About Us

LearnUp Centers is a unique reading program that teaches struggling readers, with or without a diagnosis of dyslexia, to read at grade level and beyond in about half the time as most other major reading programs.

LearnUp uses a unique co-location model, housing our centers at prestigious universities and corporate campuses to reduce both the stigma and shame of struggling readers as well as the cost to participants.

We currently tutor after school at the University of San Francisco School of Management on the main campus of USF at Fulton and Clayton in San Francisco.

Our after-school tutoring sessions are open and enrollment is ongoing and open to all ages. We operate year-round from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and enroll on an ongoing basis.

LearnUp Centers is partnering with:

Steve Tattum, Director of Reading,  founder of the Tattum Reading Program, to replicate his methodology and scale his success with more students and schools in the Bay Area.

The University of San Francisco School of Management to host the program on the USF campus and conduct research on the program’s effectiveness.

La Boulangerie to host the program in the Western Addition.

Pascal and Virginie Rigo, lead founders and funders of LearnUp Centers. Their son lives with dyslexia and struggled for years to learn how to read until he participated in the Tattum Reading Program. The Rigos saw the change in their son, and wanted others, especially kids in low-income communities, to overcome their reading struggles.

LearnUp Tutors

We hire and train undergrads at the University of San Francisco to teach our reading program. All our tutors have been screened and hired personally by our reading director, Steve Tattum.

We look for three main strengths in our tutors: a linguistic gift, an ability to learn, mirror, and teach a reading lesson, and possession of key characteristics of an effective educator and mentor. All our tutors have been through a sixty-hour training program that teaches them the theory teaching reading and the practical skills of teaching our program. During the first week of training, our tutors learn reading theory and how our program aligns to reading development and the neuroscience of dyslexia and other reading issues. They also learn the practical nuts and bolts of delivering our curriculum to struggling readers. In the second week, our tutors in training put it all togehter through hands-on practicums. Once they are tutoring for us, we continue to offer professional development and regular mentoring.  Steve Tattum observes sessions and mentors our tutors and provides personal guidance on how to be a better teacher.

Zoe Velez, Psychology, Class of 2019

I really love going to the park, specifically Golden Gate, and laying in the grass with a good book. I have been with LearnUp for almost a year and I would say my favorite thing about teaching is speaking with the student about how their day was or what they did over the weekend. I have had parents tell me that their non-readers eventually become excited to read and pick up books on their own. For me, there is no greater accomplishment than hearing that my students want to read.

“Hi Alex, how’s it going?”  “Great! I am learning to read!” — LearnUp Student

Colleen Mercado, Biology and Chemistry, Class of 2019

When I am not studying, working, or volunteering, I use my precious free time to explore different nature spots and also experience all the amazing restaurants that San Francisco has to offer. I love teaching reading because I truly believe that literacy is crucial for a strong educational foundation. Reading broadens the world as we know it, stimulating the imagination while still leaving room for creativity. As I see my students progress, I also see an increase in their confidence–something that is incomparable. By teaching reading, I know that I am making a difference in the lives of others and that type of satisfaction is something I strive for.

“I’ve seen a huge difference in Henry’s reading and word attack.” — Nora Hudson, LearnUp Parent 

“She loves working with you!” — LearnUp Parent 

Elizabeth Verduzco, Psychology, Class of 2018

I love staying active and working on small art projects. I also work as a lifeguard at the Koret Rec. and Health center. As a psychology major, I want to specialize in pediatric development, and even go into medicine in the future.I love teaching because each student is different and has a unique experience in learning how to read. Tutoring allows me to see growth and change in ways that would otherwise go unnoticed. I feel that building relationships with my students is the key to finding a way to move forward together.

“I can’t believe I read this many books!” — LearnUp Student

Mary Tacoroni, Psychology, Class of 2019

In my downtime, I enjoy cooking, studying foreign languages, and reading. I love teaching children to read because with every session I can see their excitement and confidence rise. I see them develop a love for reading and, more importantly, learning,  that was formerly unknown to them.

“I read the whole book last night.” — LearnUp Student

Roger Eldor-Willman, Physics and Philosophy, San Francisco City College
I am studying Physics and Philosophy at SFCC. I am an avid reader, video-gamer, and a bit of a mechanical nerd. I love teaching reading because reading was a central part of my childhood and unlocked my imagination. I love working at LearnUp because I feel that our work here gives our students another open avenue to explore their imagination.

“He reads every stop sign now thanks to you!” — LearnUp Parent

In-kind/Pro Bono Services

The Imagineering Company, a strategic writing firm that provides everything from content strategy and creation to naming and positioning.  Learn more at www.imagineeringsf.com.

Alyssa Warnock Design Studio, specializing in brand identity, packaging and signage. Learn more at www.alyssawarnock.com.

LearnUp Centers is a program at the Good Food For Good Foundation EIN 47-2262474.

One thought on “About Us

Leave a Reply