Opening the Doors To Literacy

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Lee Pesky Learning Center
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Lee Pesky Learning Center strengthens literacy (reading, writing, and math) in the community with an emphasis on helping those with learning disabilities. We achieve our mission by providing research-based assessment, academic intervention, counseling to individuals, and small groups; consultation and training to schools, educators, and child care providers to improve the literacy of all children; literacy resources (books, curricula, classes, tools) to children, families, and communities.


Submission Information

Impact Essay

LPLC’s core mission is to help Idaho children, pre-K through grade 12, succeed in school, with an emphasis on children facing specific learning challenges. Many learning challenges develop from specific risk factors.

To that end, the work of LPLC focuses on two risk factors in Idaho.

Learning Disabilities: Learning disabilities touch about 20% of the student population, regardless of socio-economic or ethnic background. Unaddressed learning disabilities predict poor academic performance, frustration, dropping out of school, and poor life outcomes, including incarceration.

Poverty: Low income circumstances, which touch 35% of Idaho’s children, are often associated with the absence of a language-rich upbringing, a lack of spoken English at home, and no precedent for college attendance in the family or neighborhood. These conditions are a strong predictor of poor early literacy development. In turn, students who are not ready to read and count at entry to kindergarten are unlikely to be at grade level by 4th grade. Students behind in 4th grade tend to stay behind, fail to attain a high school degree, and have poor life outcomes.

Recognizing these risk factors, the Center's core mission is to help Idaho children (pre-k through grade 12) succeed in school, with an emphasis on children facing specific learning challenges. Specifically, the Center's programs address these learning challenges:


1. Learning disabilities (or "learning differences") such as dyslexia, ADHD and Aspergers (k-12)


Center Programs: comprehensive educational assessment; one-on-one academic intervention to overcome disabilities; counseling for clients and their families; public education about learning disabilities


2. Weak early literacy development in reading and math (pre-K)


Center Programs: Idaho Early Literacy Project featuring workshops (live and online) for child care providers; workshops for parents; courses for educators


3. Below grade-level performance in reading (k-12)

Center Programs: after-school intervention at low income schools with small group remediation; training & consultation for teachers


4. Lack of motivation and academic foundation to pursue a college education (k-12)

Center Programs: College Aspirations Project with mentoring, college awareness, and leadership through community service for at- risk youth; educational remediation; and specialized college counseling


The Center brings state-of-the-art expertise and experience to addressing learning challenges. The Center conducts rigorous evaluations of student learning, which show significant positive outcomes in each area of activity.


The Microsoft Office package provides staff with the necessary applications to effectively complete the rigors of their daily work. The Microsoft Donation program allowed our organization to purchase enough licenses to properly equip our central office and three satellite offices enabling the Center to meet the needs of more students throughout the state.

With the help of the Microsoft Donation Program through TechSoup, the Center was able to fully license and equip new servers to stabilize our network and allow employees in offices in southern Idaho to operate as if they were located in the central office in Boise. The estimated fair market value for the software through the donation program exceeded $9,800.00.

The Center utilizes SQL and Access databases for tracking donor information, program evaluation, teacher training records, and client information. The donor database prints instant thank you letters after donation information is entered. The client database allows for simple and effective record keeping of each client’s intervention hours used for program evaluation, employee payroll, client billing, and intra-office chart notes. All databases are also used to create letters using mail merge, billing and agreement forms, and end-of-year giving reports. The teacher training database allows us to keep records (classes, grades, payment, archive of information for State Department of Education) for all teachers who receive professional development from the Center.

Throughout the year Publisher is used to create marketing and fundraising materials that are critical pieces of our development office. This application is used for flyers and banners for events such as parent nights, teacher trainings, and small group classes. As a nonprofit organization, successful fundraising is critical to fulfilling the mission. Each year, the Center hosts a major fundraising event. Publisher is used to create the auction booklet for the event. In recent years, during this event, the Center created a separate fundraising initiative to increase donations.

The Training and Consultation department uses PowerPoint to create course presentations taught throughout Idaho. By training hundreds of teachers throughout the state, the Center’s impact reaches thousands of children each year.

With the help of the tools provided by the Microsoft Donation Program through TechSoup, we are a bridge to literacy for those with learning challenges.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery