ORTON NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR TEACHERS
Purpose: The purpose of this fund is to provide the best available reading instruction training to any teacher that wants it and to eliminate the tuition expense for that training. Boon teacher scholarships provide training in research-based, multi-sensory methods aligned with National Reading Panel recommendations. Our designated training grantees are the finest in America: Academy of Orton-Gillingham Approach, (AOGPE), the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council, (IMSLEC), the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA) and the Wilson Language Training Non-profit partners. Teachers that use these methods will increase grade level proficiency significantly for all students in Grades 1-12. (learning to read)
Training: 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 25 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.
Rationale: 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, research involving thousands of students that proves validity of explicit reading instruction. Meanwhile, 66% of children fail to reach grade-level proficiency in reading. If we increase the number of teachers that are able to teach with explicit, structured, multi-sensory reading methods, we can increase the number of students that reach grade-proficient reading while in school.
Grant Experimentation: Boon’s core-funders have seed-funded organizations in five states across the country, training teachers who will reach thousands of 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.