2023 Podcast (All Newsroom Sizes) Winners

Ave Carrillo, Christopher Werth, Stephen Rex Brown, Clayton Guse, Jessica Gould & Gina Vosti, WNYC & Gothamist

About the Winners:

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has made teaching public school children to read – and particularly children with dyslexia – his signature educational initiative, promising a total transformation in literacy instruction, dyslexia screenings and pilot programs. He’s promised to upend a system rife with inequity that has failed students with learning disabilities for decades.

But for now, those problems persist. While families with resources and connections often fight the system and seek to be served outside of it, children from low-income families continue to fall through the cracks. For these kids, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Without specialized instruction and support, their chances of dropping out – and even being incarcerated – spike dramatically.

To illustrate this problem, Jessica Gould spent seven months speaking with 8-year-old Matthew Green and his devoted grandmother, Trenace, as they navigated this deeply unequal landscape. Jessica spoke with Trenace right after she learned Matthew had been diagnosed with dyslexia and followed her as she navigated what she described as an “alternative universe” of neuropsychologists, lawyers, consultants and private schools. 

Comments From the Judges:

“Compelling look at one of the biggest challenges facing public education today – inadequate or improper reading instruction and the income-related inequities facing students with the greatest difficulties learning to read. Jessica does an excellent job of getting to the bottom of one boy’s difficulties, his family’s struggle for solutions and the systemic barriers involved.”

“Dyslexia in NYC ep 1 – starts brilliantly. Good voices, well mixed. The premise by itself is more than compelling, given that dyslexia is among the most widely known educational ‘disabilities’ that is diagnosable and manageable. Yes, the grandmother’s (Trenace) story is emotional and honest. She’s almost in tears. I’m almost in tears. Good use of music (drums) as emphasis, as opposed to using it for emotional manipulation.”

Photo credits: Gothamist; Courtesy of Trenace Green; Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office