Frequently asked questions about the business

Q When I take the training to open my own business, what do I receive for my investment of money and time?
A You will receive 30 or more hours of personal training, and will be awarded a certificate of Reading Instruction Specialist; plus personalized hands-on instruction in operating your business; materials for your first 30 students; two sets of teacher’s manuals; and much more. You will be given a license that allows you to operate two locations. You’ll be given permission to copy all student materials and your own personal promotional materials.

Q Where do I take the training and when is it offered?
A Your training will be at Alpha Reading Center, our center headquarters, in Itasca, Illinois. We will endeavor to schedule the training to accommodate your individual needs. Overseas training may take place in your local area by special arrangement, if possible.

Q Where do we stay during the four to five days?
A There are several local hotels from which to choose. Transportation to and from our center headquarters is provided.

Q Just what is your certification of Reading Instruction Specialist?
A A certificate as a Reading Instruction Specialist certifies that you have mastered the teaching of reading. You will not find this class of certification at any university or teacher’s college. It differs from that of a standard Reading Specialist certificate, which requires the study of reading, and does not require actual success with real students, as a Reading Instruction Specialist does.

Q How do I go about getting students?
A Our business nanual includes many free and low-cost promotional methods. And we provide you with training and promotional materials for attracting students.

Q How thorough is the training?
A You will be taken through the program as though you were a student. Questions are encouraged and answered. We cover every aspect of the business. Since the training takes place at our center headquarters, you will observe and, where appropriate, actually participate in teaching real students to read. After your initial training, ongoing consultation and support is made available.

Q After I pay for the program, do I need to pay royalty or franchise fees?
A No. There are no royalties or franchise fees. It is your own business, not a franchise. You will keep the money you earn. You may choose to join the membership and you may choose to purchase additional/updated materials. There is a fee to renew your license.

Q What steps are necessary to take the training and get the materials?
A Here are a few steps you need to take:
• A completed and approved application
• A clear background check
• A mastery of the English language
• An interview
• A deposit (to secure training)

We will provide you with all the other tools you will need.

Q What is my next step?
A Call us with any further questions. If you decide you want to do this and have a date in mind, we ask for a $500 deposit (part of the $7,500).

Q Why do you charge so little for the business opportunity?
A We have been told by financial advisors that our price of $7,500 is far too low for such a great business opportunity, but we want to keep it low so more people can take advantage of it and therefore help more people. Financial advisors have suggested between $20,000 and $60,000. We keep the cost low so more people can take advantage of the opportunity to open their own center and help more students.

Q What if I get there and find out this is not for me?
A After you start your training, you’ll have two days to decide if this business is for you. If you decide it isn’t we’ll refund you $6000.

A new Associate had this to say!
“I graduated my first student this week. He’s 11 and in fourth grade. [H]is pre-course reading level was beginning fourth grade (4.0) His ending score was 8.5. He went from hating reading to loving reading. His teacher saw a marked improvement, and his comprehension greatly improved. I thought his face was going to break from smiling when I presented him with his certificate!!!

“We have eight active students now, and three more enrolled this week. I have two kids coming for assessments and we have the library seminar this Tuesday evening. I am very excited! I also have a severely dyslexic girl starting soon. She has been to [another learning center] and has done a host of other things, so I have a real challenge here. Her mom said she will probably be the hardest kid I ever teach.

“Tonight one student’s mom told me that his teacher has already seen an improvement in his reading after only six hours in the course! I am asking all mothers to write down positive comments.

“One home schooling mom after learning the C Rule stated that she was going to throw all her other phonics books in the garbage.

“As you can see, I am using many exclamation marks in this e-mail, but I can’t help it. I am pumped up.”

One of our Associates responds to an email inquiry from a teacher who inquired about the business. Our Associate, Maureen Marquez, operates two full-time learning centers near Los Angeles. Her phone number and e-mail address are available to interested parties.

“I will answer your questions according to how you sent them:

“Q 1. How long have you had your learning center?
A I have had one center for seven years and started a second center two years ago.

“Q 2. How successful have your students been?
A I have never had a student whose reading level did not improve AT LEAST two grade levels within the first two months of the program. Of course a lot of it depends on how eager the child is to learn to read (I’ve never met a child who did not want to improve his/her reading) and how consistent the parents were with getting the child to tutoring on time and showing an interest in his/her progress. The average student who completes the entire reading program has improved from four grade levels to ten grade levels.

“Q 3. Does the instructional program offer what it promises (fast results in a short amount of time)?
A I’m not sure what you consider short, but I used the reading program for my nephew when he was in kindergarten and by the time he was in first grade, he was reading at a fifth grade level. He’s now finishing second grade and reading at ninth grade, seventh month. I have also had elementary and high school students who have improved more than five grade levels within four months. It’s an amazing thing to see how that changes not only their outlook on school, but their prospects for the future.

“Q 4. How supportive is the parent company?
A Academic Associates is awesome! Every day that I use the program, I think “Thank goodness for Cliff and Betty Ponder!” They are extremely supportive. They offer counsel in all areas of the program—from training and implementation through marketing and following through with the successes of your students. They are always just a phone call or email away.

“Q 5. Is there any other information you feel may be helpful?
A Yes. Follow the program to the letter. Cliff has done this program for so long that there are no kinks in it that have to be worked out. I have used the program on at least 100 children and adults and have never felt a need to change or alter one thing. Each child has found reading success with it. My lowest-achieving child was a third-grader who only improved two grade levels in two months because his parents were not consistent with taking him to tutoring. One other first grader was pulled out of the program after only two weeks because the parents felt it was too much money and time to spend on reading. Six months later—after being retained in second grade—he re-enrolled in the program and is now reading in the seventh grade level. I suggest that you be sure to keep a contract between you and the parents in order to show that consistency helps the child improve. If they are late for appointments or just cancel, the program will not work as well or as quickly.

“If you have any other questions, feel free to email again.”

Maureen Marquez

Teach Others to Read