Helping students manage what's hard about school
and thrive as life-long learners

  • Executive
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Personal
  • Self-regulation

If your child struggles with any of these skills, we can help.

  • Study skills
  • Homework
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Motor
  • Task

Developing essential skills, strategies, and habits

Our proprietary, proven methods help students succeed in school, college, and beyond.

Our Vision

Our vision is that students view themselves as confident and capable learners who know how to tackle what comes their way in school and in life.

Our Methods

We design instruction catered to students' individual needs, based on what research says works

Our founder and CEO, Dr. Bonnie Singer, and her long-time research partner, Dr. Anthony Bashir, have dedicated years to developing innovative teaching methods and learning strategies that can be used by students of all ages. The most widely known are:

EmPOWER Brain Frames©

We are always developing and testing new strategies for a whole range of important skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, note taking, studying, managing homework, and self-regulated learning.

We routinely blend other proven teaching methods with methods we’ve developed in our work with students.

Our Team

Bonnie Singer, Ph.D., CCC

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Communication Disorders: Emerson College

Dr. Singer has long been passionate about working with school-age students of all ages, especially those who struggle with executive functions, reading, and written expression.

She began her career working as a speech-language pathologist in pediatric hospitals in the Boston area, and then became an instructor and clinical supervisor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College.

Dr. Singer’s doctoral studies focused on the development of reading and writing and the unique challenges children with language disorders have with written communication. Along with Dr. Anthony Bashir, she developed the EmPOWER™ method for teaching expository writing, the Brain Frames® graphics for supporting language, literacy, teaching, and learning, and the Qualitative Writing Inventory and Me & My Writing/My Students’ Writing scales for assessing writing. In partnership with Angela Tamborella, M.S., CCC, her most recent project is Unlocking Sentences, an approach to teaching sentence structure and reading comprehension.  Her research interests and numerous publications lie in the relationship between spoken and written language, cognition, executive functions, and learning.

Dr. Singer founded Architects For Learning in 1996. In addition to directing the staff in their Needham and Beverly offices, she provides consultation and professional development to teachers and schools world-wide.

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Kristen Mallett, M.S., CCC-SLP

Co-DIrector of Clinical Operations

B.A. in English: Douglass College, Rutgers University
M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Emerson College

Kristen is a certified speech-language pathologist with many years of experience working in public school, private practice, medical, and university settings.  She has worked closely with Dr. Singer for over two decades, overseeing our programs, supervising staff, and providing comprehensive spoken and written language evaluations as well as therapeutic language intervention.

As Co-Director of Clinical Operations, Kristen oversees and coordinates all of our evaluation services, consults with schools, and works closely with families to identify and prioritize the instructional needs of students.

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Karen Head, M.S., CCC

Co-Director of Clinical Operations

B.S. in Chemistry: Oklahoma State University
M.S. in Speech: Emerson College

Karen is a certified speech-language pathologist with many years of experience evaluating and designing interventions for students who exhibit a range of language, learning, and social communication challenges.  For many years, she was a partner in a multi-disciplinary private practice where she worked closely with families, mentored staff specialists, and developed new programs to meet community needs.

As Co-Director of Clinical Operations, Karen oversees and coordinates all of our therapeutic language services, and she works closely with families to identify and prioritize the instructional needs of students.

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Lauren Buckley, M.S., CCC

Speech-Language Pathologist

B.A. in Psychology: Bucknell University
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology: Boston University

Lauren is a speech-language pathologist whose experience spans working in public schools, outpatient hospital clinics, and private clinic settings.  She also supported research in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

“I believe it is so important for every student to recognize his or her many strengths and successes while also feeling supported in areas that are challenging. Giving students the tools to problem-solve and adopt a growth mindset in the face of setbacks is often just as crucial as the language skills and strategies that we teach.”

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Cory Campbell, M.S., CCC

Speech-Language Pathologist

B.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology: University of Texas, Dallas
M.S. in Communication Disorders: University of Texas, Dallas

Cory is a certified speech-language-pathologist whose clinical experience spans a number of public schools across New England. She was research assistant to the esteemed Dr. Anne Van Kleek, whose work in early literacy, academic language, and foundations of reading comprehension is renowned.  Cory has expertise providing assessment and intervention to children in preschool through high school whose challenges with spoken language and executive functions influence their literacy and academic success.

“So much of a student’s school day is beyond his or her control. Learning shouldn’t be. I enjoy helping my students gain independence and mastery over their own learning.  Teaching them structure and strategies increases their confidence and decreases any anxiety they may have about their academics.”


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Jessica Curtin, M.Ed.

Educational Consultant/Instructional Specialist

B.S. in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Psychology: Fitchburg State College
M.Ed. in Creative Arts Across the Curriculum: Lesley University

Jess holds certification in education grades 1-5 and special education grades K-8. Her experience spans working as a 4th grade teacher, literacy coach, and special educator in Ansbach, Germany; special educator at a private school; and special educator and 5th grade public school teacher. She is a co-author of EmPOWER: Classroom Materials.

“The methods and strategies we use here at Architects For Learning not only help make language stand still so that I can help my students organize and understand things they need to learn, but those same strategies help make language stand still so my students can organize and present the things they want to say.”

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Maureen Denney, M.S. Ed.

Reading Specialist

B.A. in English: University of Massachusetts, Boston
M.S.Ed.. in Language and Literacy: Simmons College

Maureen is is a certified as a Reading Specialist, English Language Arts Teacher, and Special Educator.  She also holds endorsements from the Massachusetts Department of Education in Sheltered English Immersion and Autism.  Maureen’s many years of experience teaching reading and composition to middle and high school students in public school and private settings are enhanced by her distinguished roles as an Orton Gillingham Trainer, Instructor, and Supervisor and a Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist and Curriculum Developer for the Harvard Education Innovation Lab.  She has provided individualized reading and writing instruction for Architects For Learning since 2007.

“One of my greatest joys is to open the world of literacy to a student.  No matter their age, when reading and writing shift from elusive to accessible, a whole new future opens up for them.”

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Shana Krell, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

B.S. in Occupational Therapy: Boston University

Shana is a licensed and registered occupational therapist with over 30 years of experience working in public and private schools and private practice. She also has lectured and provided consultation to the Child Development Lab at Framingham State College.

“I value encouraging kids to acknowledge their developing strengths and level of independence. By gradually fading the amount of assistance I provide with tasks they need to do every day – from handwriting, to balance and coordination, to planning how to organize their backpack—students learn to rely on their own “mind’s eye,” which helps them succeed with the tasks they encounter in and outside the classroom.”

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Kate La Croix, M.S., CCC

Speech-Language Pathologist

B.S. in French Language and Literature: Amherst College
M.S. in Communication Disorders: Emerson College

Kate is a certified speech-language pathologist with many years of experience providing comprehensive evaluations and school program observations as well as designing language and literacy interventions in public school and private practice settings.  Kate is a fluent speaker of French.

“When I evaluate a student and write a report for his or her parents and school team, I become engrossed by the challenge of describing the student’s language and learning profile in such a way that it can be easily understood and quickly addressed. I want parents and teachers to comprehend that student’s strengths and weaknesses and know what practical things can be done to support him or her.  When I speak at a team meeting and see other professionals nodding their heads, or when a parent says to me, “You have helped me understand my child better,” then I know I have done my job. I love creating those partnerships.”

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Karen Miles, M.S., CCC

Speech-Language Pathologist/Reading Specialist

B.A. in Linguistics and Philosophy: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology: Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute of Health Professions

Karen is a certified speech-language-pathologist and reading specialist whose clinical experience spans positions in public school and private practice settings. Karen has extensive experience working with children and adults across the lifespan, designing comprehensive assessments as well as comprehensive treatment that includes parents and other educators.

“I get so much joy out of seeing students stretch themselves and do things they didn’t think they could do.  Small ‘wins’ add up over time, and they have a huge impact on students’ confidence.” 

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Jennifer Mogensen, M.S., CCC

Speech-Language Pathologist/Reading Specialist

B.S. in Psychology and Religious Studies: College of the Holy Cross
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology; Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy and Language for Reading Specialist Licensure: Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute of Health Professions

Jen is a certified speech-language pathologist working with children and adults in public school, rehabilitation hospital, and private practice settings.  She has extensive experience providing comprehensive speech-language, reading, and writing assessments as well as designing language and literacy interventions.

“I love how Architects For Learning brings kids together who otherwise wouldn’t have connected. The two high school students I’ve been seeing this summer in the morning are going to lunch on Friday with each other and their moms. It’s so wonderful for them to have this new friendship – and for their moms to connect too!!”

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Kim Motylewski, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

B.A. in Political Science: Vassar College
M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Emerson College 

Kim had a long career as a radio producer before discovering the field of speech-language pathology. She is a certified speech-language pathologist whose experience spans pediatric private practice, preschool programs, public schools, and adult outpatient rehab facilities.

“The things students say to themselves about who they are as learners matters because it effects their habits and their ability to persevere.  Along with teaching concrete skills, I’m motivated by the chance to foster an internal sense of ability and potential for growth.” 

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Ariel Schuman, M.S., CCC

Speech-Language Pathologist

B.S. in Cognitive Science with concentration in Speech-Language Pathology: University of Delaware
M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology: Boston University

Ariel is a speech-language pathologist whose experience spans K-12 public and private school, private practice, and hospital settings.  She has a particular passion for school-age students whose challenges with executive functions affect all facets of literacy and school performance.  A firm believer in collaborating with teachers and parents, Ariel structures her work with students around the demands they face in the classroom each day.

“I strive to create an environment where students connect with me, feel safe to take learning risks, and develop confidence from within. I am passionate about helping students internalize functional strategies that stimulate growth not only in our sessions, but also in their daily lives.” 

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Emily Wessendarp, M.A., CCC

Speech-Language Pathologist

B.A. in Speech-Language Pathology: University of Toledo
M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology: University of Toledo

Emily is a certified speech-language-pathologist whose clinical and teaching experience spans public, charter, and independently schools across New York City. Emily has experience with children ranging from preschool, early intervention, through high school. She has also worked in private clinic and home health settings.

“I have always found that students learn best when they can see that their educators are invested in their individual success, that guiding their growth as a person is as important as mastering skills. I appreciate so much that Architects For Learning gives me the opportunity to partner with my students’ families and classrooms teachers so that we can share in this learning experience together.”

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Sarah Wildes, M.S., CCC

Speech-Language Pathologist

B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders: University of New Hampshire
M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders: University of New Hampshire

Sarah is a speech-language-pathologist with extensive experience working in public schools with elementary-age students, private clinics with both children and adults of all ages, and camps serving students with communication and learning challenges.  She also served on the research staff in the University of New Hampshire’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Research Lab.

“I’m grateful to be a part of a process that gives these students the tools to express their own ideas and passions without feeling overwhelmed by the complex language demands of reading and writing. Offering support and strategies to navigate these demands helps to eliminate the “hard stuff” so that students can focus on what they’re learning and feel confident about sharing what they know.”

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Our Students

Students who come to Architects For Learning fall into two groups:

Students with learning difficulties who need help bridging the gap.

These students have been tested and may be getting help in school. We provide more specialized instruction to strengthen weak skills and learn how to compensate for what doesn’t come easily.

Students who are not doing as well in school as they want to be.

These students have never been tested and have solid academic skills. They need more effective strategies for managing their schoolwork. We customize strategies for their learning style and learning needs.

Our Story

Building a structure for successBonnie Singer, Ph.D., Founder/CEO

My first job as a speech-language pathologist was at North Shore Children’s Hospital in Salem, Massachusetts. It was a magical place for me — one that offered intensive training and the opportunity to work alongside professionals from a variety of different disciplines.

My interests in spoken language sparked so many questions about written language, so I went on to study reading and writing as a doctoral student at Emerson College. I studied with some of the leading researchers in language and literacy and joined them as a faculty member, teaching graduate courses and supervising the clinical training of graduate students while completing my own research on writing.

I loved my years in academia; research, teaching and mentoring new clinicians was deeply stimulating and satisfying work.

A tough decision: stay in the collegiate “ivory tower” or go work where the kids are. 

I chose the latter and established a private practice alongside a clinical psychologist and a neuropsychologist.

Working closely with these highly experienced colleagues allowed me to see children’s language and academic skills within larger frameworks — ones that accounted for their cognitive abilities, emotions, and learning styles — and that fueled my interest in working with a broader range of students than was typical for a speech-language pathologist at the time.

My office soon was filled with children whose academic difficulties were rooted in language disorders, dyslexia, dysgraphia, attention disorders, executive function weaknesses, and non-verbal/spatial disabilities.

I also saw children who had no diagnosed learning disabilities at all; they simply were not doing as well as they wanted to be in school, and they needed more effective strategies for learning. Many of these children worked hard, but after experiencing failure in school, they felt dejected, defective, and downright broken.

Sometimes they were labeled “unmotivated,” which added insult to injury and left them feeling blamed for their struggles. The more I worked with them, the more I doubted that motivation was the problem. What seven year-old (or 17 year-old for that matter) wants to fail?

I believe that motivation is fueled by success, and these children weren’t experiencing enough of it to stick with things that didn’t come easily to them. It motivated ME to develop teaching methods that made sense to all students and helped them achieve the success they so desired.

I built Architects For Learning with one vision: that children are able to tackle what comes their way in school and in life to the best of their abilities.

That vision has always gotten me out of bed with a sense of purpose.

In 2004, I began to expand my solo practice by hand picking a staff whose vision, passion, professionalism, and expertise align with mine. They are superb clinicians and educators who, like me, believe that students need teachers, mentors, and cheerleaders — people who will believe in them when they falter, celebrate with them when they succeed, and stick with them through their journey.

All of us at Architects For Learning firmly believe that by working together with the students and families that walk through our doors, we can change children’s lives. We see it happen every day.