Assets School, the only school in Hawaii specializing in educating children who are gifted, and/or dyslexic, expanded its commitment to the community by opening the Transforming Lives Center. The Center is the first private school-based full resource center on Oahu to provide comprehensive assessments of students. The Center will assess students for dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other language-based learning differences, as well as academic achievement. For more than a decade, Assets has offered a free reading screening to children mid-kindergarten through third grade, and has provided training to teachers, parents, and other professionals on how to identify and work with students at-risk for academic difficulties or those with learning disabilities. This public outreach will continue in addition to the services available at the Transforming Lives Center.
“We know that early intervention is critical for students who are struggling, and we expect to make a difference in the lives of thousands of students over the years by way of the Transforming Lives Center,” said Ryan Masa, Head of School. “We are grateful to Governor David Ige, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund Committee for making our vision a reality.”
The Center was made possible by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. The Center was one of 31 projects funded out of 208 grant requests. First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, who is a former third grade teacher for 10 years at Waimalu Elementary School and former Vice Principal at Kanoelani Elementary School and Moanalua High School, gave congratulatory remarks before business and not-for-profit leaders, Assets parents, grandparents, and faculty.
“It is an honor to be at Assets School for this historic occasion—the opening of the Transforming Lives Center,” said First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige. “The vision to create this Center by providing students an understanding of their learning needs will put our keiki on a path to success which is life changing. We know some students, in all grades, have faced academic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic while other students need to be assessed due to struggles in a traditional classroom setting. Early intervention by way of the Transforming Lives Center will help the statewide effort to reduce high school drop-out rates.”
According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities: Students with specific learning disabilities drop-out of high school nearly three times the rate of all students. One in five children in the United States have learning and attention issues.
“For more than six decades, Assets has been the statewide leader in educating children who are dyslexic, gifted, or learn differently,” said Kitty Yannone, Board Chair of Assets School. “We are committed to the children and families of Hawaii. We appreciate everyone who supports our vision especially the Governor and our philanthropic community.”
During today’s grand opening celebration, UHA Health Insurance President and CEO Howard Lee presented Assets School with a $25,000 donation to help support the operations of the Transforming Lives Center.
“We wholeheartedly believe in Assets School’s mission and recognize its tremendous impact on the well-being of affected keiki, their families, and therefore our community as a whole,” said UHA Health Insurance President and CEO Howard Lee. “We hope our donation will have a ripple effect and inspire others to support this important community resource.”
College-bound Assets alumna Gracianne Young ’22 shared how her family struggled to get her tested when she was in third grade and how relieved they were that their efforts resulted in a diagnosis of dyslexia.
“We want to keep this Center open for generations to come, so your help this morning to spread the word is greatly appreciated,” said Gracianne Young ’22. “The Transforming Lives Center and Assets School will help so many students to understand their learning profiles.”
Assessments will begin in late August. Families interested in an appointment can email firstname.lastname@example.org and also learn more at https://www.assets-school.org/about/transforming-lives-center
Assets School is still accepting applications for the 2022-2023 School Year.