About

OWNER, MARISA DOWDELL

Throughout her ten years as a classroom teacher, Marisa obtained two Master’s Degrees, one in the area of teaching reading and the other in curriculum and instruction with an ELL endorsement. During that time, Marisa discovered her passion for teaching reading, as well as a thorough understanding of its importance across disciplines. Through private reading instruction, Marisa’s expertise in teaching allows both readers and non-readers to gain an average of two reading levels after 30 sessions. More importantly, the students gain confidence in themselves and their academic skills. Marisa has a commitment to ensuring the feeling of success and accomplishment both inside and outside of the classroom.

The President of Academic Associates®

Faith Manguba opened her first center in the summer of 2010 and has served hundreds of students since then- teaching non-readers and turning them into readers. She began her career as a classroom teacher. After teaching for several years and seeing the need for students to learn to read, she started her Academic Associates® reading business, teaching kids to read out of her home. The program was so successful that she went from teaching two students in February to 30 by summer. Cliff Ponder passed the presidency of the Academic Associates® Reading Course to Faith in June 2016.

Alpha Reading Center is proud to be the headquarters for the Academic Associates® Reading Course which is used throughout the United States and around the globe. Faith Manguba, President of Academic Associates® Reading Course, also serves as the director for Alpha Reading Center.

Students generally receive instruction at least twice a week for one hour per session

The Founder

Cliff Ponder, an elementary school principal and teacher for 20 years, was frustrated that large numbers of students couldn’t learn to read. After leaving school administration, he bought into a franchised reading center. Recognizing that it had many flaws, he spent years devising his own program. He discovered some exciting new research on the neural architecture of the brain and began developing a logical, step-by-step method of teaching reading that would work in harmony with the brain, calling it the Academic Associates® Reading Course. This program has helped thousands of students of all ages in hundreds of schools and learning centers around the world. With over 50 years of experience as an educator who understood the need for harmonizing brain function with reading instruction, Cliff Ponder’s work is widely recognized for its highly successful reading instruction. Alpha Reading Center is proud to have adopted this elite program and accepts Mr. Ponder’s appointment as headquarters for the Academic Associates®.

Teach Others to Read