Technology Giant to Address Literacy Crisis at Upcoming Groves Academy Gala

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“Literate Nation” Founder Cinthia Coletti-Haan to Speak About the Growing Importance of Teaching Literacy to Students in Minnesota and Across America

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38-percent of third graders in this country don’t read at grade level…that motivates me to make a difference.

Nationally renowned literacy advocate and founding team member of SPRINT Cinthia Coletti-Haan will be the keynote speaker at the Groves Academy Annual Scholarship Gala set for Saturday, April 12 at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, located at 30 South 7th Street. The Gala is Groves Academy’s biggest fundraiser of year. Proceeds from the event go to support the students and community served by Groves Academy, which is the leading school for students with learning disabilities and attention disorders in the state. The school also boasts a center for literacy instruction and education as well as advocacy. Groves is the only school in Minnesota established to serve students with learning disabilities and attention disorders. Over 30 percent of Groves’ students receive scholarships.

Coletti-Haan is a respected education expert and an advocate for literacy education, who got involved in literacy advocacy after experiencing her own children’s struggles with reading. She currently oversees the executive management of several non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations and facilitates a number of projects in the fields of literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), education legislation, and neuroscience. She directs the Power4Kids Reading Initiative of clinical trials in education, and is the CEO of the national organization Literate Nation, which is fueling a nationwide movement for literacy and education. Coletti-Haan focuses her work on quality research, teacher advancement, universal student educational success, and school-based leadership. She is adamant that American students receive a world-class education, become capable of lifelong learning, and compete in the global workforce and economy. Coletti-Haan also recently published her third book, entitled: Blue Print for A Literate Nation – Building a Better America. 

“I’m extremely pleased to come to Minnesota and share my message,” said Coletti-Haan. “Minnesota is a special place to me; it is the first state to put together higher education literacy laws.”

Coletti-Haan plans to tell those in attendance about the current state of education and how everyone in the room can be involved in the solution. 

“One out of five people has a learning disability. In addition, 38-percent of third graders in this country don’t read at grade level. It’s statistics like this that motivate me to make a difference,” she said. “We need to continue to raise awareness, train teachers and work for policy change.”

Coletti-Haan is not a stranger to the work Groves Academy is doing on literacy. Groves Academy Head of School John Alexander has worked closely with Coletti-Haan to build her foundation. 

“John is one of those people who opened my eyes to the dire state of literacy in this country,” said Coletti-Haan. “We have similar points of view about what needs to happen to create a more literate culture in this country. He was one of the first people I called to help me start Literate Nation.”

Alexander said that Haan’s is not only a friend, but a trusted colleague. 

“I picked Cinthia to speak because she picked us. Cinthia was very interested in my work with the Minnesota Grassroots Reading Reform Movement," he said. “I am enamored with her personal mission to bring literacy to all kids: those with learning disabilities, those affected by poverty, and white, middleclass kids who had not been taught in ways they could learn. The kids we call instructional casualties." 

In addition to Coletti-Haan’s address, the April 12 event in downtown Minneapolis will feature a dinner and program hosted by singer and radio personality Jearlyn Steele. Entertainment will be provided by Steele and the MacPhail Community Youth Choir.

“This is going to be a wonderful evening of learning and celebrating,” said Alexander. “Cinthia will set the tone for the evening and charge those in attendance with doing more to promote literacy.”

Groves Academy Gala At-A-Glance:

What: Groves Academy Scholarship Fundraising Gala

When: Saturday, April 12. Dinner at 6 p.m. Program at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Minneapolis Marriott City Center, 30 South 7th Street

Who: Literacy Advocate Cinthia Coletti-Haan keynote address

Note to Editors:
Cinthia Coletti-Haan will be available for in-studio interviews on both Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12. She can also be made available for phone interviews prior to her arrival to the Twin Cities. 

About Groves Academy
Groves Academy is a national leader and pioneer in educating students with learning disabilities and attention disorders, and is the only school of its kind in Minnesota.  This premier 1-12 school in St. Louis Park was founded in 1972 and currently enrolls 240 students from Minnesota and across the U.S.  Through research-based curriculum and personalized instruction, Groves Academy helps students with learning and attention disorders succeed in the classroom.
The school also functions as a key resource center in the Midwest, providing literacy training for teachers in more than 50 school districts and holding dozens of workshops annually for the public, attracting 5,000 attendees. Groves Academy provides diagnostic assessments for students from preschool-age to college, tutoring for 1-12 students, a summer school program for students from other districts and specialized college counseling for high school students and adults with learning and attention disorders. John Alexander has been head of School at Groves Academy since 2005, and has expanded the school’s programs and community outreach to increase awareness of reading and learning disabilities. He was the 2009 recipient of the Star Literacy Award from the National Association for Reading First. Alexander also writes a weekly literacy blog, loaded with information about the latest research.

For more information about the innovative work at Groves Academy, visit  To schedule interviews, contact media liaison Robb Leer 612.701.0608.

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