New Marburn Academy Initiative Aims to Reach More Students With Dyslexia, Other Challenges

The school is partnering with Ohio State’s special education program to serve children in the Hilltop, Franklinton and other areas through a new Columbus facility.

Chuck Nelson
The new Marburn Education Collaborative facility on Watermark Drive in Columbus

New Albany’s Marburn Academy is branching out in an effort to reach more Central Ohio students struggling with dyslexia, executive function difficulties and attention challenges.

The nonprofit, independent school is ramping up operations over the next few months at a 3,000-square-foot facility at 1650 Watermark Drive near Downtown Columbus as part of the Marburn Education Collaborative. The location will provide reduced-fee tutoring for individuals and small groups through a partnership with Ohio State University’s special education program. It also will provide free early-reading screenings and educational seminars for parents and teachers. 

The program is also available through the school’s New Albany campus.

“In our 40 years, Marburn has always been committed to serving the Columbus community, and this pilot is an exciting outgrowth of that commitment,” says Stephanie Royal, director of outreach. Royal says the new location will help Marburn serve students where they are—in this case, the Hilltop and Franklinton areas.

“We’re doing a soft launch this spring to see where the needs are in the community,” Royal says. A broader, official opening is planned for August. “We also want to destigmatize learning differences and help share what we’re doing and what that means for families. Being in this location will help us develop partnerships with some schools and maybe other organizations to build awareness.”

The new location offers after-school sessions from 3-6:30 p.m. “It’s not a day school program, but it’s meant to support students whose parents are concerned they might have a learning difference, or they do have a diagnosed learning difference” but don’t attend Marburn, Royal says.

“Talking with families about what they need will help inform us on what services are necessary in this location,” she says, and will also allow Marburn to direct parents to other resources. “If we aren’t the right spot, we can always point them in the right direction.”

Funding from the program’s first year comes from donors including Safelite AutoGlass, Daimler Group and the Columbus Foundation.

For more information, visit marburnacademy.org/marburnec.

A shorter version of this story appears in “Parent Pulse” in the Spring 2022 issue of Columbus Parent.