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My Orton-Gillingham Story

My story began in Lakewood, Ohio.   A Cleveland girl at heart, I moved to Versailles, Kentucky in 2001 to study for my Master's in Education at the University of Kentucky. I am a mom to Emma, substitute teacher, tutor and volunteer.  I am an advocate for children.  


I chose the teaching profession because of my compassion for children with disadvantages.  This was brought on by the loss of my twins in 1989 to a rare disease called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  I took my passion and turned it into a love of teaching children.  I didn't want any child to feel left out or left behind.      I love life and love people!

In 2002, I began working full time as a special education teacher.  As a teacher, I began to notice I lacked a true understanding of how to teach reading using the most fundamental methods.   I had heard about the Orton-Gillingham method to teach reading.   I began a journey to learn all I could about dyslexia, OG Method of teaching reading and attending classes on OG as often as I could.  I absolutely fell in LOVE with Orton-Gillingham!

Hindman Settlement School in Hindman Kentucky offered a 6-week full time dyslexia summer camp.   I enjoyed teaching students with dyslexia for a total of 12 weeks over two summers.   We were taught the Susan Barton Method to teach students to read.    I loved it!  Well, let's say I was totally in love with teaching reading.    I was immersed in as much dyslexia training as possible over the next 3 years. 


I trained for a summer with Martha Chiodi, Cincinnati Public School Instructor and Retired Teacher the Orton-Gillingham Method of tutoring using Phoneme Cards, Rules of Spelling and CLOVER.   Martha Chiodi, being a Master Level Teacher taught 10 of us in Lexington over a month.   We learned, grew and bonded over the experience.    I continued my education with the Level One Orton Gillingham Course in Cincinnati's Mayerson Academy over a 7 month training period.  We were given materials to use for our tutees and access to a plethora of OG supplemental materials.   Continuous training in OG is vital.  Attending workshops, conferences and on-line course work, I keep up to date with the latest techniques and training.  

I was off to a great start.  I began tutoring 4-5 students per week using the Orton-Gillingham Methodology that includes handwriting instruction.   By word of mouth my clientele, grew and grew.  I tutor families and their friends.  

Being a highly trained in dyslexia tutor, I am delighted to work with students from all over Kentucky.  I have students from Elizabethtown, Louisville and Crestwood. 

To me, teaching students to read and write comes naturally and to say I love it is an understatement.  I am grateful for the opportunity to teach students to read and write.  Each student that I tutor are unique and extra-special.  I assess their phoneme and grapheme knowledge and create detailed lesson plans just for each student.   I spend all day Sunday thinking about each student and creating a lesson to increase their skills in reading and writing.  

 I am available to offer workshops on the Orton Gillingham Method of instruction which can be implemented in classrooms.   I can conduct a workshop on many topics pertaining to Orton-Gillingham.   The cost of the course I completed was over $2,000.00 and 7 months long.  This encompassed 5 hours of study and tutoring each day.   Learning to tutor using Orton-Gillingham takes time and in-depth study.   I am happy to help and answer questions about OG training programs.   

One out of five children struggle with a processing disorder rarely labeled as dyslexia.  These children fall through the cracks because they have high I.Q.’s.   They often are pushed along and graduate without knowing how to read or write.  The other issue is teachers never learn about dyslexia in college.  The rate of dyslexia is astonishing.

I have a servant’s heart.   Any child who needs to learn to read or write, I will work with them.   Any teacher who has questions or training, I would be delighted to work with them.


I tutor from 3-7pm in Crestwood, Kentucky.  I absolutely love teaching and tutoring.  The best time to get your child tutored is now.  Do not wait!  The best decision you can make for your child is OG tutoring.   It's worth the investment while they are young and able to learn the concepts.  

If you would like your child tutored, please contact me.     If you would like a presentation Dyslexia, Orton-Gillingham, CLOVER Syllable Types or individual training, please contact me.      If you would like a Camp Bookworm, reading camp brought to your community or school, please contact me.  We would be so happy to teach others and share our camp in your community. 

Camp Bookworm dates this year are June 10-21, 2024 at 5750 Old Floydsburg Road, Crestwood, Kentucky.  

I hope to see you at Camp Bookworm this year.  We have an amazing staff, list of guests to enhance learning and a great program to increase reading and writing skills.  

I am here as a teacher to serve the community.  Please ask me if you need training, tutoring or help.  


Jill E. MacNiven, M.Ed.

Kentucky Rank One Certified Teacher, Special Education and Business Education

Orton Gillingham Tutor Mayerson Academy and Professor Martha Chiodi

Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing, Cleveland State

Master’s of Art in Education, UK

Master’s of Special Education, Bellarmine

(502) 612 5095


I pledge to tutor students in Kentucky

until all children can read.  


We pledge to provide compassionate reading and writing tutoring to our students and families.  Genuine care and comfort of our students is the utmost priority.  We pledge to provide the finest service to our students and families in a warm, relaxed, comfortable environment.   We strive to be the leading Orton-Gillingham tutoring service in the industry.

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