Smart Start Dyslexia Correction Center :: Servicing The Whole Child


Kim Carson has been an educator for over 35 years. She began her career teaching Family & Consumer Science (FACS) classes at Northwestern School, a consolidated district, in Mellette, South Dakota. She is credited with a variety of leadership roles during her tenure there. Initially, she provided leadership to her district by developing the school's first preschool program. Soon thereafter, she and another staff member introduced career-based education curriculum at the middle and high school levels. Finally, she provided direction and leadership with the training and implementation of the Davis Learning Strategies® at the elementary level.

In 2001, Kim added the role of student to her career life. Motivated both personally and professionally, Kim chose to advance her education to gain licensure as a Davis® facilitator. She completed all of her practicum and field assignments within the Northwestern School setting as she continued her FACS classroom duties. "Finding methods that reach children and opening their doors toward success are the ultimate rewards as an educator," says Kim.

Due to successes documented with her practicum experience, her administrators asked Kim to propose a plan of action to reach a broader spectrum of students. They approved implementation of the Davis Learning Strategies® (DLS). Through Kim's leadership and direction of elementary principal Kathy Graves, Northwestern School was named the first DLS Model School in the United States.

ôKim is a tremendously knowledgeable and trusted educator who combines the qualities of a caring mother and teacher to meticulously organize and facilitate the Davis Learning Strategies. She has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life for children with reading difficulties. I have abounding respect for the way Kim has relentlessly searched for innovative methods so that students may succeed in life. She positively touched many children's lives in our school. How fortunate we were to call upon such an outstanding teacher, mentor, and facilitator!"
    —Kathy Graves, Retired Elementary Principal, Northwestern School

At the close of the 2001-02 school year, Kim left her FACS classroom duties to pursue her Davis® work full time. In addition to her individual facilitation work, she worked as a DLS mentor for Northwestern School teachers for 5 years, and another 3 years in the Brookings district, as her family relocated to Brookings, South Dakota, in December, 2003.

"I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a Davis Learning Strategies (DLS) workshop for primary classrooms with Kim Carson. I learned several unique strategies for improving reading skills and classroom management for all the students in my class. Most valuable for me was having Kim come into my classroom to mentor me as I became more independent in implementing the various strategies. Each month she modeled a piece of the DLS program and then coached me in another area. Through her guidance, I not only learned new strategies, but I also gained the confidence to recognize unique needs of some of my struggling students and offer interventions. I am a much more effective teacher because of the DLS training and follow-up mentoring I received from Kim."
    —Jodee Hadley, 1st Grade Teacher - Brookings, South Dakota

Kim recently retired after 18 years from her full-time roles associated with Davis® Dyslexia Association. For now, she plans to continue working parttime by providing tutoring services to students and past clients at Smart Start Dyslexia Correction Center. She continues to provide consulting services schools and to families who are navigating 504 Plans and IEPs. In addition, she enjoys providing staff in-services on the topic of dyslexia for schools. Finally, as she works toward full retirement, she plans to enjoy recreational activities with her husband and travelling to visit grandchildren.

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