Shellharbour Civic Centre 'Lights It Up Red' for dyslexia

17/10/2018
 
Shellharbour Civic Centre will join iconic landmarks across Australia ‘Lighting it Red’ for Dyslexia this week.

Light it Red for Dyslexia is a volunteer initiative to increase awareness for the 10% of Australians who struggle to learn to read, write and spell.

The exterior of the Shellharbour Civic Centre is known for its colourful lights, which will be turned red this Thursday night, 18 October.

Dyslexia is a learning difference that affects a child’s ability to develop a strong understanding of written language.

The colour red was chosen to represent the dreaded red pen that many teachers often use to mark school work.

Approximately 1 in 5 people are on the dyslexia continuum. This means in every classroom, there may be between three and five students with dyslexia.

One of those young people is Shellharbour Anglican College student Aditi Basnet.

The 16 year-old was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was in Year 6 after struggling at school with written language.

She took the initiative to get in touch with Shellharbour City Council to organise participation in the event in conjunction with Code Read, the organisation leading the campaign.

By reclaiming the colour red for dyslexia, Aditi and Shellharbour City Council hope to empower children with dyslexia, and spread awareness among the wider community.

“I wanted to raise the awareness of dyslexia and highlight that it’s not just a disability – it can also be an advantage,” Aditi said.

“While living with dyslexia has its downside, some of the strengths can often include artistic abilities, think outside the box and problem solving,” she said.

Other ‘Light Ups’ include the Royal Australian Mint and Old Parliament House Canberra, Luminous at Darling Quarter and NSW State Library Sydney, Brisbane Story Bridge, Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Elizabeth Quay Perth, Adelaide Oval, Wrest Point Hobart and Darwin Convention Centre, to name a few.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said she was delighted that Shellharbour was joining other cities nationwide in highlighting this important issue.

“It is often difficult to get a diagnosis for dyslexia and other learning difficulties, so children often struggle to access support,” Cr Saliba said.

“It’s a misconception that if you read to your child every night they will learn to read. Many children need explicit instruction and early identification and evidence-based intervention is vital,” she said.

For more information about Light it Red for Dyslexia visit: https://codereadnetwork.org/

Media enquiries: Kelli Wells 0448 361 008.