Millard has a public relations bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis but decided to earn a master’s in teaching from Union University 15 years later.
For the past six years, Millard has taught in various capacities at New Hope, a school for 3-year-olds through sixth-graders in Memphis, and since 2014 has used OG methodology. Last year, she went through the official training course in Little Rock, Ark., and her current position at the school is Reading Intervention Specialist.
Millard has 22 students from kindergarten through sixth grade that she teaches on a one-on-one basis for 30 minutes a day, two to three times per week. She’s benefited so much from the skills that she’s taking the Advanced OG training course from IMSE in Bebee, Ark., beginning Monday, May 8.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” Millard said. “They are hard workers. They try so hard. They want to do it. They want to learn.”
Two of her key success stories are kindergartners Germarione and Marvin. Germarione, when Millard started working with him, could not make out nine sounds of the alphabet. After weeks of intervention, including using a popsicle stick to help him make the /K/ sound, and utilizing cards with pictures to show him what letter what made what sound.
“He still has a long way to go … but he can write sentences with little-to-no error and is reading sentences with CVC patterns c-qu with mastery,” Millard said.
Marvin, a repeat kindergartner, would write the wrong letter even after writing it in sand and fingertapping/pounding it, plus would make incorrect sounds of letters in words he read. Millard had Marvin read fluency strips, and on April 27, he read all of the sentences with 99 percent accuracy, Millard said.
“The great thing I love about the OG method is that it’s not meant to be hard on them,” Millard said. “It’s fun, it’s easy and it stays in their brain.”
Millard might not have become a learning specialist had her daughter, Abby, now 14, not been diagnosed with dyslexia.
“Helping these kids, including my daughter, it’s what I was created to do,” she said. “If [my daughter] didn’t have this, I would not be doing what I’m doing at all. Everyone has a purpose, and this is my purpose to help her and other students, too.”