Alex came to the Manalapan, NJ Huntington at the very end of second grade because he was having trouble reading and writing. He would complete the work in class, but with much frustration. He didn't like to read at school or at home because he easily became stuck on words and couldn't get through a book. Alex's mom brought him to Huntington hoping that we could teach Alex how to read and help him improve his confidence. During his initial academic evaluation, Alex's struggle with reading quickly became evident to us. After sharing his testing results with his parents and discussing what we could do for Alex, they agreed to begin a program of instruction and couldn't wait to get Alex started.
From the beginning, Alex loved coming to the center. At Huntington, he didn't experience any of the frustration that he had in school, and felt that he was learning from his mistakes. He quickly made progress, and his mom and dad noticed a big change in Alex's confidence and motivation. Alex began to pick up books at home ask if he could read to his mom or dad. He was very excited to be able to read.
Alex is nearing the end of his program. His most recent report card was his best ever. Alex now loves to read and has become curious about everything. He's even read all six books in the Wimpy Kid series. His parents can't thank Huntington enough.
Andrew is a second-grader who enrolled at the Huntington Learning Center in Patchogue, NY in the summer of 2011. He was reading at a kindergarten grade level and hated school. He enrolled at the center during our summer reading adventure contest. To make matters worse, Andrew had an older brother, Taky, a fifth-grade student who was also attending the center and loved the Reading Adventure contest (he was one of the frontrunners). While Taky kept receiving certificates and rewards, Andrew kept refusing to read.
Andrew's parents understood the need for a vigorous schedule throughout the summer to get their boys closer to grade level. Andrew came to the center seven hours a week throughout the entire summer. After completing 100 hours of his program, the first school visit with his teacher was a very happy one. His teacher was surprised to learn how much Andrew had struggled last year. This year, Andrew was one of the first students in the class to be student of the week.
Recently, Andrew's mother told me with great pride that Andrew reads for pleasure every night, and that scary books are his favorite.
Andrew first came to Huntington in Smithtown NY, in March 2011 during his fifth-grade year. Andrew had been a delayed reader and had come to us after attending several other tutoring centers. His mom and teacher were very concerned and frustrated that things didn't seem to be getting better. Reading and writing were Andrew's biggest problem areas, but his family also reported a serious lack of confidence. Andrew admitted to writing as small as possible because he was anxious about his answers and spelling. He even confessed to sleeping during class to avoid his insecurities. Andrew's academic evaluation supported his family's concerns. He scored below grade level and national averages on every exam. It was also clear that Andrew had not mastered basic math skills.
Progress at first was slow for Andrew. He lacked confidence and motivation, and it seemed he had given up all of hope of ever being a good reader or student. With time and continued support from our teachers, Andrew slowly began to reach his potential. Gradually, his mood became brighter and things began to improve. He began to enjoy his time at the center and as a result, his time at school. By the completion of his Huntington program, Andrew had reached his goals, scoring in the high 90th percentile in many of his subjects. His mother reported a marked improvement in Andrew's reading and writing and told us that he was even excited for the next school year to begin. Andrew continues to come to the center, focusing on writing and study skills.
About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to experience the difference that Huntington make in lives of students. I asked seventh grader Arin how she had felt that Huntington in East Brunswick, NJ had helped her, or if she felt if it had helped her at all. Her response? "I'm not afraid to read anymore." Arin explained that prior to beginning her sessions at Huntington she dreaded when teachers called on her to read, and would often simply refuse to answer. Today, Arin proudly says that she is not embarrassed of the way she sounds when reading aloud and that she is confident in her abilities.
Recently Arin's father teared up when he realized how far his daughter had come in such a short time. He said he could only imagine what a difficult time she must have been having before Huntington. Arin has become a more confident and motivated student, but just as exciting is that she realizes and feels good about the progress she has made.
My name is Rebecca G. My son, Austin, is six years old and has been attending the Huntington Center in Englewood, New Jersey, since July 2011. I am so pleased to have this opportunity to write about my family's experience at this facility.
Austin began Kindergarten at five years old. The school year started out well even though he did not begin kindergarten reading. He seemed to make progress and was reading well, or so I believed, by December. The teacher seemed happy with his progress and we were thrilled with how much he seemed to be learning. His report card reflected this positive beginning, with Austin receiving mostly 3s and 4s. The second marking period, his grades stayed the same and I continued to not have any concerns about my son—until the third report card came home. Without warning, Austin's grades suddenly slipped. He had been receiving 4s across the board in math in kindergarten, but all of a sudden, he slipped to 2s. This concerned me greatly, not only because his grades had fallen, but because they had fallen so dramatically. His father and I were very upset.
Well-meaning members of our family advised me not to worry: it was the end of the year, and we should enjoy summer and pick this back up in the fall. However, this situation continued to gnaw at me, so I called the Huntington Learning Center. I had seen the center many times when I had passed by taking my children to a nearby martial arts center, and I thought that it might be a place where I could get help for my children, if they were ever to struggle in school. I never expected to need Huntington so quickly.
When I called to make the initial appointment, I was very relieved and happy with the warm reception. The staff's response to my description of Austin's situation validated my concerns. Kindergarten was too early for a child to be struggling that much and they informed me that early comprehension problems can often occur in math before they show up in reading.
We brought our son in for testing in July and were dismayed by the results. It was not just math that he struggled with, but all areas of his work. In some sections of the test he scored well below average for his grade level and Austin admitted that he could not read aloud to himself at all. His father and I were stunned. How could we not have known?
Austin began a tutoring program at the center four times a week for an hour and a half. Immediately, we saw improvement. Index cards with words he could read came home, and a big grin would greet me every time he exited the building. He loved his teachers and they made him feel good about himself. By the time school began in September, Austin had reached, in just two months, first-grade standards in reading and math. As of this writing, his teacher tells me that he is reading at almost second grade level and that he is in the top quarter of his class. His report card reflected this amazing improvement, as he got all 4s in writing and reading, and 3s in math.
Huntington in Englewood took a child who was struggling in school last year in kindergarten and has made him a top student this year at an extremely competitive school. The directors have supported us from day one and continue to enable Austin to achieve beyond expectations. I cannot imagine that any other organization would do such a great job of teaching my child and also including us throughout the process. We meet with his teacher regularly to make sure we are all on the same page. We are and always will be so very grateful for Huntington.
The center in Englewood is a warm, caring, child-oriented environment. I'm such a big fan that I'm continuously recommending them to everyone I know and now have friends whose children attend as well. The program works if you follow it. Young children should not have to struggle so early in school. I'm just so glad that we found a place where we could get such great help for our son. I'm happy I made that phone call.
Having moved from Egypt to the United States in third grade, Ayesha was struggling, feeling lost and alone at school. School curricula and grade requirements were entirely different in Egypt, and Ayesha was unsure of what was expected of her at her new school. For two years, Ayesha devoted all of her free time to studying, yet to no avail. She was even assigned individual aides in all of her classes, but it didn't help. By the middle of the fifth grade, Ayesha was failing, and she had completely shut down.
Desperate and frustrated, Ayesha and her mother came to Huntington in Westwood, NJ in hopes that we could help. Initially Ayesha was a shy, quiet girl who was scared of answering questions incorrectly. Our teachers worked diligently with her to make sure Ayesha understood Huntington was a place of learning, improvement, and most of all, of encouragement and support. Once Ayesha understood this, she was unstoppable.
Ayesha was relieved that her program focused around her specific needs and that she would be able to work at the speed that permitted her to practice and retain strategies and concepts. Little by little, this girl who was once unsure of herself transformed into a confident, self-assured student, able to take on challenging problems and experience the feeling of being successful. Our teachers will never forget the day Ayesha came in to the center and told us she got a 78 on her math test. It was the first time Ayesha earned a passing grade in math on her own. After that moment, you couldn't miss Ayesha running into the center wearing a huge smile on her face, excited to report to us every time she earned a grade she was proud of.
By the time Ayesha left our center, she was a changed person. When I followed up with her mother two months after Ayesha had completed the Huntington program, she told me that Ayesha had earned all Bs on her last report card. On the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) standardized test, she had scored in the highest bracket of proficiency—a monumental improvement. Her mother could not thank us enough and told me that Ayesha continues to talk about her time at Huntington and how much it impacted her.
Benjamin's mom entered a Huntington drawing at a High School Holiday Fair. To her surprise, her son Benjy's name was chosen, so he came in to the Bay Shore, LI Huntington for a free academic evaluation.
Benjy's mom shared with us that Benjy has several disabilities and she was not sure if Huntington could even help him. In school, Benjy struggled tremendously, more because he was absent so much in kindergarten (and now first grade), and the class was moving too fast for him to keep up.
Benjy works in a self-contained class and in December 2010 when he came to Huntington we learned through his academic evaluation that he was a non-reader and was missing skills from pre-kindergarten. Benjy's mom was so happy to hear that we would be able to help Benjy, she enrolled him in a six-hour-a-week program. Huntington met with Benjy's mom monthly and conducted school visits. He completed his program in June. It was remarkable to see this little boy who battles so much every day now reading. And he loved it. He would point out signs around town and tell his mom he was going to go read independently when they were at home.
Not only did the Huntington staff and Benjy's mom notice the dramatic improvements, Benjy's teachers at school were also amazed by his progress. At the end-of-year meeting, the school psychologist was so amazed by the progress that her recommendation was to mainstream part of Benjy's day for second grade into a general education class—Benjy was capable of the work for the first time ever. We all had tears in our eyes at this meeting.
Benjy's mom came to Huntington on a whim, thinking the problems her son had were simply a part of who he was and inherent with his numerous health and other struggles. She never thought Benjy was capable of the things he now does well. Benjy will be back to Huntington next summer for enrichment.
Brianna started at Huntington in Massapequa, NY in February 2009 as a sixth-grader. Her mom was concerned because Brianna was unable to comprehend what she was reading and her writing was weak and unorganized. Brianna's mom's biggest concern was that her confidence and motivation were dwindling with each poor grade. Even though she was only in sixth grade, Brianna and her mother had a goal for Brianna to attend St. John the Baptist High School, a private school near their home. Her mom knew that if she continued to struggle as much she was, she would never be prepared for such a prestigious school.
Brianna started at Huntington and slowly began building her academic skills. She always put forth great effort and had a smile on her face every day. Her confidence and motivation began to increase as she saw significant increases in her grades. After completing her program in November 2009, her parents were thrilled with the positive changes in Brianna. Brianna was now in seventh grade and excelling in all subjects. Her parents decided to keep her at Huntington for enrichment. When Brianna began eighth grade her parents were concerned that although she was doing well in school she had lacked little confidence in writing. She struggled to produce ideas on her own and never proofread her assignments. She was also getting ready to take the COOP and was very nervous about her application to St John. At this point, we focused on building her confidence and making sure she knew the different strategies for answering questions in both math and English.
We all waited anxiously for the results of her COOP and news on her acceptance to St John the Baptist. When Brianna found out that she not only scored high enough on the COOP but was also accepted to her first-choice high school, we were all so proud of her.
Brianna continued her enrichment at Huntington until November 2011. On her last day she brought in her first report card and we were ecstatic to see all As and Bs. We are so happy for Brianna and her success. She tells us she will be back in a few years for SAT prep.
When Caroline came into our Morristown Huntington for her academic evaluation, she was hiding behind her mother clutching to a toy she had brought with her. When we first asked Caroline questions, she would not speak to us and would only write her answers. The testing was difficult because she did not want to read out loud or answer any questions verbally.
In the initial conference, Caroline's mom told us that she was easily frustrated and was completely shut down when it came to doing school work. She refused to read at home and her mom did not know how to help her. Caroline had been in basic skills classes at school for two years, but the classes didn't seem to motivate her.
In the beginning, we noticed that Caroline lacked motivation and was easily and quickly frustrated. She would try to convince her teachers to read to her and often asked to take breaks. Eventually, Caroline became more willing to complete tasks that challenged her. Her Huntington teachers started to gradually see a positive change in attitude and she was becoming a more fluent reader. As Caroline passed more tests in math, we started to see a more confident and motivated child emerge.
Caroline's mom also noticed this positive change in Caroline. Today, Caroline reads at home for fun. She comes in with her book so that she can read in the waiting room while she waits for her mom to pick her up. She is excited to tell us what she is reading about and share her grades with us. During a school visit, Caroline's teacher said that Caroline participates in class and volunteers to read daily.
Caroline has become a much more positive, confident and motivated student. She no longer shuts down at homework time and she knows that she has the skills to achieve in the classroom. Her classroom teachers have also noticed a positive change. We are excited to see how much Caroline can accomplish as she continues here at Huntington.
Charles is a pre-kindergarten student that attended Huntington in Verona, NJ during the summer of 2011. While in New Jersey visiting his grandmother, Charles attended Huntington. When his grandmother first contacted Huntington, she was concerned about his phonics, handwriting and his basic skills. Charles had difficulty recognizing and writing letters and numbers, following directions and writing his name. Additionally, Charles had little focus and became easily frustrated when learning new concepts. Our objective was to get Charles ready for entering kindergarten. On the academic evaluation, Charles scored below grade level. He was not able to complete many of the tests administered.
Charles attended Huntington five times a week from the end of June until August, completing 84 hours of instruction. After completing his summer program at Huntington, Charles is now able to write his name, numbers 1-10 and letters A-Z. Overall, his writing has improved drastically. Charles also recognizes all isolated letter sounds, and Charles mastered 15 new sight words such as and, the and can. Charles has also improved with following multi-step directions.
Since Charles has completed his program, I have been in contact with his mother, Shronda, throughout the school year. The following is a quote derived from an email from her: "Thanks to each and everyone who has worked so very hard with my son. Charles has gotten two green dots, which has earned him a horseshoe point! He has learned so much from you all I just cannot thank you enough!"
Cheyenne first came to the Staten Island Huntington in spring 2011 as a fourth-grade student. She was doing very poorly in all of her subjects, and had very low self-esteem because of this. We began building her basic skills in reading and mathematics. Because she had struggled for so long in school, she had truly come to believe that she wasn't capable of doing well in school.
Cheyenne's mother, however, never gave up on her, and neither did the teachers and staff at Huntington. Week after week, the teachers worked hard to help Cheyenne reach her potential. Slowly, she started to see a difference in her abilities. Her efforts at the center started carrying over to her school work, and before long, Cheyenne's grades started to improve. By the end of the first marking period of fifth grade, Cheyenne had achieved second honors for the first time.
Cheyenne's success is not limited to her grades. Her attitude has completely turned around. When she first started at Huntington, Cheyenne refused to believe she was capable of achieving much of anything. Following making second honors earlier this school year, Cheyenne changed schools. At her old school she had become part of the academic elite, but at her new school, she was now an average student. Rather than falling back into her old habits of just getting by, Cheyenne now knows that she can achieve what she sets her mind to. Where she once fought coming to Huntington, she now knows we will help her become an honors student at her new school, too.
Chris came to Huntington in Carle Place, NY in the spring of his freshman year. He had been struggling in school since fourth grade due to learning disabilities and classifications. Chris had worked with private tutors and gotten homework help at school through his resource room and extra labs, but he was still failing and had no motivation for learning or school.
The day of Chris's academic evaluation was very difficult. He yelled at his parents that he was not taking this "stupid, senseless evaluation" and demanded he go home. His parents left him anyway. During the evaluation, Chris actually got up and tried to walk out the front doors of the center. After sitting and talking with him to calm him down, we realized that he was upset because the evaluation was too hard for him. We convinced Chris to just do what he could and forget the rest, and he did just that.
His parents enrolled him for 1:1 instruction and Chris began working with his tutor. Eventually, Chris felt that Huntington was not so bad. I was invited to attend a meeting at his school that spring. He was doing well and the teachers were pleased with the input that Huntington provided.
Chris added subject tutoring to his program an extra two days a week for the month leading up to his Regents exam. Chris not only passed, but scored above average. He loves his classes at Huntington now and tells all his friends that the reason he no longer needs resource room is because Huntington totally changed his life. Chris still attends Huntington and talks about continuing with us until he graduates high school and takes his SAT.
When Danielle first enrolled at Huntington in Eastchester, NY, she was very quiet and shy, but she was determined to get the grade she wanted. Her confidence was low and it came across in her work. Danielle was so depleted from others telling her she wasn't good at things that she held herself back.
A self-starter, Danielle scheduled her own academic evaluation at Huntington, and thereafter she came to every session overly prepared. She wanted to get everything that she could out of each session. The more Danielle worked with her teachers, the more confidence she developed. Danielle is an amazing writer but because she was comparing her grades to others', she did not realize it.
Once it was time for Danielle to take her test she had come a long way. She felt that as long as she did her best, that's what mattered. Danielle came to Huntington as a very introverted girl with no self-confidence and transformed into a student capable of sharing her accomplishments and accepting herself for who she is.
Danny first came to Huntington in Staten Island, NY as an elementary student, enrolled in the learning center program. He completed his program, his grades improved, and he left us as a successful Huntington alumnus.
Fast forward to the spring semester of 2011. Danny was now a seventh-grader enrolled in a rigorous private school on Staten Island, and he was once again struggling. His parents were at their wits end, as Danny was failing math and was in danger of failing several other classes. It was Danny who remembered the experiences he had at Huntington as an elementary student, and he suggested coming back to us for help.
Danny first started in our math subject tutoring program in the hopes that he could pass his finals and make it into eighth grade. After this emergency fix, he re-enrolled in a learning center program. He attended the center all summer, coming in every day for several hours.
By November 2011, Danny had completed his program and both he and his parents were thrilled with the results. However, despite all the hard work, Danny was still struggling in algebra and was now struggling in Spanish as well. Danny told his mother he wanted to continue at Huntington. He is enrolled in our enrichment program, working on further developing his writing and study skills and he also receives subject tutoring in Spanish and algebra.
When Derrick came to Huntington in Brick, NJ in September 2011, he was struggling in all of his subjects, especially in math, writing and study skills. Historically, in the beginning of the school year, Derrick's grades started as Bs; however, by the end of the year they dropped, in some cases as low as Ds. Although Derrick's mom and dad attributed it to laziness, his academic evaluation told a different story. The gaps in Derrick's basic skills were significant and his writing needed major improvement.
Because Derrick had low confidence in his abilities based on past failures, we immediately set to work building his skills. In the first few months, Derrick's skills have been improving exponentially. As a result, he no longer dreads going to school. In fact, since his attention to instruction has increased significantly, Derrick eagerly embraces school. According to his teacher, Derrick is ahead of his class in math and his increased confidence has enabled him to work more independently. He even helps his classmates in some subjects that they struggle with. Derrick's hard work has paid off with academic success this year. For the first time in his life, Derrick made the honor roll.
Ethan started at the Huntington Center in Wayne, NJ in the beginning of first grade already extremely behind. He cried every day at homework time, upset that he was stupid and couldn't do anything. Reading was a tremendous struggle and he would avoid it all costs. Ethan's mom came to us desperate for help with her son. Ethan attended Huntington for six months, and he showed improvements immediately. He went from the fourth percentile to the 88th Percentile on the comprehension section of the California Achievement Test. This was something his mom never thought possible. She is extremely grateful for everything Huntington has helped Ethan with. Today, Ethan is an eager reader, and tries to read anything he can get his hands on. In a recent call to his mom to see how Ethan is now doing in second grade, she said, "You have given me my son back. I cannot thank you enough."
Francesca was a child with no self-esteem, calling herself dumb and stupid. Her parents saw a Huntington commercial and decided to give us a try. Francesca came to Huntington in August 2011. It was very clear to our staff why Francesca had such confidence issues: school was too difficult for her.
Francesca's parents saw the urgency of the situation and decided to enroll their daughter in our program immediately, attending eight hours a week. In a short amount of time, Francesa has completely turned things around. Her first report card after starting at Huntington showed dramatic improvement. She earned 96 in Reading, a subject she was barely passing before.
After multiple visits with Francesca's teachers, they have referred two other students to Huntington because they believe that Huntington is able to help children overcome struggles as we did with Francesca. Francesca is now the Hartsdale Huntington center's little mayor--she comes in as if she owns the center, very happy and confident. Francesca came to Huntington calling herself stupid. Today, she is a shining star and extremely confident in her abilities.
Franklin's mother noticed that he was struggling to keep up with the rest of his fifth-grade peers when it came to reading and math, so she researched tutoring services and found Huntington and Sylvan. Franklin took an academic evaluation at both, and was given the opportunity to choose where he wanted to attend. Due to a positive testing experience at Huntington, the decision was an easy choice for Franklin. He picked Huntington.
Franklin started instruction in January 2010. At the time, he was earning a C in math and a D in reading. Franklin's attitude toward school was very negative, and he had very few friends. With regular attendance and instruction at Huntington, with time, Franklin not only raised his grades to Bs, but found a wonderful group of peers that accepted him at school.
Franklin continued instruction well past his original 156-hour program. In fact, Franklin is now in seventh grade and comes to Huntington twice a week. He now earns high honors at school and his attitude toward reading has completely changed. Every week Franklin tells us all about the book he is reading. Franklin's math skills are stronger than ever and he has even referred friends to other Huntingtons. Franklin has become the unofficial "mayor" of the Ridgewood, NJ Huntington center, greeting all new students and telling them that Huntington is the place to be. Everyone at the Ridgewood center is extremely proud of Franklin's hard work and accomplishments.
Hans's parents called the Lynbrook Huntington Center on the recommendation of friends in October 2008. They were moving and were very concerned about Hans's education since he was not only moving to a new neighborhood and a new school, but also had been classified as speech and language delayed. Homework with their third-grader was taking in excess of two hours each night. Since both parents were nurses, their shifts meant that many times they were unavailable to give Hans the extra academic support he required to master the skills needed for success. Hans himself shared during his academic evaluation that homework took around 15 hours a week. Everyone was experiencing difficulty and frustration due to Hans's lack of proficiency in all academic areas. It was their goal to see their son transition from a special-education classroom to a regular classroom and feel empowered to be an independent, capable learner.
Hans began instruction immediately. Hans has completed all of the work in his verbal program guide and has advanced to the next grade level. He is currently working on story writing, note taking, and English and language arts standardized test prep. Hans's math skills on his initial academic evaluation indicated no mastery in any category. Today, Hans has gained all of the requisite skills needed for his age and grade.
Hans continued at Huntington and is now in sixth grade. He has moved from a self-contained classroom to an inclusion class where he enjoys the academics as well as the camaraderie with his fellow students. His parents are delighted to see their son successful in both his academic endeavors and social relationships. Hans has made many friends in his class and his parents watch with pride as their only child participates in the entire academic and social opportunities afforded him. In class, he is accepted as "one of the boys" now that he is successful in the academics of the classroom. Hans has become a competent, capable student with the desire to succeed.
Hans first began at Huntington as a shy, quiet child. He is now confident, speaking with ease to both students and teachers. His classroom teachers have remarked at the wonderful growth in Hans's participation and leadership within his classroom. His parents have told us on numerous occasions that they want to keep Hans at Huntington throughout his school years. We are all so very proud of Hans and his success.
Izabelle's parents came to Huntington Learning in Massapequa, NY in March 2011 when Izabelle was in kindergarten. They were very upset after her teacher told them that she was having extreme difficulty keeping up with her classmates. She was unable to sound out basic words, could not decode words when reading and did not recognize sight words. The teacher told them that she would most likely have to repeat kindergarten.
Izabelle started her program doing eight hours a week, focusing on building her basic phonics skills. Her parents put all their trust in us that we would help her succeed and move on to first grade with her classmates. By June, Izabelle was making great progress but was still not reading as well as her teacher wanted her to be. Although she was not retained, her teacher was concerned that she was not ready for first grade. At the beginning of the summer, Izabelle's parents again put their trust in Huntington that we would get her to read. We promised them that if she continued to work hard and progress in her program as she has been, she would be ready for first grade.
Izabelle came to the center all summer and put in so much effort that we knew she would be ready for first grade. She was even one of the top readers in our reading adventure contest. In September, during our first school visit for Izabelle, we heard amazing news. On the first day of school, the teacher administered a test to the class to rate their reading readiness and Izabelle scored the highest in the whole class. She scored 100 percent!
Jeff was 27 years old and had just finished his first semester of veterinarian school in Grenada. From the very first week at school, he struggled. He was barely able to memorize anything, and had difficulty understanding the material. He ended up having to drop Histology and Embryology.
When Jeff walked into the Huntington in East Northport, NY he confided in us his that his first year of veterinarian school hadn't gone well. He knew that his basic skills were weak and that he had problems with note taking and retention of this very difficult material.
Jeff had been given a "redemption exam," which he had to pass in order to remain in the program. Although Jeff was not happy to be in his current situation, he was willing to do whatever it took to succeed.
Jeff had struggled throughout school his entire life, yet had managed to receive a master's degree. He was diagnosed at age eight with a processing problem and had been recently diagnosed and medicated for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Jeff had survived all of this to find himself unable to achieve the high goal that he had set for himself: to start a career in medicine. Despite all he had accomplished, he felt like a failure.
Testing revealed that Jeff was most comfortable reading material on an eighth-grade level. His critical thinking skills were also undeveloped. He was absolutely mortified when asked to read out loud.
We were given 10 weeks to fix Jeff's situation. We developed individualized study-skills that focused on the skills Jeff needed to identify, interpret and understand the difficult material in his courses. With an additional emphasis on study skills geared toward his specific needs, taking a multi-sensory approach, we showed Jeff how to do everything from highlight to show sequencing and draw inferences, one of his weakest skills.
Jeff came to Huntington over the summer, up until the day before he left for his test. He would roll his eyes when we told him that he was absolutely ready. Even as he said goodbye and we wished him luck, Jeff was admittedly frightened.
Three days later we received the following email from Jeff:
"Well, today was a great day. I got a 95 on my exam. I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you so much for everything. Can you tell Vicki and Tim for me? I will keep you updated, because this is just the beginning of great things to come. I will come visit in December to show you the 4.0 I expect to get!"
Shortly after John was born, he was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For the next few years, John made multiple hospital visits, many of which kept him out of school for weeks. Because of this, John quickly fell behind in math and reading and frequent school absences made it difficult for John to catch up. Despite his efforts to work with teachers, John struggled to understand basic concepts being taught at school.
John's parents signed him up for after-school tutoring programs and got him extra help, but nothing seemed to make a significant difference. John continued to struggle and his frustration increased. Getting him to school every day became a battle for his parents, and he was becoming disruptive in the classroom.
John's mom and dad felt hopeless. After speaking with The Nanuet, NY Huntington representative, John's parents decided to get their son the help he so desperately needed. The results of John's academic evaluation showed that John, a fourth-grader, was reading on a second-grade level. He had yet to master basic addition and subtraction, something his classmates had learned years before.
His spunky and fiery personality made a lasting impression on every teacher who had the pleasure of working with him. The teachers developed a program to hone John's reading abilities. He worked to develop his reading comprehension skills. As John advanced, he moved into higher-level skill books for Inferencing, and writing books. Vocabulary workbooks were a crucial part of getting John's vocabulary to where it needed to be. At the end of the summer, John left the center ready for the upcoming school year. He started fifth grade reading at a fifth-grade level, and had mastered fractions by summer's end. In December 2011, John had made the honor roll at school for the very first time.
Jonathan was in second grade when he came to Huntington in Livingston, NJ. He was seven years old and had moved to the United States from Brazil just two years prior. When Jonathan's mom called, she said that Jonathan's basic skills were poor and he was below grade level. He had been working with a reading specialist at school for the past year, but nothing was working. What his mom really wanted was for Jonathan to perform on grade level and increase his confidence.
When Jonathan first started at Huntington, he was very unhappy and did not think that his program would help him. He said that he already knew everything and always put up a fight with his mom even about coming. During his sessions he often refused to write or even speak to his teachers. It was a constant struggle to get him to do his work and trust that Huntington would help.
Jonathan has completed his initial program and is continuing to work on his sentence writing and independence. His mom was very happy with his grades at the end of second grade and feels that his reading is so much better. When Jonathan comes into the center now he smiles and says hello instead of walking by the teachers without saying anything. His teachers all say that he has a completely different attitude toward his work and is much more cooperative. His writing has greatly improved and we are no longer fighting with him to put a pencil to paper. Jonathan's teacher in school has commented that he is working much more independently and no longer needs to be continually redirected.
Jonathan has gone from a student who would not speak to us to a student who comes in excited and ready to work. Before he leaves each day, he makes sure to say goodbye to us and tell us something positive about his session.
Joseph first came to the Verona, NJ Huntington in May 2011. Joseph was classified with dyslexia in first grade. When his parents first contacted Huntington, their main goal for Joseph was to improve his grades from Cs and Ds to As and Bs, and improve his confidence in his academic abilities. On the academic evaluation, Joseph scored well below three grade levels on the majority of administered exams.
At first Joseph disliked attending Huntington. He did not see how working with us would help with his school academics. Joseph also viewed attending Huntington during summer vacation as a waste of his summer, and he was upset at his parents for forcing him to come. Both of his parents and the Huntington staff members reminded Joseph that he was not being punished for attending Huntington, but that we were here to help him achieve his goals and aspirations.
At the conclusion of summer, Joseph completed 50 hours of instruction. Within these 50 hours, Joseph's California Achievement Test score improved three grade levels in math and vocabulary, and two grade levels in reading comprehension. Joseph started his new school year as a freshman in high school with newfound confidence.
Since his first day of high school, Joseph has attended the center twice a week. However, now Joseph looks forward to attending Huntington. He now sees that Huntington has helped him in school. Joseph started at Huntington as a C and D student. Just recently, Joseph received his first report card and he made the honor roll for the first time. He is excited to learn new concepts in school and at HLC. He has even asked his mom to attend next summer, and to come back for SAT preparation. Joseph's parents could not be happier or more excited for Joseph's accomplishments and improved confidence and motivation.
The following is a quote from Joseph's mom from an email she sent us recently:
"Last night, after everyone was asleep - Joe came into my room and asked me two questions: When can he begin to study for the SATs at Huntington and can we send him for two days a week this summer? I hope we did not wait too long to send him to Huntington, and if he wants to go to college he will still have the tools he will need. Mark and I will find a way to send him as long as Joe still has the motivation."
Kyle is in the fifth grade. He has attended the Yorktown, NY Huntington for the past several months and has made huge improvements in reading comprehension and math. Before Huntington, Kyle was not unlike many fifth-grade boys. He would rather spend time with his friends than work on reports. He procrastinated and avoided studying and often put in the minimum effort to get work done.
Since coming to Huntington, Kyle has made great improvements, particularly in his time management abilities. Recently, Kyle had to complete a project for science class. We worked with Kyle to organize this project, reviewing the requirements, the timeline he had to complete the project, and the work involved. Together, we mapped out a plan, held Kyle accountable for his progress at each session, and encouraged him to do his best. Kyle handed in the assignment early, asking the teacher if she would review it and give him feedback. His teacher gave him extra credit for getting it to her before the deadline and Kyle received an excellent score of 97 on the project.
Since seeing how much his hard work paid off, Kyle has completed all of his subsequent assignments on time or early. His mother came into the center ecstatic to tell us that she had recently received a call from Kyle in the middle of the school day, asking her to pick him up 30 minutes late so he could get extra help from his English teacher. Never before had Kyle taken such initiative or seen the value in seeking outside assistance from a teacher.
When Kyle leaves our program, we know that he will have the skills he needs to complete school work, but more importantly, he has the drive and the willingness to go the extra mile. Kyle now strives to be not a good student, but a great one, which will serve him well as he moves into middle school next year.
Lara came to Huntington in Morristown, NJ as a fifth-grader who was struggling to keep up in most of her classes. She had extremely low confidence and wasn't sure how to ask her teachers for the help she desperately needed. She did, however, ask her mom to find her help. Lara's mom brought Lara in for testing. We found Lara to be an extremely happy, well-adjusted 10-year-old girl, but when it came to reading and doing math, her cheerful disposition disappeared.
In the initial conference, Lara's parents relayed to us that Lara was dejected when it came to math in particular. Lara knew she needed help, but wasn't sure exactly what she needed. Lara's parents were happy to hear that we had a plan to help Lara succeed in school and she began her program immediately. On her first day, Lara walked in with a huge smile and seemed excited about being here and getting help. She started with one hour of verbal and one hour of math, and after her first two sessions Lara's confidence was rising.
From the beginning, Lara was very aware of what she was getting out her time at Huntington. She grasped the relationship between her Huntington work and her class work. During the summer, Lara's parents had Lara come to the center more frequently and Lara was very excited to participate in our Reading Adventure program. Lara was now voluntarily reading books for fun. She asked for help in setting goals for herself so that she could finish her summer reading. Lara also took it upon herself to take notes after reading each night to ensure she was remembering what she read. She was excited to share these notes with us at every session.
At the beginning of the program, Lara expressed to us that she was extremely nervous about transitioning to middle school in the fall. She was intimidated about the bigger school and concerned about getting lost. Lara was also worried about meeting grade expectations at her new school, as the elementary school Lara attended did not give grades.
During school visits, all of Lara's teachers stressed that she was a pleasure to have in class. She participated and helped out when needed, something she was too timid to do before she came to Huntington. During the Student Conference, Lara talked about how much she enjoyed school. She also now feels that school is easier for her and says Huntington was a big part of this change.
A few weeks ago, Lara walked into the center with that same huge smile she had on her first day here and told us all that she had something to show us. She held up a small ribbon with the words "honor roll" on it and told us excitedly that she had made honor roll her first marking period of middle school.
Lara is now nearing the end of her program. She has finished her math program and is excelling in school. Lara's positive attitude made her a joy to have in the center and she will be missed. Lara's parents are extremely proud of her success and have noted a big change in her attitude toward school work. Her positive attitude and self-esteem help her face challenges with confidence because she now believes that she is capable of handling whatever comes her way. When asked what she gained from attending Huntington, Lara said she is better at math and feels more confident in school.
Lee came to Huntington in Carle Place, NY in the third grade as a struggling student. Just getting Lee comfortable with coming through our doors was a challenge. He was unsure of the environment and the teachers, and definitely unsure of the program.
The first step in the process was getting Lee to trust us. We did this carefully, and Lee quickly became comfortable. He became familiar with every book in his program. He loved explaining to each teacher exactly how the program was to be properly carried out. Step by step, Lee began to understand what a main idea of a story was and just exactly how to locate it. He started working on phonics and loved the books that we used, and he especially loved that he could use a marker in the books and it would erase! This served as a great motivational tool for Lee to do his work. He has surpassed program expectations and continues to excel. Huntington has been added to Lee's team that works together to make sure that Lee is a successful student.
We attend Lee's parent-teacher meetings and communicate weekly with his speech and special education teachers. Lee is now working harder in school and earning grades that he is proud of. He is working on writing and loves to read his work to each teacher in the center. Lee has grown from a shy, unsure child into a confident student who loves learning new things and having new books added to his program.
In December 2010, Matt's grandfather came into the Middletown Huntington Center to inquire about tutoring for Matt, as he was having difficulty studying for his driver's test. Matt's grandfather said that Matt studied all the time, but nothing stuck, both for his driver's test and in school. To us, this sounded like Matt's challenge was study skills, so I set him up for an academic evaluation that would pinpoint where we could help him improve. During the evaluation we discovered that Matt's challenge was much larger. As a senior in high school, Matt was reading at a very low grade level.
We started working with Matt right away on phonics, vocabulary and all of the core comprehension skills that Matt was so desperately in need of. The reading and phonics was difficult for him at first, but he never complained and he never lost his motivation to be able to study for that driver's test.
Around February, Matt's grandfather shared with me that Matt was becoming frustrated with the work that he was doing. He couldn't understand, after a few months of hard work, why he couldn't stop his instruction at the center and take his driver's test. We sat down with Matt and learned that he had taken some culinary classes through his high school. When we talked about needing to know how to read the recipes and special instructions, he began to understand why he couldn't leave Huntington yet. Matt started to realize that he wasn't just here to be able to pass his driver's test. He was here so he could be successful throughout his life.
From that moment forward, Matt was motivated. He worked very hard through August 2011. Matt improved his reading and skill level by six grades. Matt's counselors at school would call me frequently to tell me that his teachers kept asking what she had done with Matt because his skills in the classroom had improved so dramatically. Of course, she accredits his success to Huntington.
Matt now reads with tone, inflection and feeling in his voice. His confidence and motivation to learn and read more have grown tremendously. When he left Huntington, he told me that he felt much more prepared to face the world. And, of course, he felt more ready for his driver's test than ever before.
Matt is just one of our one of our greatest success stories at Huntington in Middletown. We are so very proud to be part of his success.
Philip was a special-education student diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome whose teachers strongly believed he belonged in self-contained classes—and that he would never be able to catch up to the mainstream class.
His parents brought Philip to the Scarsdale, NY Huntington when he was in third grade; they were very hesitant at first, since they didn't know anyone who had gone through our program before. Prior to the first Interim conference, we conducted a school visit and the teachers were not at all confident about Philip's abilities. Yet, working with Huntington has been very successful for Philip. He is now in eighth grade and comes to the center once a week. We helped him prepare for the John's Hopkins summer program after seventh grade, where he scored a 1900 on his SAT. Philip is now applying for a full scholarship at Horace Mann Preparatory School. He has been preparing for the SSAT with us. In his academic evaluation, he scored 1800. His most recent score was 2130.
Philip's parents became our best form of marketing, telling their friends and family of the miracle we performed with their child. They cannot thank us enough. They also enrolled their daughter, Helena. They strongly believe that we are going to guide Helena the same way we guided Philip.
Quinn came to the Wayne, NJ Huntington in August 2011, as he was getting ready to enter the seventh grade. Comprehension was always a huge struggle for Quinn, and most tasks were extremely overwhelming for him. Quinn's parents were at their wits end, and said Huntington was their last hope. After walking out the door on his first day, Quinn made it a point to come back in to say, "Thank you, this is really going to help me!"
After working with Huntington for the past five months, Quinn has already achieved all As and Bs on his first marking period report card. He and his mom were ecstatic. When asking his mom about the last time Quinn had such an exciting achievement, she said he'd never achieved anything like it before. Quinn exudes such confidence now, and is so eager to share with us his successes throughout the day. He continues to come to Huntington, and his mom and dad couldn't be happier about their son's increased confidence and happiness.
When Rome came to us in the fall of his kindergarten year, his parents had been told that he was going to be kicked out of school. Rome couldn't read or write and was below grade level in all of his subjects. According to his parents, Rome lacked confidence and fought with his mom every night about doing his homework. Rome's academic evaluation showed that he lacked basic listening skills and concepts necessary to perform in his classroom. He felt "dumb" in his class, and the teacher told his parents he was not capable of learning in that environment. We met with Rome's teacher and she expressed the same to us.
Rome's parents enrolled him at Huntington in Eastchester NY, to come to the center every week. Since enrolling at Huntington, Rome has made incredible improvements. His parents met us at and told us that the teacher is already seeing improvements. They also reported that since Rome has been coming to Huntington, things at home have also gotten much better. Rome now comes into Huntington showing his confidence. He is receiving 100s on his spelling tests, his writing has improved and his self-esteem has skyrocketed. Rome's parents tell us frequently how grateful they are for the improvements they have seen in their son. He is now able to stay at his school and more importantly, Rome no longer dreads going to school. Quite a success story.
When Sean came to the East Northport, NY Huntington in January 2009 as a ninth-grader, his parents were extremely concerned about Sean's ability to understand what he read and how to retain the information. They were also concerned that Sean might never be able to go to college. At our initial meeting, it was immediately clear that they were frustrated and scared for their son. Sean's dad broke down when he saw how poorly Sean scored on his initial academic evaluation.
Sean started his program shortly after and the results were almost instantaneous. During the first conference with Sean's parents, Sean's mom told us that he really liked coming and it was better than any tutoring experience he had ever had. During his classes he found the teachers to be very helpful and supportive. He didn't mind the work being easier in the beginning because it helped him develop basic skills and he knew the work would gradually get more difficult. Soon, Sean's grades started to improve. When Sean got his third-quarter report card his ninth-grade year, he made the honor roll for the first time ever.
Sean attended Huntington consistently for the rest of his freshman year. He came six hours a week and never complained to his parents about coming. Sean enrolled in Reading Adventure during the summer, and went to sleep-away camp. At the end of the summer, he requested to come back to Huntington, and his mom called the day he returned from camp to start back up again. Sean resumed his program, and added time each week to focus on math. Again Sean made the honor roll the rest of the school year. During one meeting, his mom said that he loves coming, and he is anxiously waiting to begin SAT preparation.
Sean completed the school year with his best report card ever. He went away to a camp at Villa Nova University for the summer where they worked on science projects and SAT/reading comprehension. Again, Sean took the Reading Adventure journals, and proceeded to complete three more books. When he returned, he re-enrolled at the end of the summer. He completed his prescribed learning center program by the middle of the year.
In January, Sean took his evaluation for SAT, and he started the prep program. He was able to raise his score from a 1200 to a 1580. College became a possibility for him. He took the November SAT, and scored a 1650. Sean is now enrolled in subject tutoring for physics and pre-calculus. He has applied to several colleges and plans to go to medical school.
My son has been attending Huntington of Englewood since December 2010. He has made great progress at school. His grades have improved and he is able to handle the work on his own. Syed has always had trouble with math and reading. On his last report card, he did great with English and for the first time in a very long time he received an average grade in math (he even got a 93 on one of his tests). This is coming from a student who had to attend summer school for math last summer because of all the difficulty he was having.
Although he finished his original program, we are still working on math at Huntington. The staff at the center has been really helpful and welcoming and has made Syed and me both feel at home.
Thank you so much for everything you have done for my son.
Sira K. -Mother
Tiffany came to the Manhasset, NY Huntington in September 2010 as a kindergarten student. At the time that we met her, she had no sight words, poor letter recognition, no phonetic skills and was a non-reader. Her mom has a language barrier and needed help for her daughter and an advocate to help them to work with the school system. They found us through the principal at one of our local schools.
Within the first month of attendance, Tiffany began to recognize sight words, sound out sentences and overcome her fear of being in school She was so fearful that it would always be hard for her that she gave her mom a hard time about doing any work at all. Very young students have a persuasive way of asking not to do something. It is hard for them to understand how important learning is when they are so young and already so far behind. She continued through the next school year and then went away over the summer.
In the very beginning of the next school year, Tiffany's mom called us and re-enrolled Tiffany, now a first-grader. After meeting with Tiffany's teacher at school, we shared with mom that the teacher said Tiffany is one of her best readers and is getting better at it every day. Her confidence level has increased a lot from last year and now she looks forward to learning. She recently completed her initial learning-center program and is now going to begin her maintenance program to continue to improve her reading skills and stay at the top of the class.
Her mom also enrolled Tiffany's brother, Jesse. They are both here 3-4 times per week.
Please see Tiffany's note below.
It helped me learn new words, read and write sentences. Now I know how to spell the words. I can do things by myself.