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Sally Thelin Works with Disadvantaged Adults and Children

by Linda Moore


Sally Thelin is a relatively new resident whose volunteer work makes a difference to the blind, the print-impaired, and dyslexic citizens in the area. A dyslexic person herself, she nevertheless attended the University of Iowa, graduating in 1970 with a Master’s degree in Speech- Language Pathology.

As a practicing speech-language pathologist, Sally also volunteered her non-work time to help children attain the basic skills needed for reading. When she moved to Durham in 2010, Sally was delighted to learn she could continue working with adults and children who needed help reading.

First, Sally quickly became a volunteer reader for the North Carolina Reading Service (NCRS), a 24/7 a week radio station for people who are blind and print-impaired. Each Monday, Sally travels to Raleigh to work with a partner to help read local newspaper stories from The News and Observer and other papers from around the state. They read into the radio microphones from noon to 1:30 p.m. Other prerecorded parts of the NCRS program also use magazines like Reader’s Digest and other printed material to enhance the knowledge and awareness of its listeners so they can take their rightful place in the active life of the community. To hear the NCRS programs, tell Alexa or Google Home, “tune in N.C. Reading Service.”

Seven years ago, Sally also became a tutor with the Children’s Literacy Project of the Triangle, which provides free, long-term, one-on-one, in-school instruction to improve the literacy skills of economically disadvantaged young children, including people with dyslexia. Children from families with means hire private tutors to help their children with reading. The Children’s Literacy Project of the Triangle enables disadvantaged children to receive the same services.

Between her continued work in the North Carolina Reading Service and in the Children’s Literacy Project of the Triangle, Sally has improved countless lives. Both organizations are seeking more volunteers.