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Freedom Magazine, published by the Church of Scientology

Turning Lives Around

Applied Scholastics
Utilizing proven methods, children in Compton, Hollywood, Lynwood and many other communities are today learning to read in a matter of hours.
very year, billions of taxpayer dollars go toward constructing immense fortresses of concrete, steel, granite and razor wire. And every year, billions more are spent to maintain the existing monoliths.

     These huge edifices, America’s jails and prisons, lie at the center of one of the costliest aspects of our economy — some $27 billion per year — with 1.6 million Americans confined there and millions more on probation or parole.

     Add one other factor into the equation. Roughly 68 percent of those arrested throughout America and thus started on the path to incarceration are illiterate.

     As serious as that may be, the costs of illiteracy to society today are even greater.

     It has been estimated that 21 million Americans cannot read at a fourth grade level, while 90 million adults perform with such low literacy skills they are classified as “at risk.” Illiteracy costs in many ways beyond jails and prisons — such as lost productivity, increased unemployment, rising health care and welfare — and the total comes to an estimated $300 billion per year.

Effective Methods

     In 1972, seeing the need for making effective methods available so more people could learn how to learn, Applied Scholastics International, a non-profit, secular group, was formed in Los Angeles.

     Over the years, it has expanded to more than 300 community organizations and schools, with affiliated offices in Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Australia, Malaysia, China and Russia.

President’s Summit for America’s Future
At the President’s Summit for America’s Future, Applied Scholastics pledged to train an additional 10,000 tutors to help an additional 200,000 children by the year 2000. Those attending the Summit included (from left) General and Mrs. Colin Powell, Barbara Bush, John Travolta, George Bush, Church of Scientology International executive Karen Hollander and LAPD Lieutenant Ron Sanchez.

     Headquartered in Hollywood, Applied Scholastics and its affiliated groups around the world have to date provided vital educational skills to more than 3 million children and adults. And the success stories and recognitions have poured in from those on the programs and those who have seen their results.

     Take the case of Nairobi Davis, who grew up in Lynwood. A few years ago, while in fifth grade, she was labeled “learning disabled” and her parents were told she would probably not graduate from elementary school. She went to the Compton Literacy Project, an Applied Scholastics-licensed tutoring center which is part of the World Literacy Crusade, founded in 1992 in Los Angeles by a Baptist minister, the Rev. Alfreddie Johnson. (See “Gospel Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King.”)

     As Nairobi’s reading skills were below second grade level, she was first tutored in reading. Within 25 hours, she had improved by two grade levels. She was then trained in Applied Scholastics’ methods of learning how to learn.

     Now in the eighth grade, Nairobi reads at her grade level and has been informed by teachers that she is one of the best students in the school. She is already making plans for college and a career. “Before, I didn’t want to go to school,” she said. “Now, I understand and feel good about school. I have learned better methods of study. This program has helped me have a better life and I am very happy.”

Kindling the Desire to Learn

     The literacy and study skills upon which Applied Scholastics and the World Literacy Crusade focus constitute the basis not only of future academic performance, but also of a student’s attitude toward education and his passion for learning, or lack of it. By bringing it to children and youths, these programs are salvaging lives.

     One young man who grew up in Los Angeles became, as he expressed it, “a little too involved” with a gang and was shot on the street. He credits Applied Scholastics’ methods with enabling him to return to school and to give up gang life. Study technology, he said, “makes you feel good about what you learn. It makes you want to learn.”

     Another teen, Joseph, had a second grade reading level when he started at Applied Scholastics. He heard about it from former gang members who had done the program and told him that it could help him. Joseph had been in a gang since his early teens, had been arrested for grand theft auto, sentenced to Juvenile Hall for three months and then placed on probation until the age of 18. Nothing in his future looked bright.

     After Applied Scholastics unlocked the door to study, he left his gang, went on to graduate high school and today has a job. “If it wasn’t for Applied Scholastics,” he said, “I’d be six feet under.”

     Another young man, John, was 20 years old but illiterate. He lived at home with his mother, but frequently flew into rages and got into fights. In one particularly destructive rampage, he smashed his mother’s television set, refrigerator, couch and virtually every other piece of furniture she had.

     His mother called Applied Scholastics, telling them that she planned to obtain a restraining order because she had become so frightened by her son’s violence. After Applied Scholastics had her bring her son in, he admitted that he had a strong urge to fight and not just to beat people, but to destroy them.

     In the course of completing a study program at Applied Scholastics, his life turned around. As he put it, learning how to learn unlocked the door of opportunity for him, giving him hope for achieving something with his life and providing a chance for a brighter future. Today he is not only no longer violent—he is a successful computer robotics operator, very satisfied with his job and life.

Overcoming the Barriers to Study

     Utilizing proven methods, children in Compton, Hollywood, Lynwood and many other communities are today learning to read in a matter of hours. A thirst for learning returns — or dawns newly — after a few short sessions with an Applied Scholastics tutor. At-risk youth are turning their lives around.

     Applied Scholastics produces literate readers so rapidly, in fact, that students have jumped as many as five grade levels in reading proficiency after only a few hours of tutoring.

     Students who can already read but who are bogged in their studies are instructed in a precise technology of how to study — a subject virtually ignored in curricula of public and private schools. They learn what the barriers to study are that block a student from learning and can even destroy the desire to learn. Armed with workable techniques to overcome these barriers, students are helped to apply that information to their current studies.

     The discovery of the existence of these barriers constitute a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of education and the techniques used in overcoming them by Applied Scholastics are utilized throughout the world, with more and more taking advantage of these methods with each passing year.

     Recently in Mexico, for example, more than 1,200 public school teachers in that nation were trained in the basics of study technology, with excellent classroom results reported. And closer to home, a panel of educators and parents employed by California’s Department of Education completed a study into appropriate uses of Applied Scholastics’ books which contain the full scope of study technology.

     The panel’s conclusion was that all of Applied Scholastics’ books deserve to be included on the list of supplementary materials approved for use by California public schools. This green-lights all public schools who wish to utilize study technology in any public classroom, in any subject, in conjunction with any curriculum. The natural demand by teachers for study technology can now be satisfied throughout California.

Expansion Continues

     Applied Scholastics is now striving to make study technology available to educators and tutors everywhere. A pledge was made at the President’s Summit for America’s Future — held recently in Philadelphia, chaired by General Colin Powell and co-chaired by President Clinton and former Presidents Bush, Carter, Ford and Mrs. Nancy Reagan for former President Reagan — to have an additional 10,000 tutors trained in this study technology to help another 200,000 children by the year 2000.

     It is through campaigns such as these that Applied Scholastics and the World Literacy Crusade are poised to return the educational promise of the world’s youth to reality.

      For more information, contact Applied Scholastics International at (800) 424-5397 or (323) 962-2907, or vist one of the following sites:
Study Technology
Study Technology Can Help with Study Trouble, Difficulty in Learning and Retaining Things
L. Ron Hubbard on Study Technology
Applied Scholastics

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