LEAD Program

Language through Enrichment, Analysis, and Development

The Language through Enrichment, Analysis, and Development Program (LEAD) is ambitious and challenging — we never simplify classroom content; we use a modified Orton-Gillingham approach to make academic content accessible. Students begin by developing phonemic awareness, mastering spelling rules, and establishing a comprehensive understanding of sentence structures. Our small classes of two or three students allow teachers to recognize the learning needs of each student. Students in this program are enrolled in three courses over two years, taken in conjunction with their other classes at Trinity-Pawling. With our open-door policy, teachers are available whenever needed, guiding students inside and outside of the classroom. 

LEAD teacher Chris Gillman works with students in the Center for Learning Achievement

First-year LEAD Courses

Reading Comprehension

The first year of the LEAD program consists of two courses. The first is called Reading Comprehension. In this course, students work on mastering the English language from the fundamental level and up. Using a modified Orton-Gillingham approach, students focus on letter/sound associations and combinations, syllable division rules, linguistic terminology, rote memorization, and spelling rules. In addition to word attack skills, students work on vocabulary, reading comprehension, listening skills, study techniques, and organizational skills. Students in this course are placed into sections of two or three students, and their progress is based on their mastery of the material. Importantly, students who do not require phonics work are placed into groups where that section is replaced by intensive vocabulary work.

Composition One

The second first-year LEAD course is Composition One. In this course, students work extensively in learning the fundamentals of grammar and writing. Students memorize definitions for parts of speech, learn the various sentence constructions, and master how to apply the information they learn in their own writing. Students also are instructed in composing topic sentences, thesis statements, paragraphs, and essays.

Second-year LEAD Courses

Analytical Writing

The second-year course in the LEAD Program is Analytical Writing. Students in this course develop their writing skills through reading an assortment of short stories and novellas and writing essays. Students learn how to write an introductory paragraph, how to find the main idea in a text, and how to support their points in an essay using the text. Additionally, students are taught to recognize symbolism and figurative language in literary works, while finding patterns, creating outlines, improving their writing mechanics, and developing vocabulary.


After completing the LEAD Program at Trinity-Pawling, I have a lot more confidence as a student. When I write papers in college, I know I have the tools and skills to do it well.

Jeff Thompson ’17