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.