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An interview with Steve Tattum. 

Steve Tattum, founder of the Tattum Reading Program and reading director at LearnUp Centers, talks with Dennis Wholey of  This is America & the World  a weekly, international affairs television series, which is produced in Washington, New York City, and in countries around the world. The series is broadcast nationally on public television and PBS stations.

Steve explains how dyslexia functions in the brain and how our reading program addresses the four key components of resolving the reading struggles of kids who can’t read. This is an excellent overview of the issues facing struggling readers living with dyslexia and other reading issues and how our systematic, explicit instructional reading program helps resolve those issues faster and more efficiently than other well-known programs.

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Learn more about LearnUp programs at: LearnUp Centers Program Overview.

To set-up a one-on-one FREE, no obligation, reading assessment, contact us.

LearnUp’s reading program works with all struggling readers, with or without a diagnosis of dyslexia.

Like our reading program, LearnUp reading assessments are fast—just 20 minutes. And they’re FREE. Our proprietary assessment process quickly puts the student at the correct entry point and on the path to success. Learn more: FREE reading assessments.

Decoding & Encoding: As Important for Success in Math..

Decoding & Encoding: As Important for Success in Math as for Success in Reading

  • Wed, October 19, 2016
  •  9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Location San Francisco Presidio Hill School, 3839 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA

David Berg, ET, Founder & Director of the Making Math Real Institute 

Just as students must learn to decode and encode the alphabetic code to read and spell, so too, must students learn to decode and encode the codes of math to understand and apply the mathematics. Math is a series of interconnected codes – a symbolic shorthand to express what is real. All math content from kindergarten through calculus is comprised of these interconnected codes. If students (and teachers) understand the codes, they will be successful in math. If the codes are not taught or are incorrectly taught, students are likely to be confused and struggle unnecessarily in math.

David Berg is an author, educational therapist, international lecturer, consultant, and professional development provider for universities, conferences, public and private schools, learning disabilities organizations, and SELPAs. During his 40 years in education, he has taught all grades from kindergarten through postgraduate and has worked nationwide with thousands of educators of all levels and students of all ages. For more information about Making Math Real, please visit

*Cost: PEN Members $20 | General public $40 | Staff at PEN Member Schools FREE

*No individual is turned away for lack of funds. Please contact us to learn about scholarship opportunities.

Learn More:


Know a Struggling Reader? LearnUp Can Help!

Know a struggling reader?

LearnUp can help.

Who:  Anyone of any age, with or without a diagnosis of dyslexia.

What:  One-on-one tutoring program that teaches struggling readers to read, spell, and write—at grade level and beyond.

Why: LearnUp works. In just 3 months of tutoring, the average LearnUp student:

  • Jumped 2.0 grade levels in reading
  • Increased word fluency by more than 50%
  • Gained over 44 words per minute in fluency

Where:  Tutoring sessions are currently held on the University of San Francisco campus and at La Boulangerie offices.

When:  3 – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday

How:  A free, 20-minute reading assessment is the best way to get started.

Learn More at:

What Parents are Saying:

“My 10-year-old started the program at a 2nd-grade reading level. To our amazement, he ended seven weeks later at a 4th-grade level, where he should be, but more importantly with a love of reading.” — Mary Flynn

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“The most important aspect of this reading program for me was to see my daughter’s self-concept change.” — Lia McLoughlin

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Pre-K Reading Workshop

For Parents and Educators 

This two-day workshop (Saturday, September 10th and 17th) provides a crash course in early literacy (Pre-K) from theory to practice and teach you how to identify the early signs of a struggling reader, including early signs of dyslexia and will learn techniques and activities that can address the common challenges facing these emerging readers.

The workshop comes with over $500 worth of teaching materials, curriculum activities and reading books.

Presented by Steve Tattum, LearnUp Centers Reading Director. This is a rare opportunity to learn directly from the founder of the LearnUp reading program. Sign-up today!

Learn How Young Children Acquire Reading

  • Discover the latest in Research on Early Childhood Literacy and reading acquisition.
  • Understand how young children acquire pre-literacy skills and how toddlers learn letters and sounds.
  • What you can do to ensure your child is reading ready.
  • Learn the early signs of a struggling reader in the pre-literacy years.

tutor training gabby & elizabeth

Get Hands-on Training

  • Receive hands-on training in a developmentally appropriate, multi-sensory reading program for young children.
  • This reading program is built around the five key fundamentals to reading readiness recommended by the National Reading Panel (phonemic awareness, phonics development, vocabulary development, comprehension, and fluency).
  • Workshop includes practical tips for engaging young children in learning through fun, multi-modality practices, spell and read games and auditory and visual mnemonics.
  • Learn practical approaches to teaching your child phonemic awareness and alphabet recognition, address common early literacy issues before they become reading problems.
  • Learn how to use  storybooks to practice new skills and give your child immediate success in reading.

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Take Home Materials
($500 Value)

  • Teacher’s manual
  • Teacher’s guide
  • Reading diagnostic surveys for young children
  • Daily activities for a year of Kindergarten
  • Magnetic Board for manipulating letters and sounds
  • Large, easy to manipulate, magnetic letter set
  • Word and picture set for each vowel sound
  • Objects for phonemic awareness activities
  • Words and pictures set
  • 10 storybooks: First Steps Series, written by Steve Tattum. The storybooks correspond to each literacy concept taught in the curriculum

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Steve Tattum, Workshop Leader

Steve Tattum, Reading Director and founder of the LearnUp reading program.

Steve received his undergraduate degree in education at Eastern Illinois in 1969 and his Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in special education at George Washington University. He is the former Director of the Denver Academy.

Many programs can teach kids to read. Steve’s  program integrates the best practices of the leading reading programs on the market (Orton, Linda Mood-Bell, Slingerland, Reading Recovery, Whole Language, etc.) and combines them with the latest brain research and National Reading Panel recommendations to create a superior, systematic program that accelerates reading acquisition.

Who Should Attend?

  • Parents
  • Early childhood educators
  • Learning specialists
  • Reading Tutors
  • Pre-K-3 teachers
  • Elementary school staff and teachers
  • Family advocates

September 10th & 17th

Saturday, September 10th and 17th
When: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: University of San Francisco, Main Campus, Malloy Hall

Sign Up Now!

Cost: $975
Includes the workshop and all materials ($500+ value).
Sign Up now Pre-K Reading Workshop. 


WordPress Resources at SiteGround

WordPress is an award-winning web software, used by millions of webmasters worldwide for building their website or blog. SiteGround is proud to host this particular WordPress installation and provide users with multiple resources to facilitate the management of their WP websites:

Expert WordPress Hosting

SiteGround provides superior WordPress hosting focused on speed, security and customer service. We take care of WordPress sites security with unique server-level customizations, WP auto-updates, and daily backups. We make them faster by regularly upgrading our hardware, offering free CDN with Railgun and developing our SuperCacher that speeds sites up to 100 times! And last but not least, we provide real WordPress help 24/7! Learn more about SiteGround WordPress hosting

WordPress tutorial and knowledgebase articles

WordPress is considered an easy to work with software. Yet, if you are a beginner you might need some help, or you might be looking for tweaks that do not come naturally even to more advanced users. SiteGround WordPress tutorial includes installation and theme change instructions, management of WordPress plugins, manual upgrade and backup creation, and more. If you are looking for a more rare setup or modification, you may visit SiteGround Knowledgebase.

Free WordPress themes

SiteGround experts not only develop various solutions for WordPress sites, but also create unique designs that you could download for free. SiteGround WordPress themes are easy to customize for the particular use of the webmaster.

Pre-K Reading Workshop

For Parents and Educators

This two-day workshop (Saturday, September 10th and 17th) provides a crash course in early literacy (Pre-K) from theory to practice and teach you how to identify the early signs of a struggling reader, including early signs of dyslexia and will learn techniques and activities that can address the common challenges facing these emerging readers.

The workshop comes with over $500 worth of teaching materials, curriculum activities and reading books.

Presented by Steve Tattum, LearnUp Centers Reading Director. This is a rare opportunity to learn directly from the founder of the LearnUp reading program.

Learn more here. 

Click here to Sign-up today!


LearnUp Tutor Training Workshop May 31st – June 10th

Learn How to Teach Reading

We are excited to have our reading partner, Steve Tattum, founder of the Tattum IMG_1072 copyReading Program and reading expert, facilitate this engaging workshop on how to teach struggling readers to read at grade level and beyond. It is a rare opportunity to have the founder of a successful reading program, teach, mentor and guide you through the ins and outs of one of the most effective reading programs in the country.

 Why LearnUp Centers Reading Program?

Many programs can teach kids to read. LearnUp is more effective and efficient—usingDanny tutor 4one-on-one tutoring to teach struggling readers to read in about half the time as most other major reading programs. LearnUp integrates the best practices of the leading reading programs on the market and combines them with the latest brain research and National Reading Panel recommendations to create a superior, systematic program that accelerates reading acquisition.

Get Results

While LearnUp Centers is a new nonprofit in San Francisco, Tattum Reading Program has more than a 15-year track record of getting kids reading at grade level. LearnUp Centers has been tutoring struggling readers since January 2016. Our first cohort of students all entered the program reading below grade level. And now, according to the results of pre/post test scores on the nationally normed Woodcock Reading Mastery Test III, those who have finished their program, are reading at grade level.

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The Workshop: Everything You Need to Successfully Teach Reading  to All Children

Come learn how you can use LearnUp Centers reading program achieving grade level reading growth with your students.

This two-week intensive will give you all the skills you need to teach the highly effective Tattum Reading Program. The workshop includes all necessary materials: Teacher’s Manual, Teacher’s Resource Guide, Words & Quotes, program DVDs, CD-Rom, magnetic board and magnets.

This workshop addresses the following language concepts:
1. Introduction of the 44 sounds as well as prefixes, roots, and suffixes.
2. Guided practice through the basic lesson plan.
3. Diagnostics and placement into 5 different levels of the program.
4. Teaching the program in classes, groups, or 1-on-1.
5. The foundations of comprehension.
6. Three different levels of fluency.
7. Adaptations for ESL students.
8. Opportunities to observe Instructor teach class members’ students.

In addition, during the second week, students will take part in a practicum to give them hands-on teaching experience and real-time feedback on their teaching.

Who should attend?

  • Teachers
  • Learning Specialists
  • Reading Tutors
  • Dyslexia Specialists
  • Home School Parents
  • Literacy Specialists
  • LearnUp Tutors
  • Anyone interested in literacy, dyslexia or reading issues

Have questions? Contact us at

Sign-up at:  LearnUp Tutoring Workshop

LearnUp Centers

LearnUp Centers is a nonprofit public charity that wants all kids to learn to read—regardless of their ability to pay.  We believe our reading program can help the average struggling reader learn how to read at grade level in about half the time of other major reading programs on the market.

What makes our reading program different?

1. It is effective and efficient. Our students get to grade level reading faster than the other major reading programs.

2. We lead with age appropriate books. LearnUp Reading has age and skill level appropriate books to keep the reader interested and engaged.

3. It has multiple starting points. LearnUp Reading has multiple starting points to accommodate a student’s knowledge and background.

4. It is a blend of the leading reading programs. LearnUp Reading incorporates the best of multiple methodologies as opposed to just one.

5. We provide a reading assessment in 20 minutes. Our reading assessment quickly puts the student at the correct entry point for the program at the right level and on the path to success.

6. The program is based on the latest brain-based research. LearnUp Reading is based on the latest brain science.

7. The program works for anyone learning to read. LearnUp Reading can be used to teach everyone to read. But most importantly, it can help struggling readers with, or without, a diagnoses of dyslexia learn to read at grade level.

8. We offer an outcomes-based pricing model.

Learn the Research

Find out about more about the research and outcomes behind our program.

Learn More →

Learn How to Enroll

Ready to take the next step? You can learn more about enrolling in LearnUp Centers.

Find Out How →

Thinking Outside’s Top 10 Charities of 2014

My giving supports programs that I believe can change the world of their participants and our communities.

Like many families, our giving often focuses around our children — we tend to give to our kids’ schools, to the organizations or programs they participate in, or to programs our friends know and support — and.while these programs and organizations are wonderful, and deserve support, I also want to give to organizations that need my support that are not so close to home. So, we also give to organizations that are changing the world through their work.

This list is made up of organizations and programs that I support through my own contributions, but also includes organizations that the rest of my family likes to support. There are so many great and deserving organizations, but for this list, I wanted more of the nonprofits (though not all) to be ones that are a bit more off the radar screen,maybe a little bit lesser known, but still having a large impact in their field and on the people they serve. Many of the organizations on this list do not have a large fund development teams, and like most small, on the ground, nonprofits, struggle to secure the resources necessary to deliver their programs.

All of them deserve our support. Check them out, they are not really in order of preference, and consider a year-end donation.

1. Outward Bound California (OBCA) (California)

obca photo

Okay, this one is very personal. I am an Outward Bound alumni. My 30 days in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado changed and shaped my life, and my teaching. As an educator I sent my students on Outward Bound scholarships and watched them come back transformed. And now, I am on the board. Today, OBCA is working with all types of students and programs in both wilderness and urban settings.We work with corporations, schools, youth programs, nonprofits, agencies, municipalities, and so on. Some of our students come from families of means, and they can afford our full tuition, but most (over 50%) of our students receive some form of financial aid, and many of the programs we work with receive full scholarships for their programs. Outward Bound could not help our community partners without the generosity of your donors. And, because I believe in supporting youth programs that change lives, I support Outward Bound California.

2. The Mosaic Project (Bay Area)

mosaic project

Lara Mendel has been changing attitudes and lives since the mid-1990s. Few organizations have the ability to take school children from diametrically opposed economic, social, and racial backgrounds and in less than a week bring the community together in a common sense of humanity and common purpose. It is an amazing transformation. This past 2 years our family benefitted in a personal way when my son became a high school counselor for the program. Mosaic’s approach to conflict management, its ability to impart a peaceful approach to disagreements and rancor became apart of our family. Whenever my son works his Mosaic magic, we reflect on what happened, and we realize that we got “Mosaic’d”, our short hand for putting Mosaic’s approach into action.

3. Youth Radio  (Bay Area)

youth radio

If you listen to Bay Area public radio, you are familiar with the reports from Youth Radio. Insightful, expertly done, they give us an insight into the world from the lens of youth, and the analysis of communities often not represented in the traditional media. Along the way, Youth Radio develops great skills in its students and young people.

4. Youth Speaks (Bay Area)

youth speaks

Siting through a Youth Speaks youth poetry competition is exhilarating and emotional. The poets are an amazing blend of talent and wear it on your sleeves, often heart wrenching, story-telling. Youth Speaks showcases young people at their most vulnerable, and at their best.

5. Destiny Arts (Oakland, CA)

destiny artsViolence prevention and youth development through the  arts. Not only do the young people in Destiny Arts learn about love and self-resilience, they also create beautiful art. Talking to some young participants after a recent performance, it struck me that Destiny Arts didn’t just create a place to be safe, but also imparted life-long skills that will always give these young people a leg up in life.

6. Youth Enrichment Services (YES) (Richmond, CA)

YES logoThere are fewer disconnected communities than inner-city Richmond, from the Iron Triangle, if you can get up high enough, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and Mt. Tamalpias. But these two iconic places might as well be across the continent; so few children in Richmond have been the Bridge, much less to the hills of Mt. Tam. Most have never been the ocean, a short, but impossible, 30 minute drive from their homes. YES connects kids to summer camps and the outdoors. YES peer leaders learn crucial leadership skills and develop personal connections to nature.

7. Sunrise Middle School (San Jose)

sunrise ms logo SMShigh expectations

Sunrise Middle School brings the whole world that lies beyond the reach of their students. Sunrise MS is a safe haven from the tumultuous San Jose barrio which dominates the lives of their students outside of the school, but being safe isn’t the only goal of the school — learning to take risks is. Through their innovative outdoor program, Sunrise MS faculty take their youth far beyond their perceived limitations and exposes them to outdoor adventures that build a connection to nature, and a foundation of self-understanding that will last a life-time.

8. Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF)

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Having a green city is great. But without organizations like FUF our city would be so much less inviting — and clean.  I am so fortunate to live on a street with trees. If you live on a block with trees, you can most likely thank FUF. Take a moment to notice the difference between streets lined with trees and those without, the difference is striking. They also have really well run youth program.

9. MISSEY (East Bay)

misseyMISSEY works with sexually exploited children to help them find a way out of their situation by providing comprehensive services in a safe environment. MISSEY also provides information to the community and government about the commercial sexual exploitation of children, which does not receive as much attention as other issues facing our children.

10. Girls on the Run (National)

logo_girlsontherunGirls on the Run brings exercise and empowerment together in a great approach and curriculum that is designed to address the challenges facing young girls by empowering them to make thoughtful and healthy decisions. They use a very effective mentoring model that pairs the runners with mentors and running coaches who deliver life skills and fitness skills in a fun learning environment.

11. Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY), [Santa Clara]

FLY logo Started by lawyers searching for ways to keep youth from becoming incarcerated, or to help them get off probation, this program was designed by youth and is dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence, crime and incarceration of teens through a powerful combination: legal education, leadership training, and one-on-one mentoring. They even use outdoor education as a way to teach resiliency.

12. Spaulding Wooden Boat Center (Sausalito)


i spent a lot of time at Spaulding this year and it is a magical place. Great history, beautiful boats, terrific people. Their partnership with MLK Middle School is a strong example of how schools can use nonprofits to deepen and enrich their programs. Spaulding is MLK’s off-site shop. Great hands-on STEM connection, as well. Now they are offering adult boat building classes as well.


Ok, so my list has 12. There are too many terrific organizations doing great work. Add your top nonprofits of 2014 in the comments section below.

Reflection on Sequoia Canyon

Reflection on Sequoia Canyon. By Bianca Salinas, a senior at Lick High School in San Francisco, family friend, and a connector to the outdoors. Beautifully said.

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