Dr. Dot – How We Got to the Finish Line
During the last week or so of the Indiegogo fundraising campaign, we caught fire. Part of the reason for that success was due to the generosity of a colleague who is widely known as Dr. Dot. I trained and supervised some staff for a number of years for Dr. Dot when he was the former Director of Special Education in an American public school system, He was in the vanguard of the measurement system we use known as Precision Teaching.
Dr. Dot got his nickname from teaching teachers and aides to drop data dots on the Standard Celeration Chart, a graph that shows the daily progress made by special needs students in reading, spelling and math. As a result of his use of this practice, he and his teachers were able to move numerous kids out of “special education” classes and back into regular programs. This practice was not met with approval by his administration because with the reduced number of children in spcial education, there was a corresponding reduction in “special needs” funding to his district. After battling for many years, Dr. Dot decided to retire and to volunteer at a school closer to his home. He is now working with special needs students as a retirement project.
Dr. Dot offered a large donation to our program if we could reach a specific target level of funding. My team and I were reinvigorated and made special efforts to get to the goal. As promised, the day after we hit the target, Dr. Dot contributed enough to take us over the top.
Seeing the problems of kids trying to learn from inside the system, Dr. Dot understands the potential good that our digital reading program could have for the millions of kids across North America who are struggling to become successful readers. We were fortunate to have a large numbers of donors who understand the promise of more effective tools being created for teachers, aides and parents. We were especially pleased when a colleague steps up and “puts his money where his mouth is”. Dr. Dot’s challenge brought out the best in my team and as a result we are now in a position to build the digital reading program.
Thanks to everyone who supports us, with a special shout out to Dr. Dot who gave us the kick in the pants we needed to finish.