Saudi Arabian students with learning disabilities spend the summer at PRIDE Learning Center in Newport Beach, California.
PRIDE Learning Center is a very successful tutoring program in Southern California that for 10 years now has helped thousands of struggling students from all over the world learn to read using the Orton-Gillingham approach. This approach is highly effective for children with reading disabilities, dyslexia, auditory and visual processing disorders and speech delays.
This multisensory program involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language.
The results have been impressive. On average, after approximately 100 hours of Orton-Gillingham instruction, students increase their reading levels by one to two entire grade levels.
Created in 2005 by reading specialist Karina Richland, the organization has expanded from one single location in Los Angeles to 4 learning centers in Orange County, California and numerous locations in private and public school sites. “Our big goal every year is to keep expanding,” says Richland. “People keep asking me if I like what I do. Providing help for students who need it the most and while also running a thriving business – what is there not to like?”
This one-on-one specialized instruction does not come cheap. Each program, which runs 3 hours a day for five days a week, costs approximately $1050 per week. However, it is almost impossible to argue with success. How else would PRIDE Learning Center attract students from places such as Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Japan and India, places where there is no such kind of specialized instruction, to attend the PRIDE program.
“We have numerous families from Saudi Arabia attend PRIDE every summer at our Newport Beach location,” states Center Director Tamison Andersen. “These families that come to us really appreciate the program and are so grateful for the improvement in their children’s reading abilities.”
In spite of the intensive learning environment, the teachers and staff at PRIDE make the summer sessions fun. “During break time we play games and the children run around the room playing hot potato and headbands. Many of our Saudi Arabian families sign up for a few weeks and then end up staying all summer long,” says Andersen.