Yes, I had several students who presented as non-readers. Those students are reading on grade level. Two were both non-readers. Recently classroom testing and AR shows both students made a two-three year gain in their reading abilities.
[One student who] presented reading on beginning first grade level. [He] is now reading and comprehending on third grade according to the data from AR and my classroom assessments. In teaching the silent e pattern, I was telling the student the e is a helper and it helps the vowel before it to say it's name. [He] came back the next day with a song to help us learn when a vowel is long or short. He said, "the e on the end of a word tells the vowel before it to, say your name, say your name, go long. When a vowel goes long it says it's name and not it's sound. When a vowel is between two or more guardian[s]... the vowel is guarded and can't do anything but holler for help. When that happens, the vowel is saying it's sounds."
Then I used the analogy of football and basketball to further help my students to know when a vowel is long or short. My boys demonstrated when they are guarded they are not able to shoot or throw a ball down court or in the end zone because they have a defender on their back guarding them and keeping them from going long. We decided when there are two vowels, they can go long because they are now guarded by a vowel team and the second vowel guards the first vowel and helps it go long. Next we took our learning to the books and students were prompted when they got to a word they didn't know to utilize our strategy. After the analogy, students, including my girls picked up on the analogy of how to tell when a vowel is long or short and we were off to a good super start. Students were able to properly decode words using the 5 phonetic skills, identify when a vowel is long or short, and it didn't take me long to teach students how to read; they were teaching me new ways to learn the five phonetic skills. Allowing students to contribute to their learning process was very exciting to them as well as to their teacher. We all learned together.