The Reading Center Mission

  To serve the needs of Individuals affected by language-based learning difficulties.


The Reading Center Goals 

To provide diagnostic and educational services to those who are struggling with the written aspects of English language learning such as reading & spelling 

To train teachers in appropriate educational procedures, primarily based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching written language skills 

  • To increase the public's awareness and understanding of language learning difficulties “Toward literacy for all” 

The Reading Center, established in 1951, is a non-profit organization specializing in serving adults and children who are struggling to develop language skills in reading, writing, and spelling. The number of individuals with language learning difficulties is estimated to be at least 20% of the population – making the group in need of specialized language instruction larger than the number of people struggling with vision impairments, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy combined. The Reading Center is a respected resource providing current information, referrals, individual and small group instruction, support, teacher training, consultation, scholarships and public speakers around the issue of reading disabilities and reading instruction. Just a small sampling of those who have been served by our programs includes children and adults with dyslexia, parents, school districts, psychologists, public and private school teachers, Winona State University, Mayo Clinic, Carleton College, and Olmsted County Social Services. The Reading Center is an independent, local non-profit agency.

 In 2015, the Reading Center evaluated 76 individuals for language-based learning difficulties and provided 7,344 one-on-one tutoring sessions to 161 students; 26% of our students were provided $56,357 in scholarships for services. In 2015, our Best of Basics Summer Program had 65 students who were enrolled in 84 classes, taking part in small group classes that gave them a boost before school began in the fall. The Reading Center uses the Orton-Gillingham teaching approach that has proven exceptionally effective for individuals who are struggling to learn reading, writing, and spelling skills. This model has been recommended by the National Reading Panel and the National Institute of Health.

The Reading Center offers a wide variety of services and programs: 

  •  Affordable Educational Evaluations for people of all ages to determine the nature and degree of their learning difficulties and the appropriate help needed 
  • Academic language therapy for individuals and groups; specially trained tutors provide highly effective services that help children and adults succeed and feel confident
  •  Summer school since 1994 for preschool, elementary, middle and high school students called BEST OF BASICS 
  •  Study Skills, Writing, and Math Classes for middle and high school students, and math tutoring for all ages
  •  The Gold Standards of Orton-Gillingham Training Institutes for teachers, tutors, parents, and other interested persons since 1961; graduate credit is offered through St. Mary's University University 
  •  Free Outreach Education Presentations to help parents and others become more knowledgeable about reading disabilities and the methods that help 
  •  In-service workshops and informational seminars for schools and community groups 

 •  Extensive lending library with information on dyslexia and learning difficulties 

  • Scholarship programs are available for families that cannot afford our services. 

 •  Simulation – "Walk in the Shoes of a Person with Dyslexia" provides a hands-on experience to groups about coping with learning difficulties in a classroom-like atmosphere 

  •  Year-long training for classroom teachers to teach educators how to effectively teach reading for all students

 •   On-line tutoring services for those outside of our immediate geographical area 

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