The Erika Center at Bodine School serves as a dyslexia resource center for the entire Mid-South.
History of the Erika Center
The Erika Center is named after Erika Yunkun, who began attending Bodine in 2007. In 2012, The Erika Center was made possible by a donation to honor Erika Yunkun, a Bodine student, who passed away in 2011 due to a brain tumor. Erika’s work ethic was eclipsed only by her compassion for and encouragement of her classmates to succeed. The donor asked that the Center’s work would preserve and honor the memory of Erika. The Erika Center was designed to emulate to the larger community the compassion that Erika showed her classmates.
In April 2016, the Tennessee Legislature passed the “Say Dyslexia” law (HB 2616/SB 2635), placing emphasis on the continuum of services needed for students with dyslexia along with providing professional development resources for educators regarding identification and intervention for all students.
Mission and Services
The Erika Center can help many area schools answer the state-issued call of the “Say Dyslexia” law. Many schools have neither the training nor the resources to screen struggling readers or equip educators to identify and remediate students with dyslexia. With an estimated 15-20% of all students displaying characteristics of dyslexia, we cannot overcome the achievement gap or increase the high school graduation rate, nationally or locally, unless more children with learning differences can read at grade level. The Erika Center’s services include:
- Community presentations defining dyslexia and developmentally appropriate literacy benchmarks
- Literacy screenings to evaluate grade-level language skills
- Professional development and training opportunities for Mid-South educators to strengthen identification of and intervention for students with dyslexia
- Free and public outreach events to increase awareness of dyslexia and how it relates to other learning differences