Educators from Slovakia Coming to Chattanooga


 October 26, 2007 - 12:14PM

Educators from Slovakia Coming to Chattanooga

Two experienced teachers from the Slovak Republic will be arriving in Chattanooga on Saturday, November 3 to begin a 2-week study of the treatment for dyslexia at Scenic Land School. The participants were selected through a competition
organized by the Jan Hus Educational Foundation of Bratislava. Upon returning to Slovakia, the educators will share their newly acquired methods and experiences with other educators in the Czech and Slovak Republics through lectures and

Maria Zachardova and Terezia Drdulova were the recipients of the highly regarded trip to America, sponsored by Scenic Land School, the Jan Hus Educational Foundation and Bryan College. Dennis Miller of Bryan College, and coordinator of the exchange said, “I think this is an excellent opportunity for both Scenic Land and Slovakia. I am familiar with the expertise available at Scenic Land, having had a son attend during his middle school years.” Mr. Miller is familiar with the Czech and Slovak Republics, serving as director of Bryan College’s International Development Center. “Bryan College considers it their privilege to help in countries that are struggling to recover from the devastation of communist rule,” said Mr. Miller. “It is a logical match for Scenic Land School, the Jan Hus Educational Foundation and Bryan College to work together toward global educational cooperation.”

Scenic Land considers this as another opportunity to reach out to those who struggle with learning differences. A quick review of a listing of famous people with learning differences reveals the high degree of creativity and intelligence that is present in this population. And a recent study of millionaires in Britain revealed that 40% of the 300 millionaires that participated in an extended study were diagnosed with dyslexia. But only a small percent of people with a learning difference actually fulfill their potential. Results from a study in the U.S.A. by the National Center for State Courts demonstrated that youths with LD were 200 percent more likely to be arrested than non-disabled peers for comparable offences. According to the U.S. Department of Education 60 percent of America’s prison inmates are illiterate and 85 percent of all juvenile offenders have reading problems.

“I get to witness miracles every day at Scenic Land School” says Heather Voyles, a Master degreed K-3 teacher. This school helped me when I was in the 7th grade and now it is my turn to help others.” I consider it an honor to share teaching methods across international boundaries. Science teacher Donna Scott echoes Voyles sentiments. “I am humbled and honored to be chosen to exchange ideas with educators from another part of the world.”

Mary Brown, director of assessment for the school will be providing the Slovak teachers with an understanding of the basic symptoms of dyslexia. ”I plan to send them away with as many materials as possible, but the assessments we use won’t apply to children in Slovakia and the Czech Republics because of the language difference. But I can point out what to look for.”  Mrs. Card recognized Lavinia Johnston, whose son and brother attended Scenic Land School, Mrs. Carolyn Hernandez, whose grandson attended, First Volunteer Bank , and the International Dyslexia Association for helping make this opportunity available to Scenic Land staff and to the selected Slovakian teachers. “I’ve known for a number of years that Scenic Land has an outstanding group of professionals working together to make a significant difference in the lives of the children they serve. It seems the nation is just waking up and noticing that this little school in Chattanooga Tennessee has been busy setting the standard for educating students with learning differences. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Scenic Land staff and parents are hosting a reception for the visitors from the Slovak Republic at Scenic Land School which is located in the Four Squares Business Center on Mountain Creek Road. The reception will be held on Friday, November 9 from 5:00-6:30 pm. The public is invited.

Scenic Land School and Tutoring Center is a private, non-profit school for children K-8 with dyslexia. The school has a 42 year history of making a difference for this unique population of students and their families.