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Red and understood

Daniel Bouwmeester    November 22, 2022    3 min read   

Springfield’s youngest school proudly turned red in October for “Light It Red”, a dyslexia awareness campaign marking Dyslexia Awareness Month.

Students and teachers at Mastery Schools Australia Springfield Central – a special learning abilities school which first opened this year – all wore red for the occasion, and even held a red-coloured paper aeroplane flying competition.

Principal Sharyn Angel said her school’s participation in “Light It Red” activities was fitting, as more than half of the students have dyslexia.

“Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that makes it challenging for people to process language,” Ms Angel said.

Around a tenth of the population has dyslexia, a learning difficulty that makes reading and processing individual words a challenge.

From the outset, Mastery Schools Australia Springfield Central was welcomed into the ‘Springfield Learning Coalition’, a network of all 12 school principals in the region.

“We formed some amazing partnerships this year with neighbouring businesses and organisations such as University of Southern Queensland, Studio of Performing Arts and CrossFit Heart to name just a few,” Ms Angel added.

“Light It Red” is an initiative of the Code REaD Dyslexia Network, a charity founded by parents, carers, educators, health professionals, and people with dyslexia.

To help such students, classrooms at Mastery Schools Australia are each assigned one teacher and five assistant teachers.

Jordan MP Charis Mullen recently praised the school for its tailored learning environment, telling of one student who had improved greatly after relocating there.

“The student’s transformation was amazing [and they] became a straight-A student,” Ms Mullen said.

According to the Code REaD website, using red is a way of “taking back” the colour associated with incorrect answers in school.

“[Students with dyslexia] will tell you about the gut wrenching fear of receiving back their school work covered in red crosses and comments.

“When “Light It Red” started in 2015, it was about taking back the power of that colour to raise awareness.

“Red is disruptive and cannot be ignored but it also highlights the urgency of the situation. In effect, we wanted to say that it is time to stop sweeping this important issue under the carpet and take action.”

“We use targeted programs daily to teach students to decode. All students are placement tested before enrolment, and we teach from their point of readiness, rather than their year level.”

Mastery Schools Australia is located Level 3, 37 Sinnathamby Boulevard, Springfield Central.

If you want to learn more about MSA and how they can help your child with their academic journey, visit msa.qld.edu.au.

Schedule of sites lit red in October:

Images: Mastery Schools Australia Springfield Central / Springfield City Group.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.