Cindy Hall is the director of the Dyslexia Center at Lindsay Lane Christian Academy. She was born and reared in Iowa, and attended Faith Baptist Bible College there, graduating with degrees in Bible and Elementary Education. Cindy has taught elementary grades for 18 years in Christian schools in Kansas, Michigan and Alabama. She has tutored reading for 23 years, the last 13 of those years using the Orton-Gillingham method for dyslexic students. Cindy finds a lot of joy in working with dyslexic students and their families and teachers to help the students overcome their dyslexia and develop a sense of confidence. Cindy and husband of 34 years, Charles, have three adult sons, Justin, Calvin and Cameron. The Halls worship at Calvary Baptist Church in Huntsville, where they team teach 1 and 2 grade Sunday School and sing in the choir. Cindy’s favorite verse is Proverbs 16:3, “Commit thy way unto the Lord and He shall bring it to pass.” The Halls recently moved to a farm just north of Athens, which they share with their two pet lab dogs and two pet cats.
Director of Dyslexia
LLCA Dyslexia Center
The LLCA Dyslexia Center is a special division of Lindsay Lane Christian Academy established to help families with dyslexic children. It is directed by Mrs. Cindy Hall, who has thirty years of experience as a teacher and tutor. Mrs. Hall and all the Dyslexia Center tutors are trained to use the Orton-Gillingham method. .
The LLCA Dyslexia Center program is for students in grades K-6 that have been identified as dyslexic. Students are anchored in a mainstream classroom and receive daily instruction in language, reading, spelling, and penmanship in a small group setting with an Orton-Gillingham trained teacher. Additionally, students receive private tutoring from an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor twice each week as part of their school day.
How Do Awareness Activities Help?
There are several benefits to awareness activities. The first benefit is the encouragement activities such as colors day brings to dyslexic students. Seeing their friends and classmates all dressed in awareness colors helps dyslexic students feel less isolated in their struggles. A second benefit is raising the question “What exactly is dyslexia?” in the minds of non-dyslexic people. Opportunities to educate and inform allows students to understand one another better, which is always a good situation! The third benefit is the way dyslexic students feel when their friends, classmates and teachers show they care by having a special dress up day just to support and better understand.
One day in each October is designated Dyslexia Colors Day at LLCA. Students, teachers and all staff are invited to show their support of dyslexic individuals by dressing up in Columbia blue and silver (or gray) for the day. Those who participate are not required to wear uniforms for the day. It is an opportunity to encourage your child to dress up for the day, and to talk about what dyslexia is.
LLCA Dyslexia Center Four Pillars Mission Statement
We make purpose driven choices of materials, personnel and approach.
Within the framework of the center, we focus on each child.
We communicate with parents, staff and teachers and work as teams
We are woven into the fabric of LLCA’s culture and mission to raise Champions for Christ.
I home-schooled my daughter for three years and during that time it was a constant struggle for her to learn to read. There was much frustration and many tears from us both. She said she hated reading and I felt like a failure as a teacher because she just couldn't get it. After learning that she was Dyslexic, we made the decision to put her in LLCA to try and give her the best chance to succeed. After being at LLCA for just two months, not only is her writing and spelling much improved but she is reading like a "normal" kid. She is seeing and understanding words like, "family," "through," and "remembers." I was so shocked the first time I heard her read that I thought she must have memorized the book because I couldn't believe she was not only reading these tough words but doing so quickly and smoothly. It used to take 20 minutes for her to get through one page and now she flies through a whole book. And now the girl who cried that she hated reading can't put a book down and wants to do nothing but read. We are so thankful for Lindsay Lane and their amazing program and their compassionate and competent instructors. Not only has it dramatically helped my daughter but it's helped her so much faster than I expected.
Lori Hewlett - Mother of Sia - 1st grade
My daughter, Morgan attends Lindsay Lane and is currently in the dyslexia program. At a very young age, Morgan struggled with language and communication. This resulted in a lot of tearful days. When she was in Kindergarten, we would work with her nightly only for her to forget the next day. It was very much a family effort to help Morgan try to learn. It was frustrating for everyone involved and left us feeling hopeless. The summer after Kindergarten, I asked her to write the alphabet. She looked at me as I was speaking a different language and said she didn’t know the alphabet. She has learned this as a toddler but she could not recall any of that information. It was at that point, we found someone to test Morgan which resulted in her being diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia. We were told about Lindsay Lane and scheduled a visit. As soon as we entered the facility and met the staff, it felt like HOME. Morgan entered first grade and the dyslexia program. When she started LLCA she could only read one word and today she reads at a 7th grade level. Morgan has grown into a confident and expressive girl due to the teachers, tutors, administrators, and staff’s determination and time. Morgan is able to express herself through art and music which the school has helped foster. We are blessed to have found Lindsay Lane and we are so thankful for all the support the school gives to each family. I feel like we were once lost but we have been found. Thank you Lindsay Lane for helping each individual child shine. It has been a pleasure working in collaboration with the staff to help my daughter develop and grow.
April Clawson - Mother of Morgan - 4th grade
My daughter, Mellie, is a bright and happy child with an imagination that has no end! She made it through kindergarten in the public school system, but there were definitely signs of struggle. Specifically letters, phonics and anything related to reading. I was a little concerned but this was just Kindergarten, right? Well 1st grade comes and the struggles intensify. She is being left behind and bringing home failing grades. I could see the frustration and defeat on her face each time graded papers were sent home. I was frustrated with her for “not trying hard enough” and at the same time I was heartbroken. I was worried something was wrong. I was able to get Mellie tested for Dyslexia at LLCA in January of that school year and there was no question that she was dyslexic. What a relief to know that there was a reason she was struggling so much, but now what was I going to do? Pray, that’s what I was going to do! I sought God’s will and the advice of others. As I look back at God’s answers to my prayers, I am amazed! There just happened to be an opening in 1st grade at LLCA (mid-year mind you) and so I took a leap of faith. Mellie was warmly welcomed into the class and her Dyslexia small group. The Dyslexia program staff is amazing! Mellie has flourished and grown in knowledge and confidence! She proved that she is a very hard worker and wants to succeed! She graduated from the program by the end of the 3rd grade and continued with tutoring through the 4th grade. Mellie and I are so excited for her to “fly solo” this next school year. What an accomplishment! LLCA and the Dyslexia program took my child in, loved and nurtured her, taught her all the blessings of being dyslexic, gave her confidence and a desire to learn! That is something I could not have done on my own and I will always be grateful.
I have left out so many details of God’s hand through this journey. I am humbled by the testimony He has given me and I am blessed beyond measure!
Mother of Mellie - 5th grade
I just wanted to give you a quick update on Maggie. She started with a tutor after spring break of last year and continued with a tutor over the summer with Christy Anderson.
She's officially been in the dyslexia program now for about a week and a half. I can't begin to tell you the change that we have seen in her! The first thing we've noticed is that she gets up each morning with a smile on her face and she's excited to go to school. Before it was such a struggle to wake her and when she did wake up she cried and did everything in her power to keep from going to school. This is been such a huge blessing and an ease on this mama's heart. The second thing that I've noticed is when she gets in the car in the afternoon and I ask her about her day she's all smiles and each day she says she's had a wonderful day! When I ask her what the best part of her day was each day she's responded, "Mommy, all of it was the best part!" And I think before one of the worst things for us as a family was homework. Maggie would cry and cry at the mention of homework. And something as simple as reading could turn into something that lasted several hours just to get her to complete the task. It was awful and many many tears were shed by both Maggie and mama.
This last week and a half Maggie couldn't wait to open her Book of Knowledge and show me what she had done for the day! She couldn't wait to start reading, go through her drill ring, and her favorite thing was to practice spelling!!! Before she absolutely dreaded trying to spell. But now she's so excited. And I can't tell you how much her hand writing has improved! With dysgraphia Maggie's handwriting was most of the time not legible at all. But her handwriting is so neat now. She was so excited when she came home yesterday she just knew she had done great on her spelling test. And when I opened up her binder and saw that she got a 100 it was all I could do to hold the tears back. Maggie's spelling grades before ranged from 5% -25% each time. That was hard to see her look at those grades and ask me each week, "What's wrong with me? Why can't I get it?"
There is nothing more painful than seeing your child struggle and seeing her hurt and feel like something is wrong with what. Even if it is with small daily activities she just struggled. My heart broke every day for her and it was so hard for our family. Every mama wants their child to be happy and love school. And now she does! The change in her is remarkable! Everyone in our family has noticed a change in her overall behavior and how much happier she is. When I asked her the other day washy thought she was enjoying school much better now she responded with this, "Mommy I can't explain it. Before my brain was so busy and it never slows down. But now I understand and my brain can rest. It's not going and going all the time. It slows down and now I can understand." Whatever that actually means for Maggie it's working for her! I'm so thankful and grateful for the program and the amazing change that We have seen her. I know it's only been a week and a half so I know that the rest of the year can only get better from here. I just wanted to share with you the progress that we've noticed on her so far and thank you for all of your help!
Shirlee - Mother of Maggie - 1st grade
I've got to brag on my child and the amazing staff at LLCA and in the LLCA Dyslexia center! Claire has been working through a workbook called "Summer Bridge Activities" to keep her mind active and sharp over the summer (A pit fall of being a teacher's kid, mom makes you work through summer). She had done really well with it, but today came to a section of the workbook where the letters were scrambled and she was supposed to unscramble them and write out the word. Being dyslexic, I thought it would be very difficult task for her, but I explained the instructions and said, "Just try the first one". It was scrambled as ribd. She looked at it and said, "Well, that i will come before that r and the word will be bird." She then quickly glanced down and applied rules she's learned about vowels and began to decipher each word! My child that used to struggle to read small words is now recognizing/reading/spelling words that aren't even spelled correctly! I am thrilled at her speed and ability. Thank you Mrs. Cornelison, Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Wood, and Mrs. VK, and Mrs. P you've each been a huge blessing to our family!!!
From Amy Blaylock, mother of rising second grader who has been part of the LLCA Dyslexia Center for one year.
“A feeling of overwhelming helplessness consumed me as my wonderfully creative and talented 2nd grade daughter continued to get more and more behind in school. Everyday was a challenge. Our whole life revolved around how to get through homework and studying for tests. We would spend hours upon hours practicing and memorizing only to have to start from scratch the next day because all of it was forgotten. Hardly a day went by without my daughter crying from frustration, headaches, stomachaches, and frankly exhaustion, which would lead to tantrums at times and screaming. It seemed I was constantly saying things like “just focus” and “try harder”.
Dyslexia had been in the back of my mind since her kindergarten year, but you hear so many times that it (reading problems) is common at that age and they will usually grow out of it so we waited to see improvement as we continued to work with her.
One day after school she cried all the way home because SHE, a normally very outgoing and confident child, suddenly had a very bad case of low self-esteem and was calling her self things like “dumb” and “stupid”. That, as you can imagine, absolutely broke this mother’s heart! I was determined to find the root of her learning problems and scheduled an array of testing. The result was Dyslexia. I actually felt relief at the diagnosis because at least now we knew we could do something about it.
We enrolled our daughter at LLCA where Mrs. Cindy Hall is the director of the Dyslexia Intervention Center. From Day 1 we knew it was the right place. They make learning so much fun and enjoyable and the kids feel like they are all part of a little family. The entire staff is so warm and caring and passionate about teaching our children. Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Shelley (her school tutor), and Mrs. Frazier (her regular classroom teacher) work with Bella and have made such a difference in the quality of not only Bella’s life but our entire family.
Now Bella is reading at a much higher level than before and there is actually time to stop and enjoy the small things together. The teachers have helped me learn how to make homework super fun! They’ve revived my little girl’s confidence and is gaining more confidence every day. Sometimes when she reads a long word out correctly, she looks up at me with astonished eyes and smiling as if she’s thinking, “Did I really do that???!!!” I cannot wait to see what this year holds for all these blessed children (mine included) that receive the benefit of this PHENOMENAL program at LLCA!”
Carla Woods - Mother of Bella - 2nd grade
What a blessing the dyslexia center at LLCA has been to our family!! Mrs Cindy Hall and her staff go above and beyond for not just each one of their students but their families as well. Anytime we had questions or concerns they were right there to help us and put us at ease. Our child was able to go back into the regular classroom with more confidence and knowledge than before and knows that Mrs. Hall and her staff are there if she ever needed them!! Thank you Mrs. Cindy and ALL the tutors for what you do everyday at LLCA!! What a difference you are making in these children's lives.
Brooke Waltman - Mother of 3rd grade student
I have a wonderful praise! One of my precious first grade students who has been in the LLCA Dyslexia Program for 3 months got up in front of the class and read a favorite book to the class with such confidence! She was so proud that I took her picture and sent it to her mother so she could share in the joy! Thank you for helping her love reading and for teaching her that she CAN do it well!!!!
Ginger Ward - First Grade Teacher- Cub Campus
My middle child, Carson, was like every other child through kindergarten. He was a loving, vibrant, always smiling boy who loved playing with his friends and going to school. Then when he entered first grade, everything changed. After about 6 weeks of school, the teacher called me in for a conference. I found out that Carson was wandering the room when he should have been doing work, wasn’t finishing any of his papers, was having trouble focusing and was testing very low in reading. He started bringing home low grades, and so we started tutoring after school. The school problems got worse as the year went on, and I could also tell that my normally happy child was now very unhappy, hated school, and cried every night. Homework was taking hours instead of minutes. I knew there was something wrong, but was told he just needed time to mature, and that one day he was going to have a “light bulb moment.” The school’s thinking was that as long as he was making B’s and C’s that everything was fine. I knew as a mother that something was very wrong and that the only reason he made those B’s and C’s was because we worked hours every night and went to tutoring. I even asked if I should have him repeat first grade. I was told no, to move him on.
I subsequently moved Carson to second grade, and things went from bad to worse. By this time Carson’s personality had completely changed. He was very withdrawn at school, cried and threw tantrums at home and was generally very unhappy. I had the school test him for everything that was available and came up with nothing. By this point I knew I had to do something else. I decided to look at private schools. I was also going to have him repeat second grade at the new school, to give him a fresh start. I looked at all the private schools all around the area and was drawn to Lindsay Lane, even though it is a 25 minute drive from our house. I enrolled him at Lindsay Lane, and Carson started second grade there. He had a good year with a wonderful teacher, but was still struggling some and homework still took forever. On the last day of school, Mrs. Hall came to me and said she had seen some red flags on a spelling test Carson had taken with her. I told her I had had him tested for everything in the public school, and she told me they don’t test for dyslexia, and strongly suggested I get him tested.
This summer Carson was found to have dyslexia. It was actually a relief for me to finally find an answer. I see now that God had a plan for Carson all along. Why else would we end up at the only private school in the area that has a dyslexia program when I didn’t even know Carson had dyslexia when I chose that school? Carson is not part of the LLCA Dyslexia Center. The school year has been great so far! I can already see Carson;s personality changing back to more of the “old Carson.” He is getting more confident every day, and has his smile back.
Shannon Nine - Mother of Carson - 3rd grade