Join Us for Our Scholarship Luncheon
Join Us for our Scholarship Luncheon
Join Us for Our Scholarship Luncheon
previous arrow
next arrow

Students like Bridget Need Your Help to Bridge the Reading Gap

Phoenix Student

Prior to coming to the Phoenix Academy, Bridget absolutely dreaded reading class. She struggled to decode words and felt like reading was a chore. Then, in the second grade, she enrolled at the Phoenix Academy. Thanks to the Phoenix Academy’s research-backed instructional methods and the caring, personalized attention she received from her teacher, she started to understand the phonemes that make up words. Her confidence soared, and so did her reading abilities.

She is now a sophomore at Duchesne Academy and openly states that the Phoenix Academy changed her life.

There are hundreds of students in our community just like Bridget – students who feel lost, alone, or left behind every day they attend school. 

We’re dedicated to providing top-of-the-line education to these children, regardless of their ability to pay tuition. But because we we are only able to cover 30% of our operating expenses with tuition fees, we can’t provide scholarships to students in need without the generosity of people like YOU. 

It costs $1,000 to provide one month of education to a child in need. Your $25 gift – combined with the gifts of 40 other donors – will give a child access to a supportive environment that can meet their individual needs. This means your gift makes it possible for a student right here in the metro to attend the Phoenix Academy and cross the bridge standing between them and reading proficiency.

Due to COVID-19, Students Need Our Help More Than Ever

Before COVID-19, many students were already struggling to reach key reading milestones. According to Time Magazine, only 35 percent of fourth-graders met the standards for reading proficiency set by the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2019.

Then, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reading gap started to widen. Now, more students than ever are behind. This is even more concerning when you consider that, after third grade, students are no longer learning to read — they need to be able to read to learn. If they can’t, the impacts are long-lasting: students who aren’t reading on grade-level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of school.

How Your Gift Will Change Lives

By making it possible for a student to attend the Phoenix Academy, you help bridge the reading gap and set them up for long-term success. Here at the Phoenix Academy, we don’t take the “wait to fail approach” that blames students and families for academic difficulties. We meet students where they are and use research-backed instructional methods to help them reach grade level reading milestones — and beyond.

Research-Backed Instruction

We use the Spalding Method, a research-based reading instruction method. It is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council and the International Dyslexia Association.


We believe every child should have the opportunity to learn in the environment that works for them. Students are placed in classrooms based on their instructional level so they can get the support they need.


We know how important it is for students to be able to read to learn by 4th grade. Last year, Phoenix Academy students in 4-8th grade met or exceeded their projected growth goal in reading, as set by MAP (Measures of Academic Progress).

Honoring Our Founders: Ann Mactier and Patti Clark

It is with sadness that we share Ann Mactier, co-founder of the Phoenix Academy, passed away this November. Throughout her hundred years of life, she continued to be a dear friend and proud supporter of our work here in the Omaha metro. To learn more about Ann’s incredible contributions to Phoenix Academy and this community, we invite you to read the recent Omaha-World Herald article commemorating her life.

This year, Giving Tuesday falls on the 98th birthday of Patti Clark, founder of the Phoenix Academy. When Patti saw that children were falling seriously behind in reading, she opened the Phoenix Academy, a non-profit private school, with one student and one teacher using the ground-breaking Spalding program.  Up until her death in 2008, Patti worked tirelessly to serve students and their families, many of whom felt as if they had nowhere else to turn.