Beverly Tinsley and her Bus Stop Board Game
Beverly Tinsley is the creator of Bus Stop Board Game. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended Cincinnati Public Schools, and endured years of an undiagnosed learning disability, dyslexia. The effect of her learning disability led to social difficulties, and made life challenging for her on many levels. She is very passionate about Bus Stop Board Game, in that it provides positive reinforcement, and promotes self-esteem, education and safety to children of all ages. In her words:
My earliest recollection of my learning disability was around the age of five. I was the only sibling in a large family that encountered problems with maintaining passing grades in school. My many health complications necessitated various medications, and I had what felt to be a severe speech impediment. This caused much ridicule from family as well as friends and the entire neighborhood.
When I started school, my wonderful mother researched and discovered special educational programs for me and enrolled me in speech therapy. Thank you, Mother, for your love and devotion. My therapist worked as hard for me as I did for her. She understood that I felt stupid and how difficult it was for me when others seemed to share this opinion. My other teachers felt I was not working up to my potential and compared me to my brothers and sisters. This compounded the problem and added to my confusion. My speech therapist encouraged me to “visualize” and concentrate on each word as I strived to speak correctly. Television also helped considerably as I could mimic the words without fear of others criticizing my futile attempts.
By this time I truly hated school. I had been enrolled in special classes, which added to the label of dummy that I had affixed to myself. I had few friends and no self-esteem. I was consistently late for classes and would sneak out early. Of course, this could lead to my teachers calling my mother, and I would be punished. I was punished not for my learning disability but for my misbehavior and lack of effort. However, this is difficult for a child to perceive, and I felt I could do nothing right.
My mother tried so hard to help me to learn. At this time in Ohio not much was known about learning disabilities. My report card continued to reflect my seemingly miserable attempts to learn by conventional methods of teaching. So I was returned to the special education class – or the “class of dummies.” I wanted to drop out of this torturous madness, but my parents would not hear of it. Somehow, I graduated.
It was not until 1990 that I learned that my particular disability had a name. I was watching Oprah one day, and they were discussing dyslexia. Now that I knew what it was, I felt I could seek help. I went into therapy and continue with this therapy today.
This game has been the beginning of something very exciting for me. I have discovered a sense of myself, as well as a chance to make money.
Then I realized that if I could do something like this, surely I could help other learning disabled people. So, I devised a way of educating people with these disabilities.
Creative Minds At Work is a concept designed to help children and adults focus on constructive ideas and learn employment and entrepreneurial skills. This program works for those with or without learning disabilities. It is a hands-on learning technique that students participate in through playing games. It is an entry point for success for those who have difficulty with the conventional way of learning. I volunteer my time in the Cincinnati Public School system to work with children using this program.
I hope that children growing up in Ohio will never have to endure the rejection that I felt. Children with learning disabilities need to be diagnosed early and then receive the instruction they need to become successful learners. I am living proof that a person with a learning disability can succeed in life.