Kirsten Cruzen

I am a certified teacher who used to teach 6th grade English and Social Studies. Now I am a certified Barton Tutor (level 1) who works with students who need Orton Gillingham tutoring to support them as they improve their reading and spelling.

My Story

During the pandemic my youngest child, who was in 2nd grade, was struggling with reading. I had her in a small private school. In school she had been receiving one-on-one support for over a year, and despite all of these resources, things just weren’t “clicking.” When the pandemic hit and she was home with me, I had her do a lot of reading to me, and I was noticing disturbing patterns in her struggles. She would read a word and then that same word would show up a page or so later and she wouldn’t know it. Sight words would trip her up. She had no fluidity to her reading. She struggled to sound out words she didn’t know, having little sense of how to break a word into syllables to even start sounding it out. And mostly, reading was just SO much effort. There was no reading for pleasure, because of the amount of struggle it took from her to get through just a few pages.

At the end of that year, she came to me and said, “You know, I guess I’m just someone who isn’t good at school.” That broke my heart and I knew I had to intervene fast, but because it was June 2020, I struggled to get a formal evaluation.  It was in that moment of overwhelm that someone recommended the Barton tutoring system to me. It seemed very promising, and with my former teaching background, I jumped at the opportunity to help her myself. I wasn’t 100% positive that dyslexia was our problem, but she had most of the warning signs, and I figured it didn’t hurt to try. Within 4 months, I was noticing a marked difference in her reading and I felt confident that we had chosen the right path.

Through this curriculum, my daughter finally got traction in learning the basics of sounding out words, knowing how to break them into syllables, and basically being taught the quirks of the English language in a deliberate and methodical way that her very creative mind can understand. The lessons are laid out brilliantly to reinforce the concepts and she quickly memorized and recognized the parts of decoding that are somewhat invisible to neurotypical children, but not so much for her. Within a year, she was reading for pleasure, and now, two years later, she’s reading at grade level.  

I have so enjoyed supporting my daughter through this journey, I recently began to take on students and expand my work with Barton. If you have a child who is struggling with reading and/or spelling, let’s talk and see if this could be a solution for you.

Help & Support

I tutor struggling readers and help them become confident, fluent readers who actually enjoy books.


Call me

Cell: 347-645-0709



Queens, NYC


Email me