'People thought I was dumb' - school established to encourage children with dyslexia to thrive

A teacher who started her own school for children with dyslexia is asking why it was her responsibility to establish it when countries all over the world have similar specialised schools set up.

Seven Sharp reported Summit Point School on Auckland's North Shore is the brain child of Rebecca Elias, a teacher with a Masters degree in Education focusing on dyslexia. 

She visited a specialised school in New York where she had the idea to set one up in New Zealand.

"Countries all over the world have these schools set up for kids who learn in these magical ways. Why do we no have it not here? So I did," Ms Elias said.

Summit Point has only four classrooms, demand is huge and she's frequently asked when she's starting a school in Hawke's Bay, Wellington and Christchurch.

"I work with kids as young as eight who have been talking about taking own lives," Ms Elias revealed.

"Why is it someone like me - why is it my responsibility to create this school?"

Ms Elias began with a holiday programme and had more students than the school could cater for. It's now a fully-fledged school into its second year and a roll of 50.

Summit Point takes students with language-based learning challenges, and exceptional children, because Ms Elias says, they're one and the same.

When it comes to teaching the dyslexic children reading, she said: "We learn the sound and then we learn the visuals or the print."

Teachers use a bell to get attention. 

"No teacher in this school will raise their voice or yell at one of our students."

Student Mark said before starting at the school, "people thought I was dumb and I just got stressed and I had a whole bunch of days off school."

Attending Summit Point costs around $14,000 a year but there are scholarships available, and the school wants more support from the Ministry of Education as well.

As for Mark, his time at the school has clearly paid off.

"I'm not dumb," he said.

Need to talk? 1737 – Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – Free call 0800 LIFELINE (543 354), or free text HELP (4357)
- 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 or www.depression.org.nz

The Lowdown: A website to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety. www.thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

SPARX.org.nz –  Online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed

OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 for support related to sexual orientation or gender identity 

The Principal of Summit Point School says "one size does not fit all when it comes to learning styles." Source: Seven Sharp

DOC closes mountain tracks near Raglan after myrtle rust discovery

The Department of Conservation is closing the Mount Karioi summit tracks, near Raglan, after a confirmed finding of myrtle rust.

The tracks will be closed to the public until further notice, DOC said.

It’s the second finding of the fungal plant disease on public conservation land after it was discovered on Mount Messenger, Taranaki a month ago.

Five months since the disease was spotted in Kerikeri and experts still don't know how far it's spread. Source: 1 NEWS

The area’s closed while a surveillance team determines the scale of the infestation.

Myrtle rust was first found in New Zealand in May last year, and has since spread throughout the North Island.

DOC says the recent warm weather has been optimal for myrtle rust and that new detections have increased in a number of regions.

Plant infected by myrtle rust
Source: Te Karere


Two injured after fighting gets out of hand, fire lit outside the Cloud in central Auckland

A man is in a serious condition in hospital after a fight in Auckland this evening.

Police were called to the Queens Wharf area after numerous reports of disorder and fighting in downtown Auckland.

Emergency services attended at about 9.30pm, where a small fire had reportedly been lit outside the front of The Cloud, police said.

One man is understood to have serious injuries, and another person has moderate injuries.

Police remain in the area and inquiries are ongoing.

Auckland waterfront.
Auckland waterfront. Source: istock.com