The Learning Connection
About Us

Creation
The Learning Connection has been committed to developing young minds since 1997. TLC was founded by Lisa Guffey, an educator and a parent of child with learning differences, under the original name Learning Solutions at Tampa Day School.  Lisa is the creator of this program and was the Director of the programs until February, 2009 when she left to begin offering improved services to students, parents and educators through TLC.
 
TLC has always used proven, educational techniques to instruct children. Lisa believes that, although many teachers did an admirable job in the classroom, many children did not learn well in traditional institutions or with traditional methods. Many children don't respond to the assembly line nature of most institutions. She believes that a child's strengths and natural ability needed to be the foundation of learning.  Lisa does not believe in the "Cookie Cutter" approach to educating children who are struggling and works diligently to find the unique key to learning for each student.  At TLC, your child is seen as an individual and natural strengths are identified and built upon.  All intervention is based on taking the child at their current academic level and beginning a dynamic plan to fill in current gaps, teach new skills and to scaffold all learning towards complex tasks and higher-order thinking at an independent level.

TLC focuses on building confidence, motivation, focus, and problem solving skills. Our Educational Therapists share successful strategies with students so they can succeed on their own. TLC uses the title "Educational Therapist" to reflect the differences in the intervention services and staff qualifications offered at our business versus your typical tutoring/homework help centers, tutors from local schools or those without the appropriate education background.  Our Educational Therapists are all highly educated with at least a Bachelor of Arts degree and appropriate coursework at the Master's level.  Our Educational Therapists hold several certifications or licenses and have completed extensive training both within the TLC setting and at prestigious universities or research-based learning centers such as Harvard, LindaMood-Bell, All Kinds of Minds, Orton-Gillingham, University of South Florida, etc. Our friendly, enthusiastic and highly competent staff create a safe, supportive and effective atmosphere for your child.  Our students' intervention plans and academic progress are monitored by Lisa, who has changed the academic future for well over 500 children in the last 16 years.

Inspiration
"We might have a problem here."
Those six simple words changed our lives forever.  Only the first six weeks of Kindergarten had gone by but already my son's teacher had noticed that he was not picking up on letters, sounds and the reading process as she would have predicted based on his verbal skills.  I was in a state of shock and disbelief.  At age 5, Josh, had the verbal communication skills equal to most adults and had incredible logic, reasoning and memory skills for his age.  He had attended a pre-school program at USF which was run by their Education Department.  We had noticed that he did not seem to be as interested in the letter and writing centers there but when we raised any questions about Josh's development, we were always told that he was above level and that "boys are just not as interested in those things."  We had no idea of the journey we were all beginning.

For the next 16 years, our lives would consist of various therapies, interventions, meetings, different schools, researching, training and educating ourselves with the most current research-based methods that work for children with learning differences.  Through this incredible, fascinating and at times exhausting journey, we have created the most successful reading program in the Bay area.  Josh, now 23,  works part-time and attends college part-time with the ultimate goal of a degree in teaching. 


Dedication
During Josh's third-grade year, we did a worksheet together for homework and this image will stay with me forever.  The assignment was to create your own superhero.  Josh choose to create "SFS" complete with a flying cape and letters on his chest.  When I asked about SFS, he told me, "Mom, that is Safe From School!  He keeps kids safe from school!!!"

It is easy to assume that he was having a bad experience in a school that did not understand his needs but you would be wrong.  He was at a private school for students with learning disabilities and even more astounding, I had just started working there to develop their reading intervention program.  Yet, still our son did not feel safe.  The lack of success with academic tasks was taking a huge toll on his confidence and his social, emotional, mental and physical health.  I vowed then to change the future for children with learning differences and to save as many children as possible from ever feeling that way about school and learning. 

Education
Lisa holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of South Florida and is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Special Education with completion of the following coursework: Creating Positive Learning Environment  for Students with Disabilities, Developing Individualized Education Programs for Students with Disabilities, Implementing and Evaluating Students with Learning Disabilites, ESOL 1, Theory and Practice of Teaching English Language and Psychological Foundations of Education.  Lisa has also completed several hundred hours of training via "The Learning and The Brain" program at Harvard University.

Qualifications
Lisa is experienced, trained or certified in the most recognized and researched programs for treating learning differences including:
  • Dr. Mel Levine - All Kinds of Minds
  • Lindamood-Bell Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS)  - Formerly known as the Auditory Discrimination in Depth Program
  • Lindamood-Bell Seeing Stars
  • Lindamood-Bell Visualizing and Verbalizing
  • Great Leaps Reading: Sound Awareness, Phonics, Phrases and Stories
  • Earobics
  • Read, Write and Type 
  • Linking blocks for Language and Writing Development
  • Orton Gillingham Methodology
  • Mind-Mapping 
  • Spelling Demons
  • Specific Skills Series
  • Soar to Success Reading Remediation
  • Visual Tracking: letters, words and sentences
  • On Cloud Nine
  •  Key Math
  • Touch Math

    Lindamood-Bell does not endorse third-party workshops or clinics.
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