ITA English Literacy Program

Helping children read!

Universidad Ana G. Mendez (UAGM)

Universidad Ana G. Mendez (UAGM) is a non-profit, Hispanic Serving Institution with four main campuses (Cupey, Carolina, Gurabo, and Online) with 12 locations across Puerto Rico. The university has centers in Florida, Texas, and Maryland.

Established in 1980, the mission of the Cupey Campus of UAGM is to offer a diverse student population the opportunity to acquire personal and professional competence through education, research, and community service, with the goal that they become agents of change, lifelong learners and responsible collaborators in globalization and sustainability.

The ITA English Literacy Program was initiated by the University’s Sistema TV organization in 2017. The ITA after-school tutoring program began with one elementary school in San Juan, Julio Selles Sola. The program has expanded to rural elementary school, Carmen D. Ortiz, in Aguas Buenas.


The program is supervised by Maria de los A. Muniz, Project Director, with two ITA teacher assistants, Raquel Gonzalez (Julio Selles Sola) and Stephanie Gomez (Carmen D. Ortiz). Sonia Ramos, ESL teacher retired from the Puerto Rico Department of Education, also assists with program implementation in Carmen D. Ortiz School.

Our Schools

San Juan. Julio Selles Sola Elementary School has an enrollment of 700 kindergarten-6th grade students. It is ranked in the top 30% of all 1,307 schools in Puerto Rico for Spanish Math and Reading proficiency. The ITA English Literacy Program serves 48 2nd and 3rd graders in an after-school tutoring program four days a week.

Aguas Buenas. Carmen D. Ortiz Elementary School has an enrollment of 625 kindergarten-9th grade students. It is located about an hour’s drive south of San Juan. In its first year of the ITA English Literacy Program, the school serves 24 2nd graders and will expand to serve 48 2nd and 3rd graders as the program continues.

The ITA English Literacy Program

The goal of the ITA English Literacy Program is to increase English proficiency in oral language, reading, and writing. Students are qualified for the program on the basis of need for English intervention.

Students attend the two-hour after school program two days a week, with one hour dedicated to the ITA intervention delivered by undergraduate education majors under the supervision of the ITA teachers and Project Director.

Students also participate in one hour of the Ready to Learn (RTL) program from PBS, which focuses on oral communication through storytelling, art, and PBS iPad games.

The success of the ITA English Literacy Program is evident in this video that features the second-year students at Julio Selles Sola school demonstrating their command of and enthusiasm for English.

The Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation

The Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation is a corporation organized under the Membership Corporation Law of the State of New York in March, 1965. The Foundation was formed exclusively for educational and charitable purposes; to promote, maintain and advance education in all its fields, and in particular (but without limiting the generality of the foregoing) by development, standardization, propagation, dissemination, teaching and use of the Initial Teaching Alphabet.

i.t.a. Foundation Mission Statement

The mission of the i.t.a. Foundation is to promote literacy by providing independent funding for the development and dissemination of best teaching practices in the use and support of the initial teaching alphabet (i.t.a.).