Our Mission

Townsend facilitates self actualization by motivating students of all ages to gain lifelong learning skills. We believe that everyone can succeed once they embrace their own learning style and devote themselves to building strategic skills. Our instructors and tutors stimulate inspiration, curiosity, excitement, and energy to stimulate a hunger for knowledge. Our students embrace learning and make it personal and life enhancing, rather than parroting back information to pass a test.

Letter from our founder Sarah Littlefield
Townsend Learning Center was founded on the mission of helping people reach their full potential. Over the years, we added to our individual tutoring services to grow and change with the times. In addition to helping children and adults with learning differences, including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, we added services for various academic needs, including study skills, test prep, organization, and executive functioning.
Changing lives was Townsend’s mission from the start. When my mother, Rose Jane Townend, and I started the company, there were no tutoring franchises, just individuals offering tutoring. We quickly became the “go to” place for one-on-one tutoring. We helped people with learning disabilities, dyslexia, and ADHD. Our diagnostic testing determined not only a diagnosis, but outlined learning style and offered remedial and coping strategies, and classroom accommodations. We grew quickly in enrollment and respect in the community.
After my mother died tragically at age 53 in 1974, Townsend grew further, tutoring in all subjects, study skills, and test prep. We moved several times until we found our “home” on Bell Street where we could work with individuals and groups. I made the rounds all over the state talking to parents and teachers about learning disabilities and study skills.
Our individualized SAT and ACT tutoring grew from individual tutoring to classes. At our peak, we were offering classes In over 20 public and private schools. We were well known for being the premier test prep service. To this day, there are people who think of Townsend as the SAT and ACT company!
Continuing to morph and adapt to the times, we organized The Corporate Classroom to deliver workplace literacy to companies all over the Akron-Cleveland area. Our instructors assessed workers’ skills in reading, math, writing, and computing. We taught classes using workplace documents and manuals as teaching materials. The Corporate Classroom became a valuable resource for over 15 corporations small and large, including Horsburgh and Scott, American Steel and Wire, Parker Hannifin, and the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland.
. Working with adults became our special mission. The Veterans Administration referred veterans to us for learning assessments and tutoring to help them with academics and also overcoming barriers to learning. Working closely with counselors at the VA, we created a classroom that was a safe place for veterans to learn and thrive. The Cleveland program was so successful that we replicated it in Akron, Youngstown, and Toledo. Townsend Learning Center was given the top award for a small business run by a woman in 2005.
A natural addition to our services was programs for injured workers— helping them overcome physical, mental, and emotional barriers, and return to work. We were renowned by BWC case managers as THE place to send injured workers who needed new skills to work in an office setting. Over the years, we focused on our Cleveland learning center, and closed the others.
The Covid pandemic was a challenging time for us, as it was for so many businesses. For a time, we offered online classes. Once it was deemed safe enough to return to the classroom, we never were able to regain the momentum of our return to work programs. In July of 2022 I made the tough decision to close our physical learning center, and offer online and face-to-face tutoring in homes and public spaces.
We are excited to enter creatively into the digital learning space. We look forward to continuing our individualized services for all ages, helping them achieve their full potential.

We at Townsend believe that our clients are wise, good, and capable. We help them identify personal goals for learning and life, and help them attain them. For over 50 years we have observed what makes students drop barriers and succeed. We help them advance from not thinking of themselves as smart to believing in themselves. They learn not to hold back, to use more of their mind. We care about sparking or reigniting a student’s love of learning as much as we care about advancing their performance in school.

Townsend helps you change your mind by coaching you to:

  • Believe in your inherent ability

  • Focus, become mindful

  • Become curious

  • Be creative

  • Be persistent

  • Be organized


We specialize in matching students with highly qualified tutors. Our professional tutors work with students on strengthening academic content knowledge, study skills, organization, time management, and preparation for college admission tests (SAT and ACT). Since most of our tutors are current or former teachers with a Master's Degree or above, we are able to customize programs for each person’s unique needs including those with ADHD and dyslexia. Our trademarked Educational Coaching process helps students develop executive functioning skills by providing students with research-based tips, tools, and strategies.

How we can help

Academic Tutoring

Since 1969, Townsend Learning Center has helped thousands of school-aged students improve their grades and learning skills. Students who work with our experienced and knowledgeable staff gain a new level of confidence as they learn how to overcome learning barriers. Parents navigating an ever more complicated school system, whether public or private, consult our professionals for help in approaching teachers, supporting studying at home, assessing learning skills, and advocating for special help in school. Families participating in home schooling come to Townsend for help in assessing and measuring progress in their children's learning, in both individual tutoring for specific subjects and general support in reading, writing, math, and study skills.

Executive Functioning Coaching

Executive functioning tutoring seeks to empower students to take control of their own learning by changing their approach. Through one-on-one in-person or online sessions, we give students tools to help them become more effective learners, while communicating with parents and teachers to ensure maximum change.
Students get individualized coaching in:
• Time management
• Planning and organizing
• Actively engaging in studying
• Paraphrasing rather than parroting

Test Prep

Nowhere is our motto of Learning to Learn more relevant than in the world of standardized testing. Learning the format, design, and style of a test is just as important as knowing the content, so our SAT/ACT philosophy is to enable students to think like the test-makers.
This unique approach allows Townsend students to spot wrong answers, avoid traps, and use simple logic to maximize their scores. Townsend also understands how important confidence is to test-taking, and strives to give students the advantage of going into test day knowing they are prepared. These methods, as well as reviews of the most essential concepts on the test, give Townsend students the skills necessary to succeed!
With former Townsend students scattered throughout the Ivy League, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, and many other premier colleges and universities, we offer a proven track record of achievement. In this increasingly competitive collegiate landscape, let Townsend help you meet your academic goals and test your best!

We service the Greater Cleveland area including Cuyahoga and surrounding counties.


Voice: 216-472-8300

Fax: 888-845-4397