To whom it may concern: My name is Will Warne. My seven-year-old daughter is a student at Bend Learning Center (BLC). I also know several other parents and kids in the Bend area who benefit from BLC’s excellent combination of creative resources, expert pedagogy and the owner, Mike Marshall’s unique talent with kids. Without exception, everybody I know who uses BLC for the enrichment of their kids, feels fortunate. I grew up with teachers who specialized in alternative learning needs. Their success was not predicated on binary, textbook approaches to childrens’ development and intellectual journeys. Instead, kids who learn differently need to be understood holistically and they need creative, dynamic approaches to learning. Mike is a master of this. Mike’s ability to converge discipline and learning with human connection is a rare talent that manifests in every kids’ success at BLC. My daughter showed up at BLC at least two years behind in reading and writing. She has a tenacious personality and a defensive attitude towards things she struggles with. Reading and writing were quickly becoming intellectual and emotional burdens for her. Without Mike’s help, these challenges would have accelerated and grown. Instead, Mike developed his own productive relationship with her. He created space for her to take ownership of her learning. She immediately showed progress and in only six months was nearly caught up with her grade level. Possibly more importantly, she now loves the challenges of reading and writing. Mike embodies Jerome Bruner’s observations that, “teaching is the canny art of intellectual temptation.” My daughter and her cohorts arrive at the Bend Learning Center intrigued, not burdened. If learning is to be a lifelong goal, then self-motivated curiosity must be at its fuel. We feel fortunate that BLC is a part of that spark that is igniting her own curiosity to learn. I welcome any conversation about Mike and the Bend Learning Center. Best, Will Warne WHWarne@gmail.com

Will Warne,

Our son struggled with dyslexia as he initially learned to read. We were fortunate to have discovered Bend Learning Center and Sanford Shapiro and Mike Marshall, and started working with them when Finn was in kindergarten. They were able to make their sessions with him fun and engaging, which is no mean feat for a child who had previously professed to "hate reading" and was convinced he wasn't good at it. He has made amazing progress, and now is not only a very proficient reader, but has truly discovered the joy of reading, which is any parent's true goal.

Wendy Krebs, DVM,

Our 7 year old son started working with Mike at the Bend Learning Center once we realized how much he was struggling with his reading. He has improved immensely over the last few months and still looks forward to attending each session. Mike's teaching style is creative, patient and engaging. My son is free to wiggle around and move his body all while still participating in learning the structure of words and sounds. We quickly realized that this is not a cut and dry learn how to read program. Mike encompasses a style that challenges his students as well as making it fun to learn to read. I only wish I had started him earlier!

Courtney Drewsen,