In our current world, with so many devices and distractions, it can be difficult to get children to find and carry an interest in reading. It’s also often a struggle, for many legitimate reasons, to get kids to simply sit still and focus on the words before them. Sometimes, a boost from a place like The Clubhouse Reading Center at the University of Findlay is all it takes to instill a love of reading in a child.
Fifteen-year-old Aidan Jordan, currently a freshman at Findlay High School, was, in his own words, “helped greatly” by the Clubhouse in his younger years, and, as a result, decided to give back to the program that guided him toward a love for reading. Aidan recently established a fundraiser, resulting in a $350 donation to the Clubhouse, and said he was honored to do so. “It’s very important to give back to the University,” he said. “It’s a cornerstone of the community and has done so much for its inhabitants.” Aidan presented a check to Allison Baer, Ph.D., director of the Clubhouse, with assistance from Gary Hummel, the owner of Post Board Gaming, and host for the fundraiser.
Jordan said that the program helped both him and his brother, who, he explained, struggled with reading. According to Aidan, Baer was instrumental in helping the brothers embrace reading. “She diagnosed my brother with Irlen Syndrome [a perceptual processing disorder that causes difficulty with the brain’s ability to process visual information],” he said, “and now he really enjoys reading.”
Baer explained that it isn’t uncommon for children to have difficulties, and that is simply part of what the program does to help them. “Kids struggle with reading for many different, sometimes, complex reasons,” she said. “At the Clubhouse, we work to identify those reasons and then make and implement lessons to build on their reading strengths and enhance their reading needs.”
The Jordan brothers’ mother, Lynnsey, said that her pride in Aidan for donating back to the University and Clubhouse program, coupled with her appreciation for Dr. Baer, really made the donation special. “Aidan really loves reading, and I really feel that is because I would take him to every session of Clubhouse for several years,” she explained. “It was a very proud mom moment to watch him get the fundraiser put together and actually give the money to Dr. Baer. It was a wonderful experience.”
Baer felt similarly and described a moment when she realized that the work had come full circle. “A former Clubhouse student was giving back to our family. There’s no way to express the joy and appreciation I felt at that moment and how proud I am of the young man that Aidan has become,” she said.
Aidan, whose dream is to attend the University of Tokyo and major in astrophysics, said that he’s got a simple wish for the donation. “I hope they use the money to help more children learn how to read and write better,” he said.