Reading Pilots – Flying High

The Cause

CanLearn has supported people with LD and ADHD for over 40 years. Recently, we have implemented a program for students who struggle to read. It has been highly successful, but now we need to ensure that we are using the most up-to-date resources. As well, we need to provide access to the program regardless of financial status.
We need access to new supplies and materials so we can use the most up-to-date methods based on the science of reading.
We need a system that encourages people to pay what they can rather than providing tuition to a few families who show need extreme need.
We need to encourage instructors to use evidence based science of reading to teach children how to read.
Reading Pilots is a 10 week, 15 hour program for struggling readers. One-on-one instruction based on best practice proves highly effective. Each child’s program is based on their learning needs. It is extremely successful! Recent parent surveys show that 98% of our students improved their understanding of the reading process, and that 85% showed increased confidence in their reading ability and 90% said that Reading Pilots met their expectations.
Parent Quotes June 2021
“When my son started in grade 2, he failed reading. We tried every day and it was just tears and frustration. At the beginning, we found Reading Pilots was expensive. We tried on our own and the school was not equipped to help. He was failing and not for lack of trying. When we met with his teacher, (it brought tears to my eyes) he loved it. He was proud to read to me the first book and he was soooo happy! It was pure joy! I thought this is worth EVERY PENNY!”
“It was hard to pay for, especially for single parents.”
Based on parents’ feedback and our own observations, we know we have a program that is highly effective for children who are struggling to read.
Unfortunately, it is not accessible to all who need it. The fees are $1500/10 week (15 hours) and we run it on a cost recovery basis. We have some contingency funding for families who cannot afford any part of the cost of tuition. But there is never enough to support everyone requesting the program; an entirely underserved group are those who have some financial resources but not enough not enough to pay for the program.
Additionally, we have limited funding for purchasing materials and access to websites that provide the most up-to-date resources and training our instructors in the most up-to-date methods.

Who Will it Benefit?

Community Literacy: a reading program that contributes to the greater community by provided up-to-date methodology so that all children have access to effective reading instruction, especially those who have struggled with learning to read.
Accessibility: Our idea is to make Reading Pilots accessible to all families who have a child struggling to read, regardless of their financial status. Now we have a system that caters to families who are wealthy and those that are almost without resources.
Adaptability: We need to adapt the program for each learner, so we need to buy the most effective new methods and technology.
Community: We will be able to provide our instructors with tools so they can use the science of reading to provide our clients with the most up-to-date evidence based methodology for teaching reading. In addition, we work closely with the other members of Calgary’s educational community. We have begun work with University of Calgary, Mount Royal University and Ambrose University by hiring some of their teacher trainees. When we have the innovative materials and supplies we require we will be able to train these students who will take the most advanced reading methods back to their courses, to their student placements and eventually to their classrooms.