About Us

Tutoring and Teaching Reading is Personal

Is there evidence that your child is struggling to read? Even though your child may be in the 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th grade or higher, she or he may continue to struggle with reading, especially since reading becomes more challenging as students progress to each higher grade level. According to Shaywitz (2002), there are several indicators that a student is struggling with reading, is at-risk for reading difficulties or has a specific reading disorder such as dyslexia.

“Reading problems do not go away or become less pervasive as students who struggle with reading get older and move from grade-to-grade.” As reading difficulties persist and become more severe, secondary reading problems may develop as academic grade level reading becomes more difficult.

As a middle school teacher from 1998-2002, I realized that at the beginning of each school year over 30% to 35% of my 6th, 7th and 8th grade students struggled with various components of reading which affected their reading comprehension of texts for their grade level.

My students were not fluent readers because they were below proficient in one or more of the foundational skills of reading. Many of my students struggled with some or several aspects of language, to a greater or lesser degree.

Limited or inadequately learned literacy skills further compound reading comprehension and reduce language proficiency. Grade level reading skills for preadolescent and adolescent-age students requires knowledge of reading strategies and when to use them, wide-reading for background knowledge and well-developed foundational skills for:

  • Decoding multi-syllable words
  • Knowledge of word parts (prefixes, suffixes, base word and word origins) for vocabulary comprehension
  • Fluency for reading accuracy
  • Fluid reading and prosody to read at a rate quickly enough to gain understanding of what they were reading
  • The ability to form concepts and reason learn from what they have read (critically think to create questions or solve problems)
  • Learning to Read to Learn

Is there evidence that your child is struggling to read?

Even though your child may be in the 4th, 6th, 9th or 10th grade she or he may continue to struggle with reading, especially since reading becomes more challenging as a student progresses to each higher grade level. According to Shaywitz (2002), there are several indicators that a student is struggling with reading, is at-risk for reading difficulties or has a specific reading disorder such as dyslexia.

As a result of my students’ difficulties in one or more of these critical areas, I opened my first Learning Center in 1994 to provide individualized reading and math intervention to students with:

  • Specific Reading Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities affecting Reading and Math
  • Students whose background put them at-risk for becoming proficient readers

I began my mission to help struggling readers when I realized my students had been passed to each successive grade despite their poor reading. These students lacked the foundation reading skills necessary to decode and blend sounds to read multi-syllable words, read phrases and sentences fluently and comprehend and retell basic grade level story events.

Since the initiation of my programs, my mission has been to provide specialized intervention tutoring in reading and math, specific to the needs of each student. Although many students benefit from individualized tutoring, individualized tutoring that is delivered from the tutor to the student but does follow a research-based instructional approach, may not be appropriate best practice for the age and grade of the student. Reading and literacy instruction should reduce secondary reading problems, close the literacy and achievement gap and teach students to “read to learn”.

After 20 years of teaching, tutoring and providing learning solutions to students and their parents, I can confidently state that “reading problems do not go away or become less pervasive as students who struggle with reading get older and move from grade-to-grade.” In fact, reading difficulties persist and become more severe as academic grade level expectations change, reading and learning assignments become more rigorous and reading requirements per class/subject area increase. All of these factors compound negative emotions of frustration and lower motivation of students who are challenged by reading their grade-level textbooks.

Many students with moderate to severe reading and learning disabilities do not improve significantly in small groups, and may not improve at all in a large class size of 15 to 26 students, as the teacher must still provide instruction to the remaining students outside of the small group.

In most educational settings, small group instruction does not produce the greatest gains in academic achievement due to many variables.

  • The number of students within one classroom with varying learning abilities
  • The number of students who must receive differentiated instruction within the same classroom
  • The time involved administering assessments and monitoring progress for each student
  • The cost of providing additional professional support and specialists to teach small-group intervention

According to Shaywitz (2002), there are several indicators that a student is struggling with reading, is at-risk for reading difficulties, or has a specific reading disorder such as dyslexia. Some of the following are symptoms typical of students who have specific phonological (sound-symbol) weaknesses:

  • Reading that is slow and difficult, choppy or hesitant with words left out or other words substituted
  • Mispronunciations, confusions, misarticulations, or talking around words
  • Spelling is poor and primarily phonetic — handwriting, poor grades and test scores are affected by reading difficulties
  • A family or genetic predisposition to reading difficulties
  • Self-esteem and embarrassment is noticed when oral reading is required
  • Avoids speaking or reading  in front of the class or social groups
  • Motivation is reduced because reading is a struggle and learning seems difficult

If your child evidences one or more of the following problems, he or she may be at-risk for reading problems or have a specific reading disorder which is phonologically based.

According to current research, “dyslexia is both prevalent and widespread.” It is the most common subtype of learning difference, with a prevalence ranging from five to ten percent to fifteen (Roongpraiwan, et. al., 2002) to twenty percent (Shaywitz, 2003).

If your child requires reading intervention, you have probably been considering a number of options. There are several advantages that set GiftedApples Literacy and eLearning apart from other tutoring providers.

You will be enlightened to learn about the advantages, benefits and differences between a traditional tutoring program and a literacy school. Our intervention options follow research-based Response to Intervention principles and balanced literacy instruction. Our Intervention is designed to provide intensive reading literacy intervention to older readers with and without identified specific learning disabilities.

  1. GiftedApples offers several Intervention Options for grade 4-12 preadolescent and adolescent learners with moderate to severe Specific Reading Problems, English Language Learners and Adult Literacy Learners
  2. Our intervention and instructional methods are modeled after the research-based Response-to-Intervention (RtI) framework, and scientifically-based instructional approaches approved by What Works Clearinghouse, a national organization that collects, screens, and identifies studies of effectiveness of educational interventions programs, products, practices, and policies.
  3. GiftedApples Adaptive© learning programs provide continuous instruction and assessment through a computer system which adapts to your child’s increase in knowledge or need for additional learning.
  4. Your child’s tutor or interventionist will provide explicit and specialized instruction to develop foundational skills and conceptual-thinking which aligns with your online Adaptive© course.

Response-to-Intervention Diagram

  1. All Learning Options and Online Learning Programs are planned to provide “Balanced Structured” intervention which incorporates the following three components:
    • Sound and word decoding, vocabulary development
    • Fluent, accurate and close reading of information
    • Comprehension, retention and recall of test concepts

Language Comprehension Ven Diagram

  1. We provide a Premiere online learning platform for our students and adult learners with specific learning needs.
  2. Our online digital learning curriculum aligns with state and district best practices and standards.
  3. Every learning program is designed for your child’s specific reading, math and writing ability.
  4. Hybrid instructional online sessions as well as one-to-one, real time intervention is provided throughout your child’s learning program.
  5. Your child’s online course may be scheduled during the intervention session to provide supportive learning which aligns with the session learning objectives.
  6. Your child will receive instruction in real time in our virtual classroom while logged into their digital online course.
  7. You will be able to logon to your Online course 24 hours a week and continue with your coursework, complete assignments, be prepared for the next scheduled sessions or just read for enjoyment.

At GiftedApples, we look forward to meeting you and your child.

Call 216.820.3800 or 216.860.4399
Email GiftedApples@gmail.com for details about our Literacy Intervention programs.

Sincerely in Reading,

Loretta J. Farmer-Harvin, Principal

Your Child Deserves to Be A Great Reader
WE TEACH STUDENTS TO READ TO LEARN

Call 216.820.3800 or 216.860.4399

Apples Literacy Advance Reading and Math Academy 4-12  is a 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Organization

Our goal is to provide intensive literacy instruction to preadolescent and adolescent students who require specialized intervention in reading and math. We support post-high school Adult Literacy education.

References:

Roongpraiwan, R., Roongpraiwan, N., Visudhiphan, P. & Santikul, K. (2002). Prevalence and clinical characteristics of dyslexia in primary school students. J. Med. Assoc. Thai., 85(4), pp.1097-1103.
Retrieved February 15, 2016 from: http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/primerondyslexia.htm

Shaywitz, S. E. (2003). Overcoming Dyslexia. Random House Inc., NY.

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Associations and Memberships

International Reading Association

National Council of Teachers of English

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics