UPSTART Stories: How UPSTART Helped One Boy’s Confidence, Reading Skills


We love to hear from our UPSTART families in Utah! We recently highlighted Viven Van Leeuwen’s incredible story, and now, we happily share another successful UPSTART story.

Lisette T. has a son who recently went through the UPSTART program. When asked how her son benefitted from the program, she said, “[He] has come such a long way in his ability to recognize letters and sounds and now, he even sounds out letters and words as we are driving in the car, shopping at the store, or even trying to read vinyl on someone’s front door… From a self confidence perspective, [he] LOVES learning and has realized that he CAN do it.”

A drawing of Rusty and Rosy done by Lisette's son, an UPSTART participant.
A drawing of Rusty and Rosy done by Lisette’s son, an UPSTART participant.

Lisette said the other huge benefit of UPSTART for her son is that he pays much closer attention to instructions given to him, whereas previously, when given instructions for anything at home, he was already onto the task before the instructions were completed.

For some parents, motivating their child to use the program at least 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, can seem like an arduous task. However, Lisette said it was easy to motivate her son with a sticker calendar and ice cream outings with the family in honor of his achievements each month. She found, however, that the best way of motivation for her son was to do it at the same time each day. “It’s part of his routine. Like brushing his teeth.”

She went on to say, “It’s been fun to watch as we gather around as a family to listen to [his] recordings of a book he’s just finished reading, or even singing along to a new song he’s just learned… Words cannot express my appreciation for the UPSTART program and Rusty & Rosy, and the significant changes it has made for [my son] and our family.”

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