As we approach the new year, we wanted to share with you the exciting event that took place in early December. Maryellen Rooney Moreau, MEd, CCC-SLP, founder and President of MindWing Concepts, Inc. received the 2014 Alice H. Garside Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Dyslexia Association, Massachusetts Branch (MABIDA) for “exemplary leadership, service or achievement in a field that directly or indirectly furthers the mission of MABIDA.” MABIDA’s mission, in part, ´promotes, encourages and supports the preparation and continued education of professionals and other personnel to ameliorate the impact of dyslexia and related disorders and to promote optimal methods of reading instruction for all children.” Maryellen’s work certainly fits this criteria.
If you have been to one of our workshops, Maryellen often discusses her background. If you haven’t had that opportunity, Maryellen has her Bachelor’s degree from UMASS Amherst in Communication Disorders and her Master’s Degree in Education from Pennsylvania State University. From the late ’70s through the early ’90s, Maryellen was a professor at American International College (AIC) in Springfield, MA and she became a diagnostician at the Curtis Blake Child Development Center on the college’s campus and the Coordinator of Intervention Curriculum and Professional Development at the Curtis Blake Day School, also of AIC, which is an outplacement school for children with dyslexia and language learning disabilities. Maryellen extensively researched oral language development as the foundation to literacy, and in her role at the Day School, she saw the need to develop a tool to help children with narrative development. This led her to create the research-based Story Grammar Marker® in 1991. When it worked so well in field tests with the students at the Day School, Maryellen received a United States patent on the Story Grammar Marker®, further developed the methodology and began to travel, bringing this methodology to educators and students in surrounding districts.
Once schools in other states began to request this presentation, Maryellen left the college and in 1994 founded a small business located in the basement of her home to produce the Story Grammar Marker®. In 1998 Maryellen’s small business was the first woman-owned business accepted into the Scibelli Enterprise Center, a new small business incubator on the campus of Springfield Technical Community College, right down the street from AIC. Since then, she has further developed Story Grammar Marker®, written 15 books and created over 50 accompanying multi-sensory tools and materials related to this methodology. Maryellen travels internationally with her daughter, Sheila M. Moreau, MEd and has shared this methodology and her expertise with thousands of educators in hundreds of school districts. Over a million children worldwide have used Story Grammar Maker® to help them to think, communicate, comprehend, take perspective and learn.
Held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center in Framingham, MA, 130 colleagues gathered at the annual dinner meeting for MABIDA and Maryellen was presented with the Alice H. Garside award. She gave a 40 minute presentation entitled “Oral Language: The Original Foundational Reading Skill.” In attendance in addition to MABIDA members, was current principal of the Curtis Blake Day School, fellow speech language pathologist, Linda Lafontaine and her husband as well as twenty-five of Maryellen’s husband, children, grandchildren, family, friends, and colleagues. Maryellen felt very honored to be recognized for the impact that her work has had in the area of dyslexia and language learning disabilities. Maryellen concluded her presentation by re-telling one of Alice H. Garside’s books, The Dog and The Bone, using the Story Grammar Marker®!