Tataskweyak Education Authority, Split Lake Manitoba

“The training was excellent. It’s what educators need to know when working with kids struggling with reading difficulties. Some teachers said they really enjoyed it and will use it in their classroom. I mutually agreed upon their enthusiasm and feelings in teaching reading and spelling with phonics can be fun and exciting. I especially love and enjoy the jingle that goes with the instructions in the vowels and consonants. I really like the games and file folders you can make and use for classrooms. One teacher felt emotional knowing she knows now how to help her students with their reading difficulties. As for myself the course polished my special education knowledge and I recommended it already to educators. I look forward to apply my training with my grandkids especially my granddaughter whom I’ve recognized to have dyslexia. I will certainly help educators as well, as they need it with their students. Thank you Valdine for your great knowledge and showing us your expertise with educating the kids with reading difficulties. Ekosani!”

-Grace R. Special Education Specialist
Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre

Chief Sam Cook Mahmuwee Education Centre

“It is rewarding that this initiative became a reality for the Chief Sam Cook Mahmuwee Education Centre staff due to the special needs of our students in the area of reading. I noticed that the teachers and education assistants were fully engaged in the presentation and showed keen interest on instructional methods. The PD sessions such as this for staff is additional support in their teaching and it enhances their teaching methods. An educational assistant told me that she took a lot of notes to teach reading for children with dyslexia because she has two children with it. She informed me that she learned a lot from the workshop and will apply what she learned. Although the workshop had trying times with COVID 19 in our community and also at times the internet connectivity cut out, the presentation of content was still accomplished. In closing, when we are able to see and meet in the near future, I extend an invitation to you Valdine to come visit the the Tataskweyak Education Authority and Chief Sam Cook Mahmuwee Education Centre staff. Thank you and it is with hope that we can continue to work together for our children.”

Alfred, Education Director
Tataskweyak Education Authority

Past Participant Comments

I took the Associate level training through the RLCM and I loved it. Dr. Valdine Bjornson provided the highest level of knowledge and support. I’d highly recommend The Reading and Learning Clinic of Manitoba!

-Santina, teacher, urban public school

I completed my Orton-Gillingham coursework and practicum for the Classroom Educator and Associate levels with Valdine’s guidance and support. What an enriching and life-changing experience! Valdine was always available to answer questions, and she provided excellent feedback regarding my Orton-Gillingham video lessons. I am a much more knowledgeable and effective teacher thanks to the Reading and Learning Clinic of Manitoba.

-Karine, urban private school specialist

I took the Classroom Educator course instructed by Valdine Bjornson through the RLCM, which I highly recommend. The course is essential for every educator to take as every Canadian classroom has several students who have dyslexia. Although already trained with the Orton-Gillingham methods, I gained more information and ideas and made gained invaluable connection with Valdine as a mentor. I am forever grateful with the knowledge that I gained

-Twila, private practitioner

Thank you to Valdine Bjornson and Dawn Nieman for giving us your time teaching all of us educators in Winnipeg this past week. I believe our school team is better equipped now to help all our students with acquiring English language skills, and learning all the rules to our language in order to facilitate reading and writing. If anyone is questioning whether or not to take this training, DO! Knowing what I know now, as Dawn would say, “I want my money back” from my B. Ed. Degree.

-Jane, School Principal, Urban Public School

I found the OG Classroom Educator course excellent. Our instructor was extremely knowledgeable. This is one of the only reading programs that links letter sounds to speech sounds. It also teaches reading and spelling in every lesson. Every student teacher should take this 30 hour course. Period.

-Andrea, Speech-Language Pathologist, Rural Public School Division

During the OG Classroom Educator training, we received excellent information regarding how to explicitly teach children how to read. We had very knowledgeable trainers. The training was interesting and stimulating. Great opportunity to improve all aspects of reading instruction for all learners.

-Karla, Speech-Language Pathologist , Urban Public School Division

As a product of whole language instruction, I have never had these rules explained in such a clear, concise way. I feel so much more confident in my ability to clearly and systematically teach my students to read and spell. I love all the mnemonics for the vowel teams as these are very confusing. I also appreciate the structure of lessons for the way they review, solidify and teach new skills. Finally, I love how the OG instruction is flexible, diagnostic and prescriptive. I can help all my students learn the next most helpful skill without slogging through known information. Valdine is fabulously patient for answering questions!

-M.M., Kindergarten teacher, Urban Public School Division

Attending the session was the Professional Development opportunity that I have been seeking for years. As a resource teacher who works to support students and staff in a school with twice the national average of students who are diagnosed with Dyslexia, we are always trying to find new tools for the toolbox. OG training is not a tool, it is how all students should be taught to read. I’d recommend this course for anyone, not just educators. The amount of learning that occurred in a single day was extraordinary and that we had four consecutive days of intense learning was out of this world. I’m looking forward to my OG journey and bringing as many people with me as possible. Thanks Valdine for this opportunity.

-Nicole, Resource Teacher, Rural Public School

“I have been teaching for over 25 years, with an extensive background in assisting students with reading and spelling difficulties. In all my years of education and experience, nothing has ever come close to the powerful instruction that I received at the Orton-Gillingham training hosted by the Reading and Learning Clinic of Manitoba in December 2018. We were given four packed days of instruction, including chances to practice what we had learned. So many pieces of the puzzle came together for me during this training, and I recognized how simple and effective implementing the ideas from the Orton-Gillingham method would be for all of our learners. What I loved best is that these principles can so easily be applied to an entire class in the early years, thus laying an excellent foundation for literacy. Early identification and quick intervention strategies for students who are struggling were clearly explained. This training provided so many wonderful tools that are very easy to implement right after the training was finished. It is so important that we reach ALL of our students with the best methodology possible to develop their literacy skills, and the Orton-Gillingham approach lights the way. I would heartily endorse this training for any early years teachers, literacy specialists, reading support personnel, and Student Services teachers. It is definitely worth it!! Thank you Valdine for an amazing time of learning!”

-Gloria, Student Services Dept. Head

Urban Independent School

Orton-Gillingham provides training for comprehensive planning and strategies for instruction. Very well done. I feel like I’ve grown a new ring in my tree!

-K.M, School Psychologist, Urban Public School Division

SouthEast Regional School Psychologists (Dec, 2022)

…Maxine (school psychologist) discussed the experience of the Portage SD in training all its resource teachers as well as two SLPs and two Psychologists in the Orton-Gillingham method of reading/spelling skills instruction. The Orton-Gillingham Approach is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy when reading, writing, and spelling does not come easily to individuals, such as those with dyslexia. It is most properly understood and practiced as an approach, not a method, program, or system. This way of teaching is well-suited to those with dyslexia and is complementary to Structured Literacy approaches.
Training was provided by Dr. Valdine Bjornson, who is the founder of the Reading and Learning Clinic of Manitoba, and current president of the SAGE group Manitoba Teachers for Students with Learning Disabilities. Dr. Bjornson is a Fellow-in-Training with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and has previous training with various reading programs including Lindamood-Bell Visualizing/Verbalizing, Seeing Stars and LiPS, and is associated with the International Dyslexia Association – Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist -(https://providers.dyslexiaida.org/provider/valdine-bjornson-fit-aogpe/), and the Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (https://www.idaontario.com/onbida-professional-directory-individual-professionals/).
She is a permanently certified Reading Clinician through Manitoba Professional Certification with Manitoba Education and Training and completed a Doctor of Education degree in Language and Literacy with a focus on adults with dyslexia in the spring of 2022. 
Two groups of Portage SD staff have completed the four-day Orton Gillingham Classroom Educator Training (June/July 2021 and October 2022) and many have followed that with the formal practicum through the Orton Gillingham Academy. Resource teachers have expressed great appreciation for their greater understanding of reading processes and difficulties and the skills they have learned for providing sequential phonics instruction to students with dyslexia. The training/practicum has been a valuable experience for clinicians as it deepens our knowledge of learning disabilities, validates our concerns about the struggles we see among students, and provides much greater clarity for our recommendations regarding instruction and support. Each OG lesson includes practice to mastery of letter knowledge and sound-symbol correspondence and supports working memory and retention with multi-sensory speech to print and print to speech activities so that the individual sees, hears, and feels the concepts needed for the development of basic literacy skills. This training is highly recommended for school-based speech and language therapists and psychologists. 
OG Impact Statement – public school classroom teachers


As a classroom teacher, I found the Orton-Gillingham training to be an incredibly beneficial and informative learning experience. Not only did this training provide a wealth of knowledge around explicit phonics instruction, but it also unpacked the most effective way to deliver each strategically crafted aspect of the lesson. Time is so precious in our daily classroom hustle, so an approach that is incredibly intentional and strategic is critical. Through this scaffolded practice, learners also feel supported and successful which will only lead to increased motivation and desire to take risks. I definitely feel more equipped with the knowledge and strategies to support a wide range of literacy learners and have more resources at my fingertips as well. I would highly recommend this training to any early years literacy teacher and I look forward to implementing more of my new learning in the new school year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was able to take the 4 session Orton Gillingham Training this past February. While the OG Approach is intended to help people with dyslexia; it is deeply rooted in science and multisensory practices so I found it applicable in many ways to all learners.I appreciate how the OG Approach is highly structured and sequential. It offers predictability for students. I find this helps get more out of the time I have to work with my students because less time is spent explaining the routine activities. The scope and sequence also allows me to find where possible holes are in learning for targeted instruction.

 Learning the “why” and “how” behind reading is critical for educators to know in order to effectively teach. I won’t be saying “English is just a weird language, we just have to memorize that” as a teaching point any longer. All educators would benefit from receiving training in the Orton Gillingham Approach to help not only students with dyslexia but all students.
The opportunity to attend Orton Gillingham training for classrooms teachers was very much appreciated by myself and my collegues. I learned many things that I was not exposed to in all of my years of teaching or University study. It is important for all educators to understand why our language is the way it is to help our students reach their full potential. I would recommend OG training for all educators.

More Past Trainee Comments


“This is the course that every single school board should be requiring for their staff. It was incredibly informative and gave me the knowledge to be able to teach reading effectively to ALL students.”

“I have been recommending this PD to my colleagues as it was the best reading PD I have taken – and I have taken many PD’s. It is very possible to deliver what I learned in French to my students.”
This course is very helpful for the upper elementary teachers who have students that are struggling as readers.”
I am very interested in completing the practicum and continuing on to do the Associate course in a few months once I have had some time to practice what I have already learned in the CE course. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and I know it will be extremely beneficial to both my current and future students.”