Amazing EBLI Stories: The Carroll Family
by Nora Chahbazi
This week we begin celebrating the amazing clients from Ounce of Prevention Reading Center (OOPRC) by featuring the Carroll family. Jacob Carroll was a 5th grader in October 2014 when he had his first session at OOPRC. His testing showed him reading at a low 2nd grade level. Jacob's transformation with EBLI led his mom to become trained in EBLI herself. I'm sure you'll find their amazing story inspirational and moving!
Jacob and his mom Joyce were frustrated by his persistent difficulty with reading, writing and spelling over the years. Jacob had become angry and was acting out and Joyce - a homeschooling mom - was desperate to help him. An article in the Flint Journal was the catalyst that led her to OOPRC and EBLI.
Jacob received EBLI instruction for 18 hours from newly trained instructor Shanna at a discounted rate as he was the first client she taught. She quickly became a master at keeping him on track when he used his charming personality and elaborate stories in an attempt to distract from his lessons.
"EBLI is changing the world one reader at a time."
As the weeks went by and Jacob became more proficient and successful at reading, his confidence grew and he was no longer angry or using avoidance tactics. His mom's anxiety around his struggles dissipated. Watch their video below to hear their story.
Jacob's spelling improved, he slowed down and read with expression, his b/d reversals decreased, he began comprehending what he read, and his habit of guessing words began to fade.
Joyce was so impressed with Jacob's transformation that she applied for the Joseph Bryant Scholarship. We created the award in 2006 in honor of a client who had come to Ounce of Prevention Reading Center the day before he and 5 of his siblings were killed in a house explosion. The scholarship offers EBLI training to a parent or educator wishing to learn EBLI in order to teach it to their child or students.
Joyce's essay to apply for the scholarship was raw and honest, conveying the heartache that both she and Jacob had experienced with his literacy struggles.
"I keep looking for ways to help him..."
After attending EBLI training, Joyce began teaching EBLI to relatives and friends as well as incorporating it into her homeschooling instruction with Jacob and his siblings. Her passion and desire to pay it forward is making a difference in the lives of many.
Here is an excerpt from a letter from Joyce after she had started teaching EBLI to others:
"One of my students, whom I have known since she was a little girl, asked me if this was my new job. I laughed as I told her I needed another job as much as her mother did! I then told her I didn't do this as a job, I do it to change lives. Then I talked about the frustration of not being able to teach my son how to read. I talked about his frustration at not being able to understand the complicated English language. Seeing how it changed his life I wanted to change other peoples lives because EBLI was so easy to grasp and EBLI made it all make sense.
I am very busy these days as I continue to teach my three children EBLI several times a week and busy teaching family and friends children. But it is very rewarding and I thank God every day for leading me to the EBLI program. It has changed my life, and now I am able to change the lives of so many others who in turn will change lives."
She also told us, "EBLI is changing the world, one reader at a time."
My own child's literacy struggles were the catalyst that led me to create EBLI. The Carroll's story is near and dear to my heart. I know from experience that, with quality instruction that creates competent readers and writers, stories like these can be rewritten. The path of a struggling reader can be altered from one of frustration and failure to one of confidence and success.
Jacob is now a vivacious, outgoing, and self-assured young man. He is also now a reader! For his birthday last week, he was thrilled with one of his favorite gifts: a book of biographies of professional athletes.
It's certainly been a joy and honor for the EBLI team to work with and witness the transformation of Jacob and Joyce!
Jacob pictured with Shanna.
Please comment below If this story hits close to home, or if you have any input or questions. I look forward to answering personally.
Sign up for our mailing list to receive future blog posts (including more incredible stories) in your inbox.
As always, THANK YOU for reading, commenting, sharing, and being an integral part of the EBLI community!