Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes — a local literacy research and education company that began as a two-woman partnership in 1986 — is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Started by elementary school teacher Nanci Bell and speech pathologist Patricia Lindamood on South Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo, Lindamood-Bell now has 41 learning centers across the United States, one in London, and one in Sydney, Australia.
Lindamood-Bell researches and develops one-on-one programs that teach children and adults reading, spelling and comprehension based on the philosophy that a learning difficulty is “not an IQ issue,” Bell said. Anyone can learn if his or her “sensory-language” connection is developed, she added.
Lindamood died in 2006, and Bell remains as director and CEO.
The company also works with hundreds of schools to provide instructional programs, professional development, and consulting. It has about 150 employees at its San Luis Obispo location and between 700 and 1,000 companywide, depending on seasonal fluctuations, said Erin Bell, company spokeswoman.
Nanci Bell described the company’s growth as a “grassroots” phenomenon.
Out-of-state relatives of San Luis Obispo locals helped by the program began traveling here for Lindamood-Bell’s services, and those relatives asked for learning centers in their own towns.
Lindamood-Bell began holding eight- to 10-week clinics across the country, and later opened learning centers in those locations, Bell said.
The company has plans to open five U.S. learning centers this year, in addition to operating seasonal learning clinics in some communities.
It celebrated its quarter-century milestone during its 17th annual International Conference last week at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim.
— Julia Hickey