The Wonderful World of Jennifer Knopf
The week’s guest is Jennifer Knopf, President of the REED Charitable Foundation based in Florida. The REED Foundation trains public school teachers to support children with dyslexia and other reading challenges. Jennifer was motivated to start her work through the experience of supporting her own son in his struggles with reading and spelling. Her first venture was a free community education event which was a huge unexpected success. Listen in to hear how her work grew from there.
Podcast: Dr. Hallowell’s Wonderful World of Different
Episode: Jennifer Knopf
Welcome to Dr. Hallowell’s Wonderful World of Different, a podcast hosted by Dr. Ned Hallowell! By interviewing a wide range of guests from various backgrounds, we will uncover and celebrate the different ways people have of approaching life, solving problems and having fun. Together, we will break down the notion of normal and abnormal, and instead tap into the talents everyone has.
Today’s guest is the spectacular and remarkable Jennifer Knopf, President of the REED Charitable Foundation based in Florida. To begin, Jennifer shares how she got into the world of dyslexia and ADHD, as many people do, by its impact on a loved one. Her son Reed, who is now 11, is equally as intelligent as his neurotypical older sister. Despite the common belief that all children can pick up reading and writing the same if given early access to it, Karen now knows that isn’t always the case. Most people assume dyslexia is letter confusion, but that isn’t the only symptom.
By the first grade, most of Reed’s classmates were reading well when he couldn’t at all. He began not wanting to attend school any more. Finally, Reed opened up to his mom about his struggles in school and reading. Jennifer went to the school to speak with the administration who revealed they believed Reed was simply lazy. Older people who experienced something similar in their youth think the school systems are much more accommodating today, but unfortunately the discrimination still fully occurs today.
Jennifer began to question what happens to families without the resources she had. She realized in her research that reading issues impact 20% of the population. Thus began her passion for ensuring all teachers are equipped to help all children learn to read and spell. They began in 2019 with a free community education event which was a huge unexpected success. From that, many parents began to reach out to Jennifer and ask how they could help. Right now, the REED Foundation trains public school teachers for free and everybody else for a small price of $200. As the episode wraps up, Jennifer shares her discovery at the age of 44 that she herself has ADHD, and how the realization has changed her own outlook on life!
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