A state task force inspired by an Ocean City girl's quest to overcome dyslexia and learn to read met for the first time last week.
The New Jersey Reading Disability Task Force met at City Hall in Ocean City on July 7 to begin work drafting recommendations and legislation to help children like Samantha Ravelli.
Unable to read at 8 years old because of her severe dyslexia, Ravelli moved to Ocean City to take advantage of a school district that had a specialized program to help dyslexic children learn to recognize and process letters, sounds and syllables.
Ravelli is now about to enter her freshman year at Ocean City High School reading at a level equivalent to her peers. Her success inspired legislation that was passed in January 2010 creating the state task force charged with helping more children like Ravelli and making the same type of resources available to them.
The Task Force was appointed by Governor Christie and includes legislators and experts on reading and reading disabilities. The group includes Assemblyman Matt Milam (D-1st), Assemblyman Nelson Albano (D-1st), Marilyn Di-Tullio-Cerino (NJEA), Dr. Deborah Ciapanna, Dr. Marilyn Gonyo, Dr. Gordon Sherman, Ocean City Business Administrator Mike Datillo, Beth Ravelli (Samantha's mother), Mary Jane Kurabinski (New Jersey Dept. of Education), Karen Kimberlin and Jane Peltonen.