather enjoys snowshoeing the Happy Jack trails in Laramie, WY and swimming with the whale sharks in Baja, Mexico.
To educate parents and caregivers about foundational and on-going literacy skills and empower them to advocate for their children at all ages
Kari Roden worked for 12 years as an elementary school teacher in Cheyenne, Wyoming and holds a Master of Science in Literacy. She was certified in Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes and has completed comprehensive IMSE Orton-Gillingham training. She is currently pursuing the Associate Level of Certification at the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
In 2016, Kari's then six-year-old daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. Despite her expertise in literacy, she realized she had no idea what dyslexia was. She devoured everything she could find about dyslexia and evidence-based literacy and realized that neither her undergraduate nor her graduate education prepared her to teach reading or to identify and fill the specific skill gaps that contribute to reading difficulties. After becoming aware that the schools were not equipped to meet her daughter's needs, Kari decided to homeschool her daughter for two years. Additionally, Kari worked at the Rocky Mountain Camp for Dyslexic Kids where her daughter attended as a camper.
Kari is a structured literacy tutor and enjoys her advocacy work with Heather. She serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board and the Board of Directors of the International Dyslexia Association Rocky Mountain Branch. She works as a Reading Interventionist-Dyslexia tutor in Laramie County 1 school district.
In her free time, Kari enjoys hiking, (easy) mountain biking, gardening, and traveling with her family.
Success in partnership
Heather and Kari were instrumental in the passing of Wyoming House Bill 297 related to K-3 reading screening and intervention.
They have been contracted by the Wyoming Department of Education on several literacy projects, and are excited to continue partnering with literacy stakeholders in Wyoming.