Minnesota will soon have its own chapter of “The Reading League”.

Excitement is all around. Please join The Reading League Minnesota’s inaugural board and Andrea Setmeyer, National Chapter Coordinator of The Reading League, to hear about the upcoming launch of The Reading League MN. Registrar at https://bit.ly/TRLMNinfo; this is a live event and will not be recorded. If you can’t attend and would like more information, please email Deb Dwyer [email protected] or Sarah Carlson-Wallrath [email protected].


This website only offers information about resources, it is not a referral or endorsement of any particular provider, nor does it make any recommendation or representation about the ability, quality or competence of the resource providers listed here. Use of this website implies consent to this disclaimer. 

Links to other OG & Barton Tutors by State/Province:

  • Alabama
    • Auburn – Cora Connelly, M.Ed., A/OGA, Master’s Level Barton
  • Alberta, Canada
    • Edmonton – Diana Sabados Online Barton tutor with teaching background and mother of two dyslexic children
  • Arizona
    • Cave Creek/Phoenix/ScottsdaleJane Gramenz MA Teaching, BA Psychology, Licensed Teacher, Certified Masters Barton Tutor, Advocate, Consultant. In person & on-line services available.
    • Maricopa – Sherry Wootan, Advanced Certified Barton
  • California
    • Rancho Cucamonga – Michele Fairchild Advanced Certified Barton tutor and Equipping Minds Tutor. Online remote tutoring.
    • San Clemente – Kelly Christian– Reading and Spelling Tutor. Vantage Point Tutoring – Equipping Dyslexic Learners for a Bright Future.
  • Colorado
    • Boulder – Deborah Kratovil, Owner
    • Castle Rock – Ann Mitchell MAED, Certified Orton-Gillingham Methodology Online
    • Centennial – Melissa Bailey Reading Interventionist, Certified Teacher Grades K-6. Over 25 years of experience teaching reading and language arts. Trained OG and Barton Reading & Spelling Program. Remote over Zoom.
    • Greeley – Sue Bridgman – Founder/Executive Director of Bridging the Gaps Dyslexia Center, a nonprofit (501c3) organization.
    • Highlands Ranch – Donna Duffy, M.Ed, retired teacher with over 25 years of teaching experience. Reading With Success, LLC.
    • (no city) – Breeanna Murphy M.Ed. Literacy, LETRS certified, dyslexia advocate, IMSE trained comprehensive & morphology, Orton-Gillingham tutor. Virtual Tutoring.
  • Florida
    • Land O’ Lakes – Jen Opitz Owner/ Reading Specialist/OG Tutor
    • Tampa – Helena Svanstrom – Master Level Certification in Barton Reading and Spelling System – 8 years of experience
  • Georgia
    • Atlanta – Ladder Learning Services, Online Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia tutoring services
    • Atlanta – Holly Justice, OG Certified, SWI, Advocacy, Barton
    • Atlanta – Lauren Hammond, M.Ed., Special Education Consultant, Barton Tutor, Multisensory Math Tutor
    • Dublin – Brianna Preston, Eureka Reading Services, Certified Dyslexia Specialist. One-on-one dyslexia therapy and reading intervention.
  • Hawai’i
    • Kailua – Emily Laidlaw, Providing help to parents and educators.
  • Iowa
    • Williamsburg – Mindy VanZuiden certified Dyslexia Specialist providing Barton, Foundation in Sounds, IEW, HWT, and LIPS
  • Massachusetts
    • Holland (virtual only) – Mary C. Scannell M.Ed., Barton Tutor, Reading Specialist/Diagnostician & English Teacher. Virtual Educational Assessments, Reading Interventions & Advanced Writing Instruction
  • Michigan
    • Linden – Lisa Barnett, BA Special Education, SWI Tutor and Coach
    • Midland – Leane Priest, Transformation Reading, Barton Spelling and Reading, Dyslexia
  • Minnesota
    • White Bear Township – Evelyn Haselmann, Barton Trainer, Tutor, Consultant, The 20% Club.
  • Missouri
    • St. Louis – Jillian Miesen, reading specialist
    • St. Louis – Robin Boda, Executive Director / Dyslexia Consultant. Helping students who struggle in the typical classroom make sense of learning.
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
    • Raleigh – Lisa Durham BS Special Education, Advanced Barton Certification
    • WilmingtonApril Coggins Dyslexia Specialist. Nationwide Reading Dyslexia Tutor.
  • Ohio
  • Saskatchewan, Canada
    • Regina – Ellen MacPherson – Reading and Spelling Tutor. Online and in person instruction available. Programming available: Barton Reading and Spelling System, LiPS, SPIRE, Equipped for Reading Success.
  • South Carolina
    • Mount Pleasant – Charlene Morgan A/AOGPE, MAT Ed., Orton-Gillingham reading and writing academic therapy along with Multisensory math tutoring.
  • Virginia
    • Loudon County – Kelly Rogan, M.Ed- Literacy Specialist / OG & Barton trained. We specialize in supporting students with Dyslexia, ADHD, & Executive Functioning.
  • Washington
    • Seattle (virtual only) – Erin Daniels, Orton Gillingham and Multisensory Math tutor. Erin tutors virtually, working with students across the US and beyond.
  • Wisconsin
    • Milwaukee – Paula Stone, CALP
    • Wausau – Dana Glaser, Speech-Language Pathologist and Orton-Gillingham tutor

Other Resources:


With the beginning of the New Year, many are looking for an uneventful year in 2021.  However, the fallout of the Covid 19 pandemic needs us to look carefully at the reading progress of students. In order to close the reading gap, regardless of how it happened, we need to shift our focus on reading instruction that follows the Science of Reading. But what is the Science of Reading?

The Science of Reading is a body of scientific research that reaches across interdisciplinary teams and studies how reading and writing, which are complex human behaviors that are impacted by biological markers, are learned. The research has occurred over almost a century and continues to evolve around the world and the U.S.  The research should inform teaching practices to help all students, and especially those that are struggling.  Dr. Louisa Moats states “The body of work referred to as the ‘science of reading’ is not an ideology, a philosophy, a political agenda, a one-size-fits-all approach, a program of instruction, nor a specific component of instruction.”

If you want to learn more about the Science of Reading, consider joining one of the numerous Facebook pages.

‘Minnesota’s Science of Reading – What I should have learned in college’ which focuses on educators.

‘Science of Reading (SOR) Parents’ Group’ which is directed toward parents.

The ‘Science of Reading – Kindergarten/First Grade Discussion Group’ for Kindergarten & 1st-grade teachers,

or any of those managed by “The Reading League”, a non-profit organization out of NY.


Be healthy, happy, and at peace.

Success in Online Learning

       These past few weeks have looked considerably different than at the beginning of the school year. Tutoring Duluth has spent the week doing on-line tutoring sessions with much better success than we even hoped for. We have great families and students with tremendous patience, as we all learn new skills.  The students have been fantastic!!!  If your child had a tutoring session with us this week, we would like to have an end of the week treat bag on the front porch. For those in the neighborhood, it can be a great reason to get outside and walk to get it. If your child will be stopping by, please text us at 218-340-7393, so we can prepare a treat bag. Take the brown bag with your name on it and ring the bell as a signal that you’ve been here. Each treat bag will have a name on it, so please only touch those with your name. Thanks for your support over this challenging time.

We are attempting to post interesting activities, blogs, and video links on Tutoring Duluth’s facebook page daily for families for both parents and students.

~ May we all be safe ~

~ May we all be healthy ~

~ May we all be happy ~

~ May we all be safe. ~


Duluth Community Education Opportunities

Mondays in January and February 2020

Space will be limited

DYSLEXIA SIMULATION Jan 27 – An opportunity to glimpse into a struggling student’s classroom experience  

Researchers estimate that in every student body population 5% of students struggle with dyscalculia, up to 6-10% struggle with dyspraxia, 12-17% struggle with dyslexia and up to 20% struggle with dysgraphia.  After the simulation, we will discuss how it impacts school and learning for children.


DYSLEXIA  – Feb 3 –  Understanding the brain functions behind dyslexia, difficulty with reading, and what remediation should look like. 

Dyslexia impacts approximately 12-17% of students along a continuum. The discussion includes learning strategies, remediation vs accommodations, social/emotional impact, assessments, 504 vs IEPs, and student empowerment.

DYSGRAPHIA Feb 10 – Understanding the brain functions behind dysgraphia, the difficulty with handwriting and the final written product, and remediation.  

Dysgraphia is often, but not always, a co-existing condition.  We will discuss signs of dysgraphia, potential direct, explicit, systematic instruction, and possible accommodations. Brief information about dyspraxia and the role it may be playing. 

DYSCALCULIA & DYSPRAXIAFeb  24 – Understanding the brain functions behind dyscalculia, difficulty with math, and what remediation should look like.  

Dyspraxia is a common disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination. Dyspraxia / Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is often regarded as an umbrella term to cover motor coordination difficulties which impact overall planning and carrying out of movements in the right order in everyday situations. Dyspraxia often coexists with the other ‘dys’s’.

Writing – Throwing the Child in the Deep End of the Pool

I loved so much of what Dr. Selznick said in the piece below.

“Let’s say you have a little child, perhaps five or six years of age.  He doesn’t know how to swim, so you decide it’s time to give him lessons.  What if the swim instructor said something like, “You know we have strict standards for six year olds and we have determined that they need to start swimming in the six foot water instead of the shallow end of the pool.”  You would probably be heading for the exit as fast as you possibly can.

Let’s switch to a different activity – writing.  Take young Franklin, age six, a first grade student who is showing signs of early struggling.  Franklin knows a small number of sight words and he can write his name.  In a somewhat discernible scribble, Frankin can write letters from A – Z.   (Well, maybe he misses a couple of letters.)

On a recent report card, here’s what Franklin’s teacher stated about his writing:

Franklin requires adult assistance completing various writing tasks including writing narratives and informational texts.”

Narratives?  Informational text?

Franklin could no sooner write, “I got a new puppy” or “We went to the zoo,” then put together a narrative.

What am I missing here?  Why talk about narrative text when the child is in the equivalent of the three-foot water of the pool?  Wouldn’t a better point on the report card say something like, “We are targeting Franklin’s awareness of simple sentences.”

To borrow another image, before playing pieces of music you need to learn how to play simple notes and simple chords.  The same is true of writing.  Before asking a child to write narratives or journals asking for connected information, he needs to master very simple sentences.

Increasingly,  I am seeing children (especially the boys)  who haven’t the foggiest idea how to express themselves in writing.   They have no sense of sentence awareness or paragraph structure.  The simple fact is that asking them to write a paragraph and to perform open-ended writing tasks such as “Write about your weekend,” may simply be too much.  Asking them to do so is misguided, placing them in situations of sheer frustration.

Takeaway Point:

Keep talking to the teacher.  Let her know that your child can’t do what he is being asked.  Help to get him out of the deep end as quickly as possible.”

You can find the original article at

Struggling writers

As always Dr. Richard Selznick has some important ideas, this time about struggling writers.  Here is his recent blog.

Open-Ended writing is usually not difficult for children on the “smooth road,”  the ones without the myriad of variables leading to school struggling.

For the “Smooth-Roaders” their sentences are complete and varied in style.    There is flow to their written stories generated and logic in their paragraphs.

With open-ended writing, children are given some type of prompt, such as, “write about your favorite trip,” or “write about your weekend.”

It is open-ended, because it can go in any direction.  The idea is that the children will tap into their creative selves and be able to express themselves on paper.

However, for those children on the rougher road, the ones with a variety of learning problems, open-ended writing is brutal on many levels.

Here’s an excerpt from a writing sample of an 8-year-old writing about his favorite vacation:

“Uurvl is a ghat pls for a sekal reris.  At first jassit park miat besley but the seord time you go it is cool…..Evening no it’s the slisy rias in the park it goes with Dr. serrl!  Thes saren is call serrl laanring.  Lastly, I’ll talk about the qrslins.  Tars go lef and rert and lef and rert and, you get the ideas. There are sehal rrenis why I love going to uurvl.”

Or there was the 9 year old who wrote a story to a picture that he had drawn:

“Once aqha time ther was a boy namd levi he lived in a hog house and it was so mosh fon. and he livel in lll borenrom lahe.  And he had loss of frahs and naders.  The End.”

In screenings of their cognitive and intellectual capabilities, both of these kids demonstrated at least average cognitive potential.

Neither child was classified or receiving any type of service or official accommodation under a 504 Plan.

When the parents questioned what they should do they were told by the school to “read to your child.”  There was also the veiled suggestion of putting the child on medication, “even though we are not doctors.”

For these children, reading to them or medicating them will not accomplish much relative to their fundamental inability to write.

Continuing with any open-ended writing will be particularly problematic,  as they have no concept of what a sentence is and their spelling is severely impacting their thought process.For them, the concept of what represents a basic sentence is not something they have been taught or internalized and they are in need of intense, focused remedial instruction,

I usually dwell in metaphors or basic images that help to put things to parents in down-to-earth terms.

The metaphor of taking them back to the shallow end of the pool is fully applicable.  They need to spend a lot of time in the shallow end of the pool (writing simple and basic sentences) and then incrementally moving out beyond, one baby step at a time.

Instead of encouraging creativity and “write what you feel,” they need to practice at the most simplistic levels building on a logical sequence of one skill leading to another.


Hard Words: Why Aren’t Our Kids Being Taught to Read?


Hard Words: Why Aren’t Our Kids Being Taught to Read? is an amazing podcast (and text) by Emily Hanford at APMreports (https://www.apmreports.org/story/2018/09/10/hard-words-why-american-kids-arent-being-taught-to-read).  Decades of scientific research shows us how children learn to read.   Often teachers are uninformed about the science and, in some cases, they chose to ignore it. This documentary will share the science behind teaching reading.  Next, we need to tackle the same issue in writing.  For other educational podcast, check out https://www.apmreports.org/educate-podcast