One day, The ReadEasy will be a center for struggling and dyslexic readers in the Lawndale area. For now, I am offering private tutoring in Chicago.
After working for a full three years at an intensive reading clinic, I sat down on the bank of Legend Lake in Keshena, Wisconsin and had an epiphany. For an entire summer, I had been the Office Manager of the Oak Park branch of this reading clinic and had countless conversations with desperate parents looking for a remediating program for their struggling or dyslexic reader. I listened as they described how their child was one, two, three years behind, was refusing to read and dreaded going to school. Some of these parents, who lived in Oak Park or River Forest, then found a sanctuary at our clinic, and were able to pay the more than $2,000 a week to teach their child to read. For these children, I could see how well the program worked—children came in unable to read the word “kite” and left eight or so weeks later reading close to grade level. It seemingly worked miracles.
While I felt the joy in watching these children learn that they too could succeed, there was a part of me that was extremely conflicted. The part that had those conversations with parents who would hear the price and hang up. While this program could work wonders, it was only working wonders for a singular community: affluent families with determination and transportation, or families who had the wherewithal and the lawyer to convince the school district to pay. Crazy.
My epiphany was this: Quality intensive reading instruction should be available to all, regardless of the ability to pay extraordinary amounts of money. I believe that literacy is not only a goal to be attained, but a right for all. I believe that every child, provided the right environment and program, can learn to read. I believe that the best learning is fun and engaging, and done in a safe space. Thus, The ReadEasy was born.
The ReadEasy will start as a reading summer camp in Chicago, providing intensive 1 on 1 instruction. Tutors will be hired from the community. Students and parents will have the ability to craft a schedule that works for them. After all, reading can only be improved if attendance is achievable and consistent. As I know reading and learning are always more fun when the motivation is palpable, there will be nooks, crannies, and mysteries all around the center. There will be a different password everyday. There will be secrets hidden and new words to be discovered. There will be joy and fun and determination. That’s the dream.
I will keep this page updated as new developments arise. I am currently finishing my first summer running a small reading program in Lawndale out of Harmony Community Church, and I have learned a lot about what it takes to be at the helm of a ship full of struggling, determined, and busy students. Feel free to contact me at any time with questions, and check out the site blog. I cannot wait to share my knowledge and enthusiasm with Chicago.