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Students and parents from Groves Academy joined the Dyslexia Day rally at the Minnesota State Capitol
February 21, 2017

Jean Hopfensperger | Minneapolis StarTribune

Dyslexia-Day-2.jpgThree years ago, a scrappy group of parents and educators launched the first Dyslexia Day at the State Capitol in a small conference room, offering moving testimony from children who said their schools couldn't help them.

On Tuesday, the advocacy group's annual rally spread across the Capitol rotunda, where several hundred parents and children called attention to a hidden disability that affects as many as one in 10 children.

Dyslexia wasn't even recognized as a specific learning disability by the Minnesota Department of Education until 2015. Children who spoke at Tuesday's rally said they wished schools understood more.

"I wish teachers knew I am working two times harder than you think I am," said Tryg Berger, a fifth-grader from Hugo, standing at the podium and looking at the crowd. "I wish teachers knew that I am not trying to make you mad. That I am paying attention."

Tryg was among a series of children, parents and legislators who took the microphone to promote this year's legislative agenda for Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota. It includes requiring schools to boost efforts to identify kids with dyslexia, provide reading instruction that meets their needs, and prepare teachers for the task.

The children, standing on stools at the podium, shared how lonely it is to be the kid in the class who can't read, how they depend on tutors from outside the school to put them on track.

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