Board Member: Whitney Hawkins

City/Town: Waynesville, NC 

When did you join the Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina Board? August 2023

Why did you decide to join the DDNC Board? To meet other passionate advocates around the state to best support, collaborate, learn, and promote access to quality direct reading instructional and inclusive opportunities within communities and across the state. To raise awareness and destigmatize what can sometimes feel overwhelming with schools, education, communities, doctors, etc. to best meet and support diverse learning needs.

Who inspired you to learn more about dyslexia? Daily I am inspired by the children I work with, their families, and my own family.

What is the best piece of advice you have received on your dyslexia journey? You can never learn too much or stop learning, there is a wealth of research and advocates out there and finding and creating access to such in a way that I am able to share with colleagues, families, and implement in my own classroom. I am a lifelong learner and dedicated to promoting positive literacy opportunities for all students.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give others? Never give up, it’s the heart that doesn’t give up and when faced with struggles or obstacles it is about the everyday small steps that lead to bigger and more beautiful opportunities and change.

What are some of your favorite dyslexia resources? I am continually researching and learning of new outlets a few of my favorites are the University of Florida Literacy Institute: resource hub (UFLI); Professional and Community Opportunities the IDA; Larger University Research Institutions ongoing commitment to peer reviewed best practices and advocacy such as University of Michigan Dyslexia Help; UNC: TRI; Resources/Targeted Reading Instruction,; Worldwide Literacy Institute g-adolescent-struggling-readers There is a lot of great research out there and I just learned of a podcast I am currently listening to from a dear mentor and professor up at UofW “Sold a story” that is a good listen for any parent and educator!