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Saint Mary’s University i.t.a. Program

Helping children read!

The i.t.a. Program: A Learning Laboratory for Teachers

teacher300x300Our program is a laboratory for experienced teachers earning a master’s degree in literacy education as well as for undergraduate preservice teachers.

By tutoring struggling readers, they learn how to use the initial teaching alphabet to: (1) develop phonemic awareness in young children at risk, (2) remediate phonological and spelling deficits in older students and (3) increase reading by an average of two grade levels in one year.

Remediation of Reading and Writing Disabilities in School-Age Children

smuTeacher1300x300We use the initial teaching alphabet with research-validated intervention strategies to remediate reading and writing disabilities in school-age children (Kgtn-12th grade). This service, funded by a grant from the Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation (Hauppage, NY), is provided without charge to parents.

In the 25 years that the Saint Mary’s University i.t.a. Program has been in existence, hundreds of students have mastered the reading and writing skills needed for high achievement in secondary and post-secondary settings.

Testimonial of an i.t.a. Program Participant

“I started in the i.t.a. system when I was in third grade; it was not until eleventh grade that I exited the program. I have never been able to articulate my experience in a way that encompasses all I feel and learned. However, let me say the following: I struggled; I fought; I held back potential; I found a light; I found success; I decided to pay it forward.

testimony300x300 I am currently working as a Reading Specialist at Winona High School, Winona MN. I have found great value in being able to teach a subject I once struggled in, for it has helped me work with students that many others cannot relate to. Simply, thank you. It has been long overdue.”

~ Ross Herdina, MAI
K-12 Reading Teacher

The Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation

The Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation is a corporation organized under the Membership Corporation Law of the State of New York in March, 1965. The Foundation was formed exclusively for educational and charitable purposes; to promote, maintain and advanceaboutUs_4th_300x300 education in all its fields, and in particular (but without limiting the generality of the foregoing) by development, standardization, propagation, dissemination, teaching and use of the Initial Teaching Alphabet.

i.t.a. Foundation Mission Statement

The mission of the i.t.a. Foundation is to promote literacy by providing independent funding for the development and dissemination of best teaching practices in the use and support of the initial teaching alphabet (i.t.a.).