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Young Citizen: Sasha, 16, uses her battle with dyslexia to inspire others

PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 October 2018

Sasha Reynolds, 16, is this week's Young Citizen nominee. Photo: Sasha Reynolds

Sasha Reynolds, 16, is this week's Young Citizen nominee. Photo: Sasha Reynolds

Archant

A 16-year-old who overcame dyslexia and is working to make Jewish Saturday school inclusive for children with learning difficulties is this week’s Young Citizen nominee.

Sasha Reynolds, 16, is this week's Young Citizen nominee. Photo: Sasha ReynoldsSasha Reynolds, 16, is this week's Young Citizen nominee. Photo: Sasha Reynolds

Sasha Reynolds, of Derby Road, South Woodford, has been leading Cheder classes for children aged seven to 10 at the East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue (Elels), in Marlborough Road, South Woodford, for more than two years.

In Year 3 she tested positive for dyslexia after she started struggling to keep up in school.

“It all made sense,” she said. “I got frustrated when I couldn’t understand things.”

Sasha moved to Avon House Prep School, where she received extra support to manage her dyslexia.

Her own experiences overcoming the learning difficulty have informed how she now teaches her Cheder classes.

“There’s one seven-year-old boy in my class who has learning difficulties and dyslexia,” she said.

“I do whatever I can to help him learn.

“When teaching him the Jewish alphabet, I try to write only in green, which he prefers, or encourage him to come and sit near the whiteboard.”

She added: “Whenever he has a bit of a meltdown, I explain that I have had [dyslexia] too.

“I tell him that ‘you will be able to do it’ and give him extra motivation.”

Sasha, who is studying to become a legal secretary at Epping Forest College, was nominated by Rabbi Richard Jacobi.

He said: “Sasha is endlessly positive and supports everyone in the community of all ages.

“The fact that she is very open about her dyslexia normalises it for other children and her empathy really does add to how she goes about her teaching.”

The Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough.

It is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which provides each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at the Mayor’s Community Awards in March.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing aaron.walawalkar@archant.co.uk

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