Why     How     What

NYS PTA and United Way of Westchester and Putnam Team to Empower Families and Communities for Early Literacy

NYS PTA and the United Way of Westchester and Putnam have partnered with Learning Ovations, an Irvine, California-based early literacy support company, to launch a state-wide literacy program – Reading Checkup – a community-based program that encourages reading skills development at home.

Reading Checkup is designed for children in grades K through third grade. In the program, a child completes two online quizzes, then parents/caretakers receive evidence-based recommendations for specific reading skills to focus on at home, while choosing from targeted activities that meet the child’s needs.

“NYS PTA is committed to supporting all children across NYS, and we know that literacy continues to be the key to student success,” offered NYS PTA President Dana Platin. “We are thrilled to work with United Way of Westchester/Putnam and Learning Ovations to bring this family-based literacy program into every NYS home.”

“Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed and helping them to read on grade level by the end of the third grade puts them on the right track,” said Tom Gabriel, CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “By working with NYS PTA and Learning Ovations we are able to offer a resource to help children continue learning outside of the traditional classroom setting.”

Reading Checkup uses breakthrough applications to provide students in grades K-3 with reading instruction customized to their individual needs. Backed by almost 20 years of research funded by the US Department of Education and The National Institutes of Health, Learning Ovation’s early literacy school-based program, called A2i, has 90 percent of participating students reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.

“Our research shows that there are two critical elements in supporting a child’s reading development: you must know what their individual instructional needs are and then precisely match the type of instruction and the time spent to those needs,” said Jay Connor, CEO and Founder of Learning Ovations. He explained that Reading Checkup provides each participating child and family with a detailed and customized plan to support their child’s literacy development.   “For this age group, having parents or caregivers actively engaged in supporting their child is powerful.  So much better than just plopping them in front of a screen.  AND Reading Check-Up makes it fun for both — shared activities and a shared sense of accomplishment!” Connor noted.

“Schools and educators supported our students in the most amazing ways during the pandemic,” offered Kyle Belokopitsky, NYS PTA Executive Director. “It’s our job to do everything we can to support their work, and the work of our incredible children and families in the home. This new groundbreaking program will provide a year-long literacy tool that families can easily use to support at-home reading and literacy activities.”

Families interested in Reading Checkup can sign up directly on the new NYS PTA Reading Checkup webpage –

The year-long literacy program only costs $16 per child in grades K-3 throughout this new partnership and is offered in English and Spanish. 

United Way of Westchester and Putnam is offering a scholarship to use Reading Checkup for families in Westchester and Putnam counties at

This program will join NYS PTA’s current literacy programs, including the statewide and long-standing Pick a Reading Partner Program (formerly Parents as Reading Partners).