Code the Dream salutes programmers Andrea Hernandez Guzman and Mariandrea Maldonado, whose work with CTD Labs is helping to bring a reading instruction application for children with learning challenges to teachers and students across the country.
Hernandez Guzman and Maldonado have been working on the interactive Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP) for CTD Labs’ client the Hill Learning Center, a Durham-based learning hub for equitable, research-based, differentiated instruction for students with learning and attention challenges.
“The data that we get from the HillRAP app helps teachers analyze and maybe have a better understanding of a specific student,” says Maldonado, a Junior Developer at Code the Dream. “It gives real-time feedback and helps teachers to figure out, ‘How can I create a better way to help these specific students?’”
Hernandez Guzman and Maldonado have worked on making the app, previously available only on iPads, a web-based program accessible to anyone with internet access. According to Hernandez Guzman, a Developer and Mentor at CTD, “although it is not exclusively used for remote learning, the necessity of remote learning over the past two school years has deepened the digital divide, and made it more important for programs like this to be available to all, including students, teachers and school districts that can’t afford expensive tablets.”
I have never seen my students make as much progress or as fast of progress with any other tool. Knowing that my students have access to a program that really works for them no matter the setting we are in has made a big difference in their lives and in ours as the teachers.“
HillRAP user, MS Special Education teacher
HillRAP is currently being used in 15 states, and five countries. Hill-trained teachers are using HillRAP with over 7000 students with persistent reading difficulties in district, public, charter, independent and non-profit settings.
Knowing that children are the ultimate beneficiaries of their work is inspiring for Maldonado and Hernandez Guzman. “What I’m doing with this app is impacting future generations. Every morning when I wake up, I’m excited because I know I’m gonna do something great today for others” says Maldonado.
Every night in bed we read Warrior Kids. My dad reads it to me but sometimes I read it. I tell my dad not to tell me big words and I can sound them out or split them into syllables better!”
“I know I am getting better because I like reading with my friends.”
“When I read the teacher tells me I am doing a good job and getting better. I used to mess up on my words and I don’t do that as much anymore. Every time I miss a word I know I am going to get it correct someday!”Students using HillRAP
Code the Dream Executive Director Dan Rearick says that CTD Labs’ work for the Hill Learning Center is a good example of CTD at its best. “We have these skilled, motivated developers who went through our educational program, and they are now getting valuable experience working for a client at CTD Labs,” Rearick says. “And the client provides a service that helps kids and teachers. Ultimately, everyone benefits.”
Learn more about CTD Labs.
Watch a video of Mariandrea Maldonado presenting an earlier version of the HillRAP app at Code the Dream’s Spring 2021 Demo Day.
Read more about the Hill Learning Center here, or use the following contact information:
Hill Learning Center
3200 Pickett Road
Durham, NC 27705
Information: Sara Miller, Director of Admissions, email@example.com