Decoding Dyslexia Maryland presented Marcella E. Franczkowski, Assistant State Superintendent for the Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services, with an award for her leadership in reading and dyslexia policies in Maryland.

people posing for a photo op in front of decoding dyslexia maryland poster

Ms. Franczkowski was recognized as one of this year’s recipients of the Friends of Dyslexia Recognition Award during Dyslexia Advocacy Day in Annapolis on Feb. 8. Other recipients included state Sen. Joan Carter Conway and Del. Anne Kaiser.

“It is our collective duty, our business, to teach students to read. Reading is the key that opens the world to all of our students, including those with dyslexia,” Ms. Franczkowski said.

Under Ms. Franczkowski’s leadership, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) developed a Technical Assistance Bulletin for dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. As a part of this initiative, the Individualized Education Form was revised to include a drop-down menu under Specific Learning Disabilities. Maryland is now one of two states that offers this option.

“I do not receive this recognition alone,” she said.  “It is through strong partnerships and the unwavering commitment … that significant strides are being made to identify students with dyslexia and to provide the necessary evidence-based interventions they require. We must intervene early so that we can finish strong.”

Sen. Conway, who represents District 43 (Baltimore City), is the sponsor of two bills to benefit students with disabilities. Del. Kaiser, who represents District 14 (Montgomery County), is chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and helps direct education policy.