For struggling students in southeast Michigan, Reading Success Plus is helping to “close the gap.” 

Though it is based in Grand Rapids, Reading Success Plus (RSP) has had an office in the Oakland County community of Troy since 2018, using the same programs that have been successful in West Michigan.  The suburban Detroit center offers the Barton Reading & Spelling System, an evidence-based program that builds reading, spelling, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension and is geared toward those with dyslexia. It also provides RSP’s multi-sensory, Orton-Gillingham-based math program and its individualized writing and grammar instruction. The programs serve all ages, from early elementary students to adults, in person and online. 

Dawn Henretty, director of the Troy center, describes the work as “closing the gap.” 

“Students come in, and you know that they can do certain things, and they can’t do other things. We’re going to fill the gap and give them what they need.” 

Meeting a need

Lawrence Kloth, co-founder of Reading Success Plus, recalls how the Troy location was chosen. 

“I looked at a map, and I saw no services like ours in Troy,” he says. “We thought it was a great area. We wanted to help those communities out.” 

Henretty agrees that the proven programs in Grand Rapids were needed in her region. 

“RSP wanted to share the successes of the Grand Rapids office with the east side of the state,” she says. “An RSP office in Troy would mean more people here would be getting the help they needed.” 

Reading Success Plus initially opened in a smaller space in Troy. It later moved to its current location on Livernois Road near I-75 and Big Beaver Road — “where all the good stuff is,” Henretty says. The convenient location means easy access for families who want to bring their children for in-person tutoring. 

Once clients arrive, they find a modern, spacious facility with offices available for individual tutoring. It also has a large meeting room for professional development sessions, informational meetings and other gatherings. 

Online tutoring, available through the Troy office, has become a popular option. RSP has well-established online programs in reading and spelling, writing and grammar, and mathematics. The pandemic forced families into online instruction by necessity, but its convenience has made it attractive to many parents. Online tutoring also eliminates a major barrier to tutoring – distance. 

“What’s so nice about the online tutoring,” Kloth says, “is that we can reach more areas on the east side of the state. We can cover the Thumb, northeast Michigan, the Flint area, Macomb County.”   

Experienced tutors

The driving force of the Troy center is its experienced staff. Henretty started her career in education as a high school math teacher, then left the field to raise her family. After that, she earned a master’s degree in linguistics and a doctorate in reading and language arts education from Oakland University. Henretty now is a lecturer at Oakland, instructing undergraduates, mostly in the secondary education program, and graduate students working toward master’s degrees or certification as reading specialists. 

The team’s other two tutors each have more than 20 years of experience in education, with backgrounds in special education and early childhood education. 

Like all the tutors at Reading Success Plus, educators in the Troy center have received specialized training in the Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing® (LiPS®) program, as well as 60-plus hours of training in the acclaimed Barton Reading & Spelling System

In addition to her background in mathematics, Henretty has had advanced training in the Orton-Gillingham approach for teaching math. She also helped create RSP’s structured, step-by-step writing and grammar program. 

Serving the community

Services at the Troy office extend far beyond tutoring. Professional development programs help businesses understand the difficulties of people with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, as well as how to help these talented and creative individuals maximize their potential. Educators can get up to date on the latest research, learn about the warning signs of dyslexia, and better understand what accommodations are available and how they can turn a struggling student into a thriving student. 

The Troy office also offers coaching services to help parents deal with the complicated and often-intimidating process of obtaining school services for their children.  RSP helps them navigate the world of IEPs, 504 meetings and accommodations. 

“It doesn’t matter if your child has autism, dyslexia, ADHD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia. We can help you through that process, step by step,” Kloth said. 

RSP also does comprehensive placement screenings that determine where and why someone struggles. It then creates a program of instruction to help them overcome these difficulties. 

In her role as an instructor at Oakland University, Henretty leads graduate classes filled with teachers. 

“I like the graduate classes because I can hear about what’s going on in the schools from the teachers, and some of them are saying, ‘Boy, these kids need more help than what they’re getting.’ So I know there’s still a need out there.” 

If you or your child is in need, the Troy center of Reading Success Plus can help. For more information, contact RSP at 833-229-1112.