Longtime literacy advocate and A'Lelia Bundles Community Scholar Debbie Meyer was cited for her work by Mayor Eric Adams during a press conference today to announce dyslexia testing for all New York City public school students. The initiative will also provide support and specialized instruction for diagnosed students.
Meyer was selected as a Bundles Community Scholar to gain access to Columbia University’s network, resources, and facilities in order to advance her work to address teaching policies and practices that have historically failed at achieving literacy among dyslexic students and struggling readers. Meyer is a non-profit fundraising and strategic planning professional and an active volunteer, serving as a founding member of the Dyslexia (plus) Task Force and a member of the Women Creating Change Board of Directors.
“My son,” she shared during the press conference, “didn’t learn how to read in school. You learn how to think in a public, progressive school. He was a great thinker, but he could not read. We switched him to The Windward School for dyslexia; he learned how to read! Between the two [schools], he got to Bard High School Early College. I want that opportunity for all of our struggling readers.”
The NYC Mayor, who has dyslexia, thanked Meyer for her service as a driving force behind these new programs, saying, “Debbie has been an educator for all of us in understanding this issue. I cannot thank her enough. She has been a real champion for these families.”
The Columbia University A’Lelia Bundles Community Scholars program is administered by the Office of Government and Community Affairs and the School of Professional Studies. It enables independent scholars to pursue their lifelong learning aspirations, whether it be completing an independent project or attaining skills in a particular area. The program helps to foster and deepen ties between the University and the many independent members of the cultural and intellectual community surrounding it. The program was named in honor of longtime University Trustee A’Lelia Bundles in 2020.
Watch the press conference below.