Give me non-literate children or adults and I'll teach them to read.This won't take years. I can do it in 30 hours or less.

US Statistics

  • One in four 11 year olds is illiterate.
  • Number  of prison beds predicted is based on the number of poor readers at 4th grade!  
  • 90 million adults are functionally illiterate! 
  • 70% of adults read at grade 4 level or below.
  • 90% of welfare recipients are high-school dropouts - estimated at one million annually
  • 60% of adult prison inmates are illiterate.
  • 85% of juvenile offenders are illiterate.  70% return to prison - 16% if taught to read.
  • Illiteracy is linked directly to crime, poverty, unemployment & ill healt


Gertrude is a university lecturer and  reading specialist.  She ran her own Montessori School in Dublin, Ireland,  that became  known as ‘a centre of excellence’.

In the United Kingdom, she astounded educationalists by her ability to teach children and adults with learning difficulties to read in a couple of weeks .

Examples of her successes.  Gertrude approached a local educational authority and offered a challenge:-

"Give me four children that no-one can teach and I'll teach them to read in two weeks"

After 30 hours of instruction, all four, who had severe learning difficulties, were reading at grade level and able to join mainstream schools.

Sixteen, 14 year old students with special needs in education who required teaching on a one-to-one basis were taught in two groups of eight, to read in 11 hours. The became happy, calm motivated students

Except from the report by Sue Hughes Educational Psychologist on the Feltham Community College Project run by Gertrude Garrow for sixteen year old SEN students.

"In the first session with each student, I was disconcerted to note the very high level of emotional instability and behavioral problems.  This was the case with more than half of the students and even in the one-to-one they were difficult to manage.

 They tended to be surly and aggressive and all were hyper anxious.

Most were quite rude and uncooperative, some were abusive, some ran away, one needed a familiar adult to sit with him throughout the testing. Nearly all were late by at least 30 minutes.

There was a mixture of other conditions such as Apparent Language Difficulty (shown on the WASI) and English being a second language (EAL). One boy's English was very poor indeed and he used only little grunts instead of words.

 I noticed a big difference in the attitude and behavior of the pupils between the first and second session.

 All arrived on time and sat down calmly and waited to be tested.  I had no need to manage or encourage and all were confident, purposeful and polite.

 Not once did any one of them give up on a word. They made determined and repeated efforts to decode them.  Some were annoyed when the NARA rules meant that I had to tell them the word after they had tried for a few seconds and said, “I could have done it, Miss.” 

 They all conveyed a sense of mastery and ease and were very self-assured.

 When I asked what they felt about the project, all were enthusiastic and all would have liked to do more if they could. Most did not want to do the tests or did them reluctantly and all my efforts and skill were required to get the results."

A study was conducted for the Daily Mail to demonstrate the effectiveness of the teaching methodology and this was monitored by Anthony Glassberg, an independent educational psychologist, Subsequent to the study, Anthony Glassberg's report, described the teaching as 'revolutionary', 'the best thing since the invention of blackboard & chalk'.  The Daily Mail headline following the study read:-  


The AtoZeasy Reading System

Gertrude has developed her pictorial animated alphabet and reading system over many years. The system used a multi sensory approach based animations, songs, stories, rhymes and drama. It is simple, logical and fun and so easy to use that she named it ‘The AtoZeasy Reading System’. Learning to read literally becomes child’s play. The system has had 100% success in the teaching of reading.

Her expertise led her to run teacher-training workshops and teach internationally. Among her clients were the royal families in Saudi Arabia and government ministers in Pakistan. In Pakistan, she was appointed to a select committee to set up the Daanish Schools for the education of poor children. She also conducted workshops for parents of children with autism and teachers at the Oasis School for autistic children.

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