Van Roekel Learning Center

Educators and trained dyslexia specialists
Orton-Gillingham Methods
1:1 multi-sensory intervention

Operating as usual


Make it a movie night! 🍿

“True Spirit” is an inspiring film about a 15-year-old Australian sailor who became the youngest ever to travel the world alone. Jessica Watson achieved this incredible title along with the title of author and storyteller despite her dyslexia diagnosis.

Watson kept a detailed blog during her travels and wrote her memoir, “True Spirit,” prior to the release of the film. “I’m just an ordinary person who had a dream, worked hard at it, and proved anything is possible,” she said.

Comment below if you loved this movie as much as we did!


Timber is an English Labrador that is a certified, yet retired, Service Dog. Timber is currently working on getting his Therapy License so he can work with children with all kinds of disabilities.

During Timber’s time as a Service Dog, he had two jobs. One was deep pressure therapy where he would provide snuggles when needed; and the other was ‘scenting’ so he could help locate humans who weren’t where they were supposed to be.

Since retirement as a Service Dog, Timber has spent time with his mom, Bernadette Redmond, at the Van Roekel Learning Center providing calming comfort to children learning to read.

Timber loves napping and swimming, and his favorite foods include strawberries, apples with peanut butter, and cheese.

Our students love having Timber as part of our team!

Kelly Clarkson tears up after Henry Winkler, who has dyslexia, shares advice for her daughter 04/21/2023

We love a good story about how dyslexic celebrities help bring awareness to the diagnosis and how they thrive despite it. "Happy Days" star, Henry Winkler, gave some encouragement to Kelly Clarkson this week when he appeared on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" this week. Clarkson's daughter has dyslexia and is often bullied at school because she can't read like the other kids. Winkler, who has written several children's books, welcomed her to the dyslexic "tribe" and told her: “How you learn has nothing to do with how brilliant you are."

Thank you, Kelly Clarkson and Henry Winkler for raising awareness and supporting those with a dyslexia diagnosis. ❤️

Kelly Clarkson tears up after Henry Winkler, who has dyslexia, shares advice for her daughter The "Happy Days" star's words really got to Clarkson.


Join us this June for our 4-day artist workshops that are designed to teach all you need to know about a particular medium. Students will receive quality individual instruction from an art teacher and learn all about the techniques and tools artists use to create their masterpieces and the best part is that we will complete a frameable piece of art by the end of each workshop! Location is north Peoria.

🎨Watermelon Colored Pencil Workshop - June 5 - 8; 10am-11:30am; ages 10+

🎨Sea Turtle Gouache Workshop - June 12-15; 10am - 11:30am; ages 8+

🎨Bird Pastel Pencil Workshop - June 19-22; 2pm - 3:30pm; ages 8+

🎨Cat Watercolor Workshop - June 26-29; 10am - 11:30am OR 2pm - 3:30pm; ages 8+

Seats are limited and filling up quickly. To register or if you have any additional questions, call us today at 623-670-0926.


We’re growing and are in need of qualified educators!

Van Roekel Learning Center offers intervention programs for students who are diagnosed with a variety of learning differences. We utilize research-based methods that cultivate the sensory-cognitive functions necessary in the development of literacy skills.

We are currently hiring teachers with a degree in education, training in Orton-Gillingham Methods preferred but not required, and most of all, who are passionate about helping exceptional students reach their academic goals.

Does this sound like you?
Contact Kimberly Van Roekel for more information at 623-670-0926 or email CV to [email protected].


Erin Harr earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Northern Arizona University and her teaching degree in secondary education from The University of Phoenix.

She has a passion for working one-on-one with students to help them overcome their learning difference and meet their individual needs. Erin specializes in Lindamood-Bell’s LiPS and Seeing Stars programs, Math-U-See, and Handwriting Without Tears.

We’re grateful to have Erin on our team!


October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month!

It’s the perfect time to raise awareness, inform, educate and celebrate our students. With greater understanding comes greater compassion.

Tell us your dyslexia story below 👇🏻


At Van Roekel Learning Center, we teach our students to view their learning differences as a special gift that allows them to see things differently!

If your child needs help seeing their potential after a dyslexia diagnosis, we’d love to talk with you.
Call us at 623-670-0926.


At Van Roekel Learning Center, we offer a full range of services designed to help your child.

Our highly-trained educators develop and implement individualized intervention programs for students according to their strengths and needs.

We utilize researched based methods that develop the sensory-cognitive functions necessary in the development of language and literacy skills.

Find out more here:


Lydia Steele earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Family and Child Studies from Baylor University. She is trained in Lindamood-Bell’s LiPs and Seeing Stars and has completed the Literacy Intervention Specialist course with the goal to become a Certified Academic Language Therapist. Lydia is also trained in Handwriting without Tears.
Lydia has a wide range of teaching experience including public and private classrooms, homeschooling her own children, and teaching co-ops.

Lydia has a desire to see the students she works with grow in confidence and is thankful every day for the opportunity to serve the students and families at Van Roekel Learning Center.


What is Wrightslaw?

Wrightslaw is an exceptional resource for parents, educators, advocates in need of the most up to date information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities. Read more here:


It has been our greatest privilege to help your struggling learner become successful. We’d love to hear from you! Simply click this link to leave us a review:


Dyslexia is typically described as a brain disorder or learning difficulty. But new research suggests dyslexia is in fact a vital tool that has helped humanity adapt.

Check out this article about how a growing movement and body of research supports the redefinition of dyslexia as a strength rather than a weakness.


Jennifer Bucher has spent more than 16 years teaching and serving children in various capacities, and at all grade levels (K-12). She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Goshen College and went on to receive her Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Instructional Leadership from Bethel University.

Jennifer and her husband have had the great privilege to be the parents of a child on the autism spectrum. She feels so blessed to have had that experience, both personally and professionally.

Jennifer’s desire is to serve others and walk beside them as they discover their full potential and we are so glad to have her on the Van Roekel Learning Center team!


Have you seen the documentary, “Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51?” It’s a wonderful and candid view of the nation’s literacy statistics as it relates to adults.

The film’s makers have been nominated for two awards at the Grierson 2022: British Documentary Awards.


Watch it here and tell us what you think:


Did you know?

Microsoft Dictate is an amazing speech-to-text tool that is built right into Microsoft Word.

This is an excellent option to utilize to help support older students in the writing process.

Is your student interested in learning more about how to use this helpful tool? Call today to set up a consultation.


What is multisensory instruction?

Multisensory instruction engages more than once sense at a time. It focuses on using auditory (hearing), visual (sight), and tactile-kinesthetic (touch) learning. Our instructors incorporate each of these elements into instruction in order to give dyslexia learners more than one way to connect what they are learning.


Does dyslexia affect your child's mental health? Children with dyslexia often experience struggles with mental health. They can become frustrated and often develop anxiety and a poor self-esteem. If your child is struggling, contact us today for support. 📱623-670-0926



Everyone at Van Roekel Learning Center wishes you and your family a safe and Happy 4th of July!


Tara Daukas has taught in a variety of settings. She was a homeschool mom to her four children before teaching first grade for several years. She has always had a heart and passion for helping struggling readers, as it was a road she walked personally with one of her own children.

Tara has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Ottawa University and has continued her pursuit to help children by taking advanced courses specific to teaching the neuro-diverse learner.

She is energetic, enthusiastic, and we are thrilled to have her on the Van Roekel Learning Center team.


Did you know that it’s estimated 1 in 5 people have dyslexia?

People often think that “dyslexia” is just the reversing of letters or numbers, or that it means a person is not trying hard enough or perhaps has a lower IQ, but those stereotypes are far off base!

Dyslexia is a brain-based learning difference that causes difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes speaking but does not affect intelligence. Its symptoms, if left untreated, persist into adulthood. The key is early intervention.

Learn more about dyslexia and how we can help here:


Adria is a valuable member of the Van Roekel Learning Center team. She received her Masters Degree in Education at Chatham University and then moved to the Dominican Republic to teach elementary students at an international school. After coming to Arizona in 2008, Adria taught third grade for ten years at a charter school in Peoria. She brings a level of teaching expertise and excitement to all learners.


Please join us in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives in service of our country. A heartfelt THANK YOU from all of us at Van Roekel Learning Center.

10 Ways to Keep Your Child Reading This Summer 05/25/2022

It’s summer! Here are some GREAT ideas to keep your kiddos learning and reading this summer!

10 Ways to Keep Your Child Reading This Summer School’s out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean kids should stop reading. In fact, summer’s a great time to grow as a reader. With fewer competing demands, children have freedom to explore and learn to love reading. If your child’s already a bookworm, you won’t have to work very hard. I...


Our programs are all multi-sensory and designed to help struggling readers. They use sight, sound, movement and touch to help children connect language to words.

When dyslexic children learn new information using more than one sense, the information is more likely to stick.


Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day! We can’t say enough amazing things about our own instructors, but ALL teachers deserve recognition today for all that they do for our children. In fact, this whole week is dedicated to recognizing and honoring those who make the most lasting impressions on our youth. How will you show your appreciation?

The dyslexic cardiologist: MUSC doctor gives TEDxCharleston talk about his path to successful career 04/29/2022

A dyslexia diagnosis doesn’t mean you can’t pursue your dreams - even if it’s a difficult destination. In this article, Dr. John Rhodes shares his learning difference and how it affected him scholastically until he was finally diagnosed with dyslexia. The diagnosis actually helped him get the assistance he needed to pass his exams, and his visual/spatial strengths that he has as a result of his dyslexia serves him perfectly in his career as a cardiologist.

The dyslexic cardiologist: MUSC doctor gives TEDxCharleston talk about his path to successful career Dr. John Rhodes has never been comfortable talking about his dyslexia. But he decided to speak at TEDxCharleston to show that academic success is possible.


Do you have a struggling learner seeking connection in your class?

Here are some ways that you can build relationship with your connection-seeing students:

✅ Spend 1:1 time. It’s important to structure one-on-one meetings so that they are conversational and pleasant, not punitive. When you foster a stronger connection, students are less likely to act out in class.

✅ Look for something to comment on that is not school or behavior related. Talk to them about sports teams, their artwork, or interest in music.

✅ Share an experience about a time when you struggled and overcame the challenge.

✅ Put the relationship first. Encourage team building by providing opportunities to do “mixers” during breaks.

✅ Start a Club Unify.

✅ Showcase their artwork

✅ Allow the student to read to younger students

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About Us

Our educators have sought out advanced training in specialized programs to address specific learning differences in order to help students reach their academic goals. Many students struggle with academics despite extra help from teachers, parents and tutors. We have worked with children and their families in the field of education for over 20 years.

Our diverse team is able to assist children, teens, and adults with a variety of learning differences.




2550 W. Union Hills Drive #350
Phoenix, AZ
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