It's the most important part of education: reading.Last week, resource-room teachers from The Lutheran Schools were trained in the Orton Gillingham system. Not a curriculum per se, the Orton Gillingham instructional program provides the needed resources for students of all abilities and ages to gain needed strategies for reading. Orton Gillingham is seen by many as the premier methodology for reading instruction ... and our resource-room teachers have the skills now to use it.How did this happen? Our resource-room teachers were aware of money available from Fort Wayne Community Schools for APC (annual pupil count) of Individual Education Program students. Our teachers chose to use this money for Orton Gillingham training, and thanks to the partnership between The Lutheran Schools Partnership (TLSP) and Lutheran Special Education Ministry (LSEM), training was set up and delivered in the TLSP offices.Many of our schools have had a relationship with LSEM for years. LSEM has a long history of serving children and families. It began as the Lutheran School for the Deaf back in 1873, and for more than a century, LSEM served as a residential school for children who were deaf. But when needs changed, LSEM changed. Renamed Lutheran Special Education Ministries in 1990, LSEM now provides program and services for Lutheran and other Christian-denomination churches and schools throughout the United States.Kara Bratton is one of two national directors from LSEM. Some of you may know her as Kara Frincke, daughter of retired pastor of Concordia on Lake, Karl Frincke. Kara is a graduate of Concordia Lutheran High School and Valparaiso University, and she has 13 years of experience as a Lutheran educator. LSEM has provided an opportunity for Kara to serve the church and help children as a teacher, and now as a resource for teachers. LSEM has provided opportunities for her to grow, and for her resource teachers to grow.Kara enjoys the relationship with our Lutheran schools and is quick to share the TLSP advantage. Besides the networking opportunities that TLSP provides for staff of area Lutheran schools, Kara sees the value of TLSP as it utilizes national expertise, making Lutheran schools stronger and raising awareness of the strength of Lutheran schools.An example of this is Zion Lutheran Church and LSEM's recent endeavor of providing support to the students and families of the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy. Starting on August 25, the collaboration of LSEM's ICAN program, new staff, and Zion Lutheran Church members is providing reading and math instruction for students and reaching out to the families with education and Christian nurture. This is just another example of the ministry supported by TLSP, a ministry that is helping Lutheran school ministry strive for excellence in the 21st century.To learn more about LSEM, check out its website athttp://www.luthsped.org/.