Scientology: How We Help—Making Learning Disabilities Vanish

A new brochure was released by the Church of Scientology in March 2013 on the subject of Applied Scholastics. The parents of Amanda Barefoot’s students can testify to the value of the program.

Amanda Barefoot, 28, didn’t always live in Honolulu—but she always wanted to be a teacher.

She grew up 5,000 miles from Hawaii in Meadow, North Carolina, a small farm town where “there were no stoplights and everyone knew everybody else,” says Barefoot. “When I was 5 years old, I was in a children’s beauty pageant and the host asked me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I responded, ‘I want to be a school teacher so I can pass out papers for the little boys and girls to color.’”

Her reasons for wanting to teach may have changed a bit since then, but her determination has only become stronger.

Barefoot earned a degree in Elementary Education from East Carolina University and later took a course in Study Technology developed by American author, educator and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Falling in love with Honolulu while visiting the island, Barefoot moved to the Aloha State and started teaching at a local elementary school to address the limited resources and disparity among students. She proposed a full-inclusion classroom where at-risk students and special education students shared the same classroom under Barefoot and another teacher.

It was a success, with student’s achievements rising significantly in math and gaining one to two grade levels in reading in a single year. Study Technology “worked wonders,” Barefoot says, on the special education students, most of them with behavior issues that impeded their ability to learn. Barefoot found that with this technology their behavior problems vanished. “It was like magic,” she says.

With the success of the Study Technology in the combined classroom, Barefoot and her co-teacher enrolled at Applied Scholastics International training center near St. Louis, Missouri. There they studied with teachers, tutors and mentors from around the world, concentrating on training to repair reading and math skills.

The following year, their results with students were even better.

“We utilized the skills we learned at Applied Scholastics and our students made significant growth,” says Barefoot. “The ‘labels’ dropped like flies. One child who tested at a pre-kindergarten reading level moved all the way to a second grade reading level. Her parents were ecstatic.”

When budget cuts shut down the program, Barefoot and her colleague decided to forge ahead on their own. They opened “Phonics Fanatics” where they design educational curricula based on Study Technology and provide one-on-one tailored programs utilizing the Applied Scholastics Reading Repair and Math Repair programs.

“My very first student after starting ‘Phonics Fanatics’ was a 6-year-old first grader who only knew 10 letters of the alphabet and was very upset by the idea of reading. He was doing poorly in school and was exhibiting phenomena that could potentially have had him labeled and taken out of his regular classroom. We immediately located the source of his misunderstandings and repaired his phonics starting with the 26 letters of the alphabet. After only 10 hours of tutoring he began to show increased confidence and excitement about reading. Before his first grade year was finished we completed the entire phonics program, roughly 60 hours, and he was competently reading at fourth grade reading level. His grades went from well below average to exceeding proficiency. His mother is certain this has saved his life.”

The Applied Scholastics network, now comprising over 1,000 groups spanning 70 countries, has trained nearly 140,000 educators and has helped millions of students and teachers with Study Technology.

The brochure Scientology: How We Help—Applied Scholastics: Achieving Literacy and Education is one of a series of publications presented by the Church of Scientology International to meet requests for more information about the Scientology religion and its support of global humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs. For more information, visit the Scientology website at

Applied Scholastics International is a secular nonprofit public benefit corporation that addresses head-on the problem of illiteracy by making broadly available L. Ron Hubbard’s discoveries in the field of education and literacy.