The Reading Initiative

The Reading Initiative at the Churchill School and Center

The Virtual Reading Initiative is a free after-school program that provides 27 weeks of free systematic Orton-Gillingham phonics instruction using the Preventing Academic Failure (PAF) program. Our classes are taught by trained teachers in small groups of no more than 8 public & parochial school students, whose families cannot afford private tutoring or do not have extra reading support provided to them in their school district. Eligible children:
  • have completed Kindergarten but are having difficulty with sound/symbol recognition, or
  • are in grades 1, 2 or 3 and are struggling to read, and/or are dyslexic, and
  • do not have extra reading support offered to them through their school district
Program Information

The 27-week term begins in late October and runs through early June. Classes occur on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4 - 5pm. There will be remote and in person groups - parent choice. Participation is for the FULL 27 weeks and children are expected to attend BOTH weekly reading classes.
The reading instruction is sequential and bases each lesson on previously taught material, so attendance is very important! Please give careful thought to the time and travel commitments involved for you, your child and other family members.

Please apply only if you can ensure:
  • Consistent attendance. Students with 3 undocumented absences in a row will be removed from our roster.
  • Timely arrival. Students arriving after 4:15 will not be allowed to enter their class and will be marked as absent.
  • Responsible Adult (18+) Supervision to accompany the child to/from Reading Initiative.
Sign-in begins at 3:50PM. For those who must arrive early due to public transport: you can visit the park on 29th & 2nd, the public library on 31st & 3rd, or any of the various eateries & coffee shops in the area.

Admissions Information

Reading Initiative has a 2-part admissions process:

1) Application: The application must be completed by both the parent/guardian and child's current teacher, and be received on/before OCTOBER 1, 2020. Your child will not be considered unless ALL fields on their application are correctly entered by the appropriate persons. If, after reviewing all complete applications, we feel that your child would benefit from our phonics-based instruction, we will contact you via e-mail to schedule the 2nd part of the admissions process. 
2) Screening Evaluation: A Screening is a 30 minute meeting where your child and a reading teacher will meet one-on-one for an informal assessment at our school. Screenings will begin the week of October 4th.  You will be notified of your child's time slot appointment via e-mail the week prior. Results will NOT be provided at the end of the Screening, as it takes time to score each evaluation. Once all assessments have been scored, we will inform parents of the acceptance determinations via e-mail. 

Please note: Our evaluation is program-specific and is for in-house use only; the results are solely for acceptance & placement purposes. The evaluation itself is not intended for IEP or other educational uses, and therefore cannot be provided to the family.


The application period for the 2022-2023 school year is closed.