8th grader overcomes odds, learns to read - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

8th grader overcomes odds, learns to read

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 8th graders are finishing out the school year at Reynolds Elementary.

They're also moving onward and upward to high school.

For Gage Shaw, gearing up for that move was a major hurdle.

When Gage came to Reynolds in 6th grade, his teacher says he was reading at a first grade level.

"He whispered to me and he said, 'Miss Neitzke, I can't read.,'" recalls Gage's teacher Billie Sue Neitzke. "And I said, 'Gage, I know. We'll work on it.'"

Neitzke is an intervention specialist with roughly one dozens students at different grade levels who benefit from individualized attention.

"Well, the first day I came into school, she wanted us to shake her hand," Gage remembers. "I didn't know she wanted me to shake her hand, so I gave her a hug instead"

That special bond carried Gage and Ms. Neitzke all the way to Wednesday's 8th grade graduation, where Gage finished his final quarter with all As.

Now the 14-year-old is reading above a fourth grade level and headed off to high school with a certificate of completion and a newfound confidence.

"I feel good about it," says Gage. "I just don't want to leave my teacher because she's helped me so much."

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