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FUNDS > Orton National Scholarship Fund For Teachers

The purpose of this fund is to provide the best available literacy instruction training to any public school teacher that wants it and to eliminate the tuition expense for that training. Our teacher scholarships provide free training in research-based, multi-sensory methods aligned with National Reading Panel recommendations, Academy of Orton-Gillingham Approach, (AOGPE), the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council, (IMSLEC), and Wilson Language Training. Teachers that use these methods will increase grade level proficiency significantly for all students in Grades 1-12. (learning to read)

Our scholarship training is delivered outside of the systemic approach to teacher preparation, through a nation-wide network of well-established and independent, 501(c)3 learning centers (currently, in 17 states) that have practical and clinical experience in training teachers. These same centers successfully teach reading to individual children whom the school system has failed; their instruction methods have proven effective over many decades.

By funding teacher training scholarships at independent learning centers, we steer clear of an education system that fails at the college and graduate school levels to offer substantive courses in explicit literacy instruction. Adding to the challenge, most state teacher certification procedures overlook this training requirement, and on-the-job professional development in reading instruction is either unavailable or too expensive.

For decades, a divisive debate on the best way to teach reading has continued, despite both the best efforts of concerned educators and leaders, and the publicly funded, evidence-based research involving tens of thousands of students that proves validity of explicit reading instruction. Meanwhile, 68% of 8 year-old children fail to reach grade-level proficiency in reading. If we increase the number of teachers that are certified to teach with explicit, multi-sensory literacy methods, we can increase the number of students that reach grade-proficient reading by 4th grade. That group of teachers has the greatest impact on student reading performance in school and for a lifetime. But we must also train teachers in Grades 4-12, because many students require teachers that can help them recover and reach grade proficient reading by graduation.

Boon’s core-funders have seed-funded organizations in five states across the country, training teachers who will reach 600,000 children during the course of their teaching careers. A larger scholarship fund will help us increase these numbers exponentially. We cannot rely on government or the education system to provide the necessary teacher training to alleviate and ultimately eliminate the reading crisis.