Working with Catrina Hays with the Wilson Reading program was a real success for our son. During the time he worked through the program, he gained needed skills for decoding words and reading, and developed confidence in his growing abilities. He loved working with Catrina, and found she was always encouraging, helped him feel comfortable with the learning process, and kept the entire learning experience very positive. She was funny, kind, and treated him with respect. Above all, Catrina helped reading make sense for our son.
– Candice K., Joel’s mom
Michael was born in Russia, and we adopted him at the age of 5. At first we thought his difficulty in learning the alphabet and reading simple sight words were because English was his second language. As his schooling progressed, it became apparent Michael had a learning disability severe enough to prevent him from reading. By age 11, he was still not able to read or write. His school claimed he would not be able to read so I sought outside help. Michael received tutoring from two different sources, but neither showed results.
Frustrated, I called our neuropsychologist who recommended we contact Catrina Hays. Upon reading Michael’s test results and background information, Catrina stated she could teach Michael to read. I must admit I did not share her confidence, but was impressed with her insistence that she could help Michael.
Michael did not have an easy time learning to read. Days, weeks, months passed as he struggled with the fluency pages. Over time, I noticed he was beginning to write notes and express his feelings on paper. This was especially the case when I was upset with him. I think he felt it easier to apologize on paper than in person!
As time went on, he began texting, setting up his own account on Facebook and reading simple stories. His writing improves every month. What has been very enjoyable for me is that Michael can now play Scrabble, a favorite family game.
It has been four years since Catrina began working with Michael. He is now a freshman at Notre Dame and received a C in a typical reading class. I wish I could describe how much working with Catrina has meant to Michael and our family. I can only say that without the ability to read, he could not live an independent life – what a tragedy that would have been.
– Julie M, Michael’s mom
Catrina Hays is the most phenomenal teacher I have ever had! I would not be where I am today if it was not for her. A couple of years ago, I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa, and now I am currently working as an assistant teacher along with trying to obtain my master’s degree in Special Education. She gave me the tools and the confidence that I needed to get to this point in my life.
Before Catrina, I despised school and found it extremely challenging due to my learning disability. At the time, I felt like no one could help me. Catrina was able to teach me in a unique way that fit my learning needs. She showed me my strengths and weakness and how to use them to my advantage. I learned that I learn best through pictures. Catrina showed me how to study using visuals; for example, when I was trying to study for the Constitution, we drew pictures on flashcards of each part of the Constitution. Not only did I learn a lot through Catrina, but she made learning enjoyable. When we were learning angles, she had us jumping around the room creating a 90, 180, 360 degree angles and more. I loved going to school when I had her as a teacher. I would even stay in for recess to study and get homework done with her. All the strategies she has taught me I use with my students. She is the one who changed my life and inspired me to become a teacher.
– Brittany S., former student
After about a month of graduate school, today I sat down with my box of colored pencils and wrote myself a schedule for the rest of the semester. It’s sort of like a giant syllabus, integrating all of my classes and telling me what I need to have done week by week. This made me thing of you because, well, I’m pretty sure you were the one who taught me how to do that. This particular trick got me through high school, and I think it is going to get me through this PhD. I just wanted to thank you for this, along with the ton of other super useful things that you taught.
– Katy D., former student
Catrina views young learners as individuals. Each student is met right where they are, and step by step she helps build students’ confidence and love of reading. Catrina has helped our daughter understand her personal learning style. Catrina explained that information has to go into Samantha’s brain in a different way than her peers and Catrina did this in a way that always made our daughter feel smart and powerful.
Catrina has been an amazing advocate to our daughter and our family as we learned about her learning style and how to navigate her learning in the public school system. We now have a 6th grader who has a huge love of books, she knows the tools she needs to use to compensate for her learning style and confidence to boot!
I am not sure what school would have been like if we did not have all the support we had. I highly recommend Catrina and the Wilson method.
– Julie W., Samantha’s mom
I just wanted to thank you again for your encouragement to go for the certification and for your detailed instruction, guidance and personal pointers which you have given me. I wish you could see the tremendous change that has occurred in the lives of many of my students once they learned to read and spell accurately. I have truly been amazed.
– Marcia W., teacher
Through Catrina’s wholehearted dedication and passion for teaching, she guided me through much more than the black and white strategies of coping with dyslexia. Catrina instilled in me the skills I pride myself in as a student. She showed me how to use my strengths to lead me to academic success.
– Jenna W., College student, University of Colorado, Boulder