For more than two decades, Kimberly Hudson has transformed the academic lives of thousands of students through our clinic here at The Curious Edge

Her reach is about to grow exponentially.

The Curious Edge has received part of a U.S. Department of Education grant associated with the Literacy Innovations for Neighborhoods in Kentucky (LINK) project.

The grant is designed to provide high quality literacy support and services for eight Title I school districts that face high poverty rates. The districts are Barbourville Independent, Knox County, Lee County, Lewis County, Middlesboro Independent, Owsley County and Pineville Independent

Hudson also will serve a two-year term on the LINK Advisory Board, which will provide oversight and advice to ensure that the goals of the project are fulfilled.

Under Hudson’s leadership, we will train 35 schools over a three-year period, working with teachers to help them better identify struggling students. She also is devising a curriculum that teachers can implement once they have identified struggling students.

A centerpiece of the curriculum is the Dyslexia Risk Informal Screener (DRIS), which Hudson developed and has used at The Curious Edge clinic. This screener provides educators – and even parents – with a step-by-step guide to show which letters students misidentify and the tools to help students correct the problem.

For years, Hudson has seen life-changing results in her clinic and now has the opportunity to help countless more students.

“This feels awesome to have the U.S. Department of Education recognize that we are doing good work and deserve this grant,” she said. “Not everyone can come to our clinic. Now we can reach more kids.”

Hudson can also “fill up my love bucket” – her phrase for the feeling she gets from helping students.

“So many times when we do evaluations of children, their spirit is broken. They have no confidence,” she said.

“We give them tools that not only help them read better and improve their schoolwork, but it changes them as people. A metamorphosis takes place. When they have success they say, ‘Wow. I want to do that again.’”

Written by: John Lynch