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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Learnup Centers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: We are on a mission to teach all kids to read.

Results: The average LearnUp student learns to read in three to four months, and jumps TWO grade levels in reading.

Target demographics: kids learn to read.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 113 kids learn to read

Geographic areas served: after school programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally (online)

Programs: - high-quality virtual tutoring - tutoring at after school programs in under-resourced communities - training teachers with our curriculum

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

By mid first grade, my grandson was not able to read, although he was in a private school with excellent teachers. In addition, the school recommended a reading tutor, but very little, if any progress, was being made. Fortunately the family knew of Steve Hagler and his work at LearnUp Centers. We contacted the organization, and LearnUp confirmed that our grandson is dyslexic, and he was immediately enrolled in LearnUp's program. He didn't mind the program at all; in fact he loved his tutor and looked forward to working with her. After a frustrating and disappointing experience at school, he was reading above his grade level in only three months.
He is in fourth grade now, and recently, when we were hiking together he mentioned that he loves the Percy Jackson series, a young adult fantasy series. He told me many of his friends have read the entire series, and now he can read it too.
Vicki B.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am dyslexic. My daughter is dyslexic. So it was no surprise that her son, my grandson ,was dyslexic. He was diagnosed in first grade. We turned to Learnup for help. In about half the time it takes other programs to address this challenge, Learnup had him reading at grade level. He now enjoys reading and takes pride in sharing what he he is reading. Learnup is responsible for this and I am deeply grateful.
Hal C

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with LearnUp since the beginning of COVID. I tutor young children experiencing homelessness online. The initial programming was very helpful and thorough. They have continued to provide excellent support and access through additional seminars and drop in sessions. I receive weekly updates and reminders to provide me with whatever I might need to best serve my students. LearnUp has been an amazing organization to work with and has enhanced my ability to provide my students with excellent methods and materials for learning. Rosemary Shinbane, tutor for School On Wheels/Los Angeles CA

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Learnup has helped me to provide my students with the support they need in an efficient and effective way. The program offers chapter books that are phonemically aligned to the lessons I'm teaching! This is one of my favorite aspects of the program along with the syllable work using nonsense words. The program is also tailored to individual needs allowing me the ability to further customize my lesson plan for each student. As Steve Tatum says - "As fast as you can and as slow as you must." A first grade student I worked with last year knew a handful of sounds. By the end of first grade she was reading 30 words per minute. Without this program and the emphasis placed on reading for half of our time together I do know she would not have improved this much! I had been working with a 5th and 6th grader with another program and started them on Learnups program and watched their decoding, understanding of decoding and reading comprehension improve faster than in the year before. I have been working individually with students for 20 years and I really do see the difference this program makes and I highly recommend them. Pam Mazurkiewicz

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for finding LearnUp as it has helped our community greatly. As a literacy based speech language pathologist, I have seen this program help children gain 3 years of reading levels in 1 year of time. LearnUp has helped me with teaching reading to older children and adults when all other programs have failed them. I am very thankful to have found this amazing organization.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Learn Up Centers training I participated in has been the single most influential professional development that I have been a part of as a teacher. I am a 3rd grade teacher and the techniques I learned for teaching reading has transformed the way I teach my students. It gave me so much background knowledge about the English language that made me more prepared to teach. Moreover, the easy to “connect to” ways of explaining spelling rules has made my phonics curriculum more accessible to my special needs students. They are more able to hold onto the rules and apply them using the unique stories that are infused into the techniques. My students are moving up so quickly (like I never experienced before). I have had so many inquiries from other teachers, ESL teachers, and special ed teachers when they see me using the techniques I learned from Learn Up! I absolutely love sharing my new found knowledge and helping other teachers implement the techniques. Thank you Learn Up for making me the best reading teacher I can be! I am forever grateful.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My son was a LearnUp client in first grade, when he was tested at a Kindergarten reading level. After going through a full tutoring series with LearnUp after school, he has been at grade level reading ever since and is now reading books for pleasure in fourth grade.

We have a history of dyslexia in my family. My son had been receiving supplemental reading help at school, but we needed extra help. Our LearnUp tutor was very kind and was a great fit for my son. I was so impressed with how quickly he was helped - in half the time of other programs we looked at - that I've been serving on the Board of LearnUp. I recommend them highly!

-Russell H.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family is deeply grateful to Learn Up for teaching our son to read. Our son was enrolled in a French/English bilingual school and he did not meet grade level in English reading at the end of 1st grade. A pediatric vision specialist ruled out a vision issue and recommended intensive tutoring.

From the first time I connected with Steve Hagler to schedule an evaluation, I felt like I had found the right solution for our son. There was almost no wait for an evaluation and in less than an hour Steve Tattum outlined the areas where our son needed additional help. Dyslexia evaluations can be emotionally challenging for kids but Steve T. was able to evaluate our son without incurring any stress on him. Our son completed the program and has been able to maintain grade level in English ever since, despite having been diagnosed in 3rd grade as dyslexic.

From my perspective, there are four components of the program that contribute to its success:
- A mission-driven approach. The commitment of LearnUp's staff to teaching more kids to read is palpable.
- Well-trained, empathetic tutors. It was magical that our tutors could keep our son's attention during the tutoring sessions and inspire him to practice at home.
- Approach that tracks reading fluency and inspires kids to consolidate learnings through repetition. Daily measurement of words per minute allows parents, kids and tutors to see progress, which inspires commitment to the daily practice.
- Coordinated reading material and phonics lessons. Steve Tattum's "books" are targeted at children and staged so that during reading practice, kids only practice concepts that they have covered with their tutor. The result was a far less frustrating reading experience than we had encountered with commercial "early reader books."

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the good fortune to attend Learnup Center's FREE tutor training program in March of 2020. As the parent of a son with dyslexia and as someone who had taken 60 hours of Orton-Gillingham training, I was amazed by the depth of knowledge of Steve Tattum, trainer and founder. Even though I had already taken OG training, I learned so much from Steve's approach and philosophy. He has consolidated his decades of experience in teaching kids to read and developed a thorough, streamlined reading program based on the science of reading. His program moves at a rapid base without neglecting the fundamentals. Students who attend the LearnUp Center make great strides and the tutors they train are able to help so many learners!

1 Kylie Grant F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our mixed dyslexic 9 year olds could read about ten words when we started Learn Up. After 33 hours , she advanced from Pre-k level to Grade 1. If you consider the significance of that
Advance, it is mind blowing. Public school special Ed does not have the ability to teach a true dyslexic child how to read. Learn Up does and it’s faster than other programs out there.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am amazed at how quickly I was able to learn the techniques to improve my tutoring skills for reading! I have already helped 11 students progress and increase their self-esteem! This program is a concentrated culmination of the best parts of many of the great reading programs! And, it works quicker than other programs!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a middle school teacher, I especially appreciate the need for not only effective but responsive reading programs for students who have struggled or are struggling to keep up with grade-level expectations. LearnUp's phonetic-based approach is solid, and they meet students where they are. They focus on books...!!!...and the joy of picking up something you want to read. I particularly love hearing from kids who find enjoyment and happiness and classroom confidence because of their work in LearnUp. That is KEY. LearnUp's commitment to equity is very impressive - they provide a good and inclusive opportunity for all readers who need help with scholarships and after-school neighborhood club programs - they partner with Boys&Girls Club in SF, btw.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A one of a kind non-profit! My nine year old son has always struggled with reading and I wish that I knew about Learnup Center years ago. Tutoring is incredibly expensive, but Learnup offers an efficient program for helping our young readers progress quickly. I love that they provide financial support for deserving kiddos. I didn't know that such an organization existed. Thank you, Learnup team, for all that do!