OPT: The Organization for Psychoeducational Tutoring

The Organization for Psychoeducational Tutoring, Inc., or OPT, is a nonprofit organization that teaches both academic and psychological skills.

Psychoeducational tutors work with children (and sometimes adolescents) through half-hour sessions, held by phone, conducted five or six days a week. Tutor and student use manuals created for this project. The tutoring continues usually for a year or more. We continually try to keep track of how much is accomplished during tutoring, in ongoing program evaluation research. At this time, because of charitable donations, our services are without cost to participants.


Part of the goal of OPT is to help children who need to learn to read, or to read better. The child who can't read well is much more likely to dislike school and to develop emotional and behavior problems. Thus reading is a skill that increases psychological well-being. In a study published in 2005, we reported that a group of children who had progressed at half a grade level per year before tutoring progressed at an average of two grade levels per year during telephone tutoring.

Psychological Skills

One of the big ideas behind OPT is that nonprofessional people, for example college student tutors, can help children to learn the sorts of skills that mental health professionals have studied and written about: anger control, conflict-resolution, self-discipline, friendship-building, anxiety-reduction, kindness, thinking before acting and making good decisions, and others. The tutors do not develop the curriculum, but they take part in it with the children: taking turns reading aloud, taking turns doing psychological skills exercises.

A Little About Us:

Here is our board of directors:

OPT Board of Directors

And here's a little about our history:

History of OPT

And here are some of the "big ideas" of how OPT works:

Big Ideas Behind OPT

If you are a parent looking for help for your child:

If you are interested in this program, you can send an email to Dr. Joseph Strayhorn, director, at jstray@gmail.com.

To learn more about it right now, you can read:

Frequently asked questions, for parents

Guidelines for Parents of Students in OPT

Disclaimers -- What OPT Does NOT Claim To Do

Here are the consent form for the research activity of OPT, and the HIPAA information.

Consent form for research

HIPAA Information

Here are some questionnaires that parents are asked to use, to give us information, once they've decided to engage with OPT:

Parent Questionnaire 1

Parent Questionnaire 2

If you are interested in inspecting or using our curricular materials:

They are available to all.

OPT Manuals

Psychological Skills Songs

Letter Sound Songs

Skip Counting Songs

If you're interested in working for OPT as a psychoeducational tutor:

You can send an email to Joseph Strayhorn, M.D., director, at jstray@gmail.com.

To learn about what psychoeducational tutoring entails, please take a look at:

Confirmation of Interest Document

Pros and Cons of Becoming an OPT Tutor

Guidelines for Psychoeducational Tutors

If you'd like to donate to OPT:

OPT is a 501 (c) (3) organization. It is very "lean": almost all of the expenses are to pay our tutors. Donations to OPT have the potential to alter the trajectory of its students' lives in a positive way. The OPT curriculum and methods were designed in hopes of contributing to a kinder, less violent, and happier world.

You can contact Joseph Strayhorn, M.D., director of OPT, at jstray@gmail.com.

OPT's Tax Filings