CertaPro Painters of Atlanta’s owners launch a non-profit to benefit struggling readers in the public school system


Throughout their lives Jen and Jeremy Rhett have seen friends and fam

ily members struggle with reading. Educational systems, both public and private, have not been equipped with the proper tools to teach reading skills to a wide variety of learning styles and backgrounds. The result is an alarming rate of reading inefficiencies in the American adult population. The Rhetts have observed that reading difficulties have no social or economic boundaries, nor are they related to intelligence within individuals. Highly competent, intelligent, and ingenuitive people have challenges with reading, sometimes for their entire lives, regardless of income and reso

urce availability. There are extremely effective methods available that are successful at teaching ALL students how to read. Jen & Jeremy created REAP as a means to educate and promote these methods within the existing public school systems.  Carla Stanford, Teacher of the Year for City Schools of Decatur, joined Jen & Jeremy as the Director of Education.


REAP will create a reading revolution within our public school systems that has the potential to be vast in its impact. It will promote reading proficiency in the Metro Atlanta public school systems initially, with a long-term goal of expanding proficiency programs beyond the Atlanta area. Its efforts will be grass-roots, viral, and contagious in nature with the outcome that each person impacted by its efforts will have the ability to create their own sphere of influence within their school system.


Children struggle in reading, writing, and spelling for many reasons, including but not limited to: learning disabilities, English as a second language, low socio-economic status, attention challenges.  Research states that 20% of the population is dyslexic (Sally Shaywitz, Yale Center for the Study of Learning, 2005). In Georgia 67% of 4th Graders are not reading at a proficient level (NAEP 2011).  That number jumps to 73% by 8th grade.  Reading proficiency means that you are able read, comprehend, and infer information from everyday documents like The New York Times, an insurance benefits form, or a college textbook.  Continuous budget cuts in our education system has increased classroom sizes and decreased money for teacher training and enrichment.

We believe change begins with the teachers.  Our goal is to provide Orton-Gillingham (OG) training to K-3 public school teachers.  This training method is scientifically proven to improve reading success in all readers- especially those who struggle.  The essential curricular content and instructional practices that characterize the OG approach are from a body of time tested knowledge and practice that has been validated over the past 70 years and from scientific based evidence about how persons learn to read and write; why a significant number have difficulty in doing so; and which instructional practices are best suited for teaching such persons to read and write.

The training will not replace current curriculum, it is an approach intended to be integrated and used as a supplement to what is already in place.  Part of the training will include best practices of incorporating OG into the normal classroom.   There will be training opportunities for general classroom teachers as well as special education teachers.  There will be a monitored practicum component of the training that will ensure each teacher fully understands and knows how to use this approach effectively.

Each teacher that attends the Orton-Gillingham training will commit to using their 100 hour practicum to tutor one child who would not normally have financial access to this type of intervention.  The children from low socioeconomic backgrounds often have the least access to this type of remediation.  In many metro schools they are also learning a second language.

Orton-Gillingham training will provide the first block in the foundation to building reading proficiency in all.  We plan to add additional training and support and opportunities in Comprehension, Executive Functioning, and Grammar and Mechanics over the next few years.