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Florida State University

Sharla Benedict Region, Leon County
The Magnolia School
CARD Staff: Lerena Fleck

Sharla Benedict Region teaches 3rd – 5th grades in a multigrade classroom at the Magnolia School in Leon County Before that, she worked as a writer, librarian, musician, and composition and creative writing instructor at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and at the University of Florida. Her other professions have included horse grooming, horticulture, content development for language-arts-education websites, freelance writing, editing, and teaching English as a second language here and in the Czech Republic.

One of the things that attracted Sharla to the Magnolia School is its inclusion policy. After teaching at a few different colleges, she believes that working with all kinds of learners in an active, hands-on environment is one of the surest ways to create a lifelong love of learning and an appreciation for learning differences. It is also an environment that allows accommodations to be made for all students, which makes it attractive to children on the autism spectrum.

Sharla earned a Bachelor of English and Creative Writing from Florida State University and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Poetry from the University of Florida. She is a fellow of the National Writing Project and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Education.

Proposed Project:

Reading comprehension seems to be an issue for many students with ASD, and developing strategies to support them as they emerge as readers is of tremendous importance to Sharla. While a couple of her ASD students are hyperlexic, they struggle with comprehension challenges and often miss out on the joy she is privileged to watch blossom in the developing readers in her classroom. She is interested in learning about strategies that have worked with other students and in research that has been done in that area, and in seeing if comprehension methods such as Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing & Verbalizing might have in impact in her classroom.

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This product was developed by the Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism, a project funded by the State of Florida, Department of Education, K-12 Public Schools, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, through federal assistance under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.
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