Dyslexia Awareness & Music4Life

  • Written by David B. Clark

As Summer’s warmer weather shifts to Autumn’s changing leaves and cool breeze, the Northshore School District is welcoming October and the fall months with good news, advocacy, and awareness. Northshore Council PTSA president Carrie McKenzie was present for Northshore School district’s most recent meeting and was eager to inform attendees and the board members about this October being Dyslexia Awareness month. McKenzie shared with the board the Washington State PTA 4 D’s Resolution. The ‘D’s being: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia (math dyslexia), and dyspraxia. Though these latter three are not the same, they often get blanketed under the term dyslexia. The resolution lies in advocating for early screening with parent notification. Dyslexia causes difficulties in reading, writing, spelling and sometimes even speaking. The other ‘D’s are a bit more specific making it rather axiomatic why continued education and a dedicated month to the disability are so important.

McKenzie continued when she addressed the board and stated that she, “appreciates your help through disseminating awareness through whatever channels you have.” McKenzie went on to remind the board members of the Angst: Documentary on Social Anxiety at 7:30 p.m. on October 16 at the Northshore Performing Arts Center (18125 92nd Ave NE, Bothell, WA 98011), the WSPTA Legislative Assembly in Tacoma at the Hotel Murano on October 20 and 21, and the Presidents and Principals Luncheon at the Evergreen Church at 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on November 2. For more information visit

HiCap Council president Austina DeBonte brought her knowledge and personal experiences with her son forward when she shared that, “Dyslexia is a big deal.” She said it was the elephant in the room and continued, “If I had not known what I know it would have been so easy for him to never have been identified as dyslexic. I wonder how many kids are in that situation. Many of these kids can compensate until middle school or even high school until they hit that wall.” Again, these personal stories exemplify the necessity for education that can ultimately lead so many young people to more fulfilling lives.

Sam Ames, who has two children in the Northshore school district, addressed the board with numerous facts about dyslexia and offered many suggestions about what the Northshore School District  could  do  to  better  help children who may suffer from dyslexia and those children’s parents. Statistically, Ames stated, there is, “4,400 students in our district with dyslexia.”

While much of the meeting focused on dyslexia and ways to better Northshore School District’s students, there was a happy high note when Northern Music Partner Representative Patsy Treece shared with the board that the organization had joined Music4Life and that she and the community have been very happy with music education now coming free of cost to elementary school children’s families. Treece is helping gather instruments for children not able to afford their own through the help of Music4Life. “We have a saxophone donated by a board member, a viola, and 12 to 13 more [instruments] getting ready to be donated,” happily exclaimed Treece. “We need a groundswell of instruments this being the first year.”
If you are interested in donating an instrument please contact Patsy Treece via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about Music4Life please visit their website at

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