Charlotte Teacher Starts New Academy In Response To Ever-Increasing CMS Testing


A new reading academy in South Charlotte is changing the way young students learn how to read in the face of ever-increasing public school testing.

Lisa Palladino started Ballantyne Reading Academy after feeling like she was spending more time testing and assessing students than helping them improve as a public school teacher.

When I returned to teaching after time home with my own children, I discovered how much had changed in the classroom. Teachers no longer had the autonomy to respond to their students’ needs and were spending the majority of their time assessing, not teaching. In Kindergarten, dramatic play had been replaced with weekly DIBELS,” Lisa told me. “Learning to read should be a joyful experience. Young children especially are such eager learners and I knew I could nurture that enthusiasm to create life-long readers and learners.”

Since starting the academy, her custom-tailored programs have even won her several awards as a top tutoring academy in the region.

She initially started the academy focusing only on pre-school aged students, but quickly expanded her services and her staff as word of her success spread.

“Parents who originally sought us out for their preschooler continue to send their now third, fourth and fifth graders to us as their children want to continue learning with us. My original idea to provide joyful learning opportunities for our youngest learners has grown as the children have grown,” Lisa commented.

According to their website, Ballantyne Reading Academy‘s primary services now include;

Preschool and Kindergarten readiness skills of:
•Print awareness and letter formation
•Phonological awareness
•Narrative (story telling and re-telling)

Specialized training for those over 5 years old:
•Enrichment for gifted students and advanced learners
•Academic remediation and support
•Writing strategies
•Fluency and comprehension
•Math instruction
•Diagnostic services for literacy-related disabilities

You can find out more on the Ballantyne Reading Academy’s website here.