Augustine Literacy Project of the Upstate

Our Story

I've seen two children go from struggling to confident. This is the greatest experience possible!The Augustine Literacy Project® was founded in 1994 by Linda McDonough in Chapel Hill, NC. Augustine Literacy Project of the Upstate was started as a replication in 2006 under the leadership of Maxine Bennett in Travelers Rest, SC. Since then, ALP has trained over 175 tutors who have provided over 14,000 hours of specialized, individualized reading tutoring in the Upstate of South Carolina. In December 2015 the replication incorporated as an independent non-profit organization. Augustine Literacy Project® of the Upstate received its 501(c)3 status in January 2016.

The ALP logo includes a triangle representing the mountain of difficulties facing each Augustine student, a book symbolizing the structured, systematic, phonetic, multisensory, research-based Orton-Gillingham approach, and the tutor and child working together building a relationship that changes both lives!

What We Do

ALP tutoringWe provide at least two no-cost, 45-minute, one-on-one lessons weekly to qualifying students at their school or at an affiliated afterschool program. The lessons are individualized, structured, and multi-sensory. This instruction allows our students to process reading in a strategic way, through more than simply looking at words and pictures on a page. In every lesson the student learns to see, hear, touch, say, read, and write letters, words, and sentences.

Every Augustine lesson includes the five essential components of research-based reading instruction as defined by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

Through a series of researched-based assessment criteria, the student's literacy skills are evaluated. Specific phoneme sequencing is then followed with a scripted lesson plan. This helps untangle some of the student's language confusion and allows the child to proceed at their own pace.


All of the students made great strides with reading and their confidence in their reading ability grew to new heights! Many of them needed that one person that really could invest time in them.

Pre- and Post-Testing show that the ALP consistently produces positive results. On average, students improve across all measures, including phonological awareness, decoding, encoding, and comprehension.

Our students build reading, writing, and spelling competence, along with a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence, by succeeding where they previously struggled. Also, ALP students benefit from a consistent role model with the twice-weekly, one-on-one attention and interaction with our supportive, caring Augustine tutors.

In 2022-2023 more than 1,950 lessons were provided by 57 tutors working with 70 students, and 19 new tutors were trained.

Where We Serve

Augustine tutors currently serve in Anderson, Greenville, Greenwood, and Spartanburg elementary schools and the following community centers:

ALP tutoring