What kind of grants does the Foundation fund?
Our Foundation provides grants to non-profit organizations committed to advancing education through the use of the ITA phonemic alphabet. Our goal is to provide monetary and technical support to schools and agencies that are dedicated to:
- Prevention of reading failure in young children at-risk of dyslexia
- Remediation of reading disabilities/dyslexia in children, adolescents, and adults
- Helping English Learners master the pronunciation, reading, and writing of English
What is the ITA alphabet and how does it work?
ITA is a phonemic alphabet that contains a symbol for each of the 44 speech sounds of English. English is purported to be the most difficult language to learn and has the highest percentage of dyslexics in the world because sounds and letters often don’t match. Watch What is ITA? for an introduction to the ITA alphabet.
People with reading disabilities/dyslexia and young children at-risk of reading failure have a deficit in phonological skills that typically develop during the preschool to early elementary years. These phonological skills create a bottleneck that negatively impacts all subsequent reading development, as this graphic from the International Dyslexia Association demonstrates:
Examples of how ITA can be used to correct underlying phonological deficits include Using ITA with Struggling Readers and Correcting Phonological Deficits in Older Students.
English Learners, learn correct pronunciation of words they read. They also use their emerging English vocabulary to write sentences, personal narratives, and other communications. ITA is a bridge to the complex sound-spelling correspondences of written English.
How does ITA intervention work if students are in a traditional reading program?
Many of our Foundation-sponsored programs are located in schools that use commercial reading programs in traditional orthography. ITA intervention works at a different level than traditional reading programs, so the two can co-exist.
Our ITA protocols work on correcting the underlying phonological deficit, primarily through pull-out or after-school interventions. In school-based programs, students remain in their regular reading program while receiving ITA intervention.
What are some examples of projects funded by the Foundation?
For examples of some ITA programs currently funded by the Foundation, click on the following resources:
San Miguel Middle School, Chicago, IL
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota after-school program for 1st-8th graders
Wabasha-Kellogg (MN) Elementary School
ITA English Literacy Program, Puerto Rico
Also, visit our ITA Foundation YouTube channel and website for more information. These sites include downloadable materials and videos that demonstrate ITA intervention programs and protocols.
What guidelines do organizations seeking grants need to meet?
The ITA Foundation supports nonprofit educational organizations that:
- are dedicated to advancing the language and literacy skills of young children at-risk of reading failure, individuals with reading disabilities/dyslexia, and/or English learners
- have determined through review of online resources listed in this FAQ that their organization’s educational program would benefit from an ITA intervention program tailored to their students’/clients’ educational needs
- can provide in-kind administrative support for the proposed ITA program, and financial management of grant funds
Our organization fits these guidelines. How do I apply?
The yearly grant process starts with a letter of intent from organizations interested in pursuing ITA grants.
You are encouraged to CONTACT US with any questions you have before submitting the letter of intent. Our Board members are available via email or phone calls to answer your questions and help you shape your proposal for the use of ITA to further your educational goals.
Letters of intent are due APRIL 1 and should be submitted via email to Shelley Jerviss, ITA Foundation President: firstname.lastname@example.org.