We’re Here to Help
Is your child bright and intelligent, but struggles with reading, writing and spelling? Do they guess at short words, stumble through long words, and tire easily when reading? Have they had help in school for reading, but still struggle? 80% of students who struggle with reading have undiagnosed dyslexia, and they need a very specific method to master reading. We help students master reading every day, and we don’t give up on them.
We help students from kindergarten through high school. Most students simply need the OrtonGilligham method to learn to master reading and excel at school. We get to the heart of your child’s reading, writing and spelling challenges by pinpointing what is causing their weaknesses, and then we tailor every lesson to their specific needs. That is why we use the Orton-Gillingham method. It’s philosophy is to teach children to be able to break the reading code based upon their skill set, and build from the simple to the complex, at their pace. Every lesson is taught one-on-one with the same tutor every time.
We provide a home-like atmosphere and services where children feel comfortable and excel! Our tutors are mothers and teachers whose specialty is working with children who struggle. All of our tutors are trained in the Wilson Reading System, an Orton-Gillingham method.
Aspire Academy provides:
- Dyslexia Screening to discover what is causing your child’s reading struggles
- Reading Tutoring: We teach students to systematically crack the alphabetic code to become accurate, fluent readers. We provide both online and one on one tutoring customized for each child’s needs.
- Free parent consultations to help you make the best decision.
- Urbandale Father “I just heard your ad on the radio today. Heidi helped our son a few years ago, and we are very thankful!! He is almost done with his first semester at the University of Iowa majoring in Biomedical Engineering! The SDS office at Iowa also accepted his dyslexia documentation so he was granted extra time to take exams, leniency on spelling/grammar and a distraction-free testing environment. Thank you for all your help!”
- West Des Moines Family “Our family wants to thank you from the bottom of our heart! We were so glad fate had our paths cross at the right moment...our first grade son was struggling with reading and starting to dislike school. You helped us understand his unique challenges and with tutoring, you’ve helped him become a great reader. Perhaps more importantly, this built his academic confidence and ability to learn that will forever change his life path! We are so grateful we started him early, and had the guidance and care from you all. We are so proud he has graduated (4th grade) - but I know he will actually miss seeing his friends at tutoring; he really came to love going! Thank you for being an incredible resource at just the right time! And please do use this testimonial, and refer folks to chat with us about our experience!”
- Sally G., Des Moines Mother - I am so glad we contacted you even though my son was a junior in high school. Because of this program, he went from never reading a book in high school to getting a 3.9 in college.
- West Des Moines Parent - Our child entered first grade not being able to read, and she scored a 0 on the STAR reading assessment because of this. At the end of February, she was tested again, and she scored 14%. We began tutoring with Aspire Academy in March, right before COVID-19. After two-months of Orton-Gillingham tutoring, her STAR reading score increased to 41%. Her school re-tested her because they could tell dramatic growth was happening. My daughter loved in-person tutoring and successfully transitioned to online tutoring. Her Aspire Academy tutor went out of her way to make on-line tutoring an enjoyable experience. My daughter and her tutor had themed days: hat day, crazy sock day, pajama day. Every tutoring day was something for her to look forward to
- Urbandale Mother “Our son felt bad about reading and writing for years before tutoring. Now, he understands that he can learn and be successful. He also understands that there is a reason it is so hard for him to learn the way others do. He looks forward to tutoring, and he has gained a tremendous amount of confidence as a student and a reader.”
- Johnston Family "Aspire has been a wonderful experience for our family. Our severely dyslexic son recently finished the Wilson program. Scheduling with his tutor was very flexible and she even came to his elementary school to tutor during the school day. Karen was so patient and understanding! Thank you Aspire!"
- With tutoring, children’s attention spans increase and attitudes improve!
- When a child can’t read and spell to the level of others around them, they tune out and feel like they can never learn. School is a constant struggle, and it is hard to pay attention.
- Some kids develop learned-helplessness. Others develop anxiety, withdrawal, oppositional behavior, clowning or hyper-activity.
- Aspire has seen these symptoms slowly disappear for children over the course of tutoring. Children begin to be able to hold greater attention during reading tasks, begin to experience success and learning, and feel pride in their accomplishments. Troublesome behaviors begin to decrease and disappear as reading and spelling improves. Yes, this is anecdotal, but it definitely observable.
- Charles, College Sophomore - Since being put in this program I can tell my reading, pronunciation, and confidence in reading compound words has improved. It’s helped me prepare for reading at the college level, especially for business classes. This program will take time, but if individuals are willing to stick with it, I promise it will pay off in the future. It's never too late for reading help.
- We promote reading independence. An Aspire seventh grade student was able to read the first three books of the series Little House On The Prairie entirely by herself after spending the summer listening to 15 audiobooks. She had wanted to read this series on her own for years. Audiobooks improve vocabulary, comprehension, focus, visualization while enjoying literature, and foster a love of books. Audiobooks and Orton-Gillingham tutoring are key to getting children to reading independence.
- Gratefully, Patricia F. - Heidi Kroner and Aspire Academy have been an extreme blessing in my family's life. Heidi has been there every step of the way with us for the last two years, educating, encouraging, and supporting us through it all. We have become good friends with Heidi and value her knowledge and enthusiasm of the reading programs she works with. I love to hear Heidi and my grandson laughing while they are tutoring. She has established a relationship with him, engages him and makes learning fun. It is obvious she truly cares about him and his future. I knew from the first time I met her, while attending one of her free workshops approximately four years ago, she was completely dedicated to helping her students and their families. You just don't find those attributes in people or businesses much anymore.Heidi has spent countless hours researching ways to help my grandson, attending meetings, communicating with teachers, parents, etc. She adapts her approach based on the students needs and interests, and tries different methods if something doesn't work until she finds what does. This dedication is invaluable. If you are questioning whether to try their services, I would strongly suggest you do, you can't afford not to. The sooner the better.
- We help students become independent readers. A middle school boy began tutoring with Aspire in June. He had never been able to read a chapter book despite years of trying. After 4 months of tutoring, and spending the summer listening to audiobooks, he decided to tackle his favorite book series, Warrior Cats, and he was able to successfully read it.
- We deliver reading growth! One fourth-grade Aspire student tutored three times weekly. He began at a first grade reading level. After 7 months of tutoring, his ability to pay attention improved as measured by his educational psychologist. After 16 months of tutoring, he was reading at a 6th grade level, spelling at grade level as measured on his school spelling tests and enjoys reading chapter books on his own.
- We deliver reading growth! A sixth-grade boy’s mother noticed he was having trouble reading the names on Christmas packages. After testing indicated he had dyslexia, her son began tutoring with Aspire. This student made 45 months of reading growth in 10 months of Wilson tutoring at Aspire Academy. He came three times a week to tutoring, and requested three times a week so he could catch up to his peers.