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“Passion is a great slayer of adversity. You find out what you can do well, and you focus on it and work double hard. Everyone likes to do well in life. We aspire to do the best we can with what we’re dealt with.”

– Charles Schwab, billionaire, financier, and founder of Charles Schwab & Company; has dyslexia.


Dear Ms Courtney,

Words cannot express the gratitude my family feels for all you have done to help P. over the years. He has gone from unintelligible to a talking maniac! Being able to understand his articulation has helped us work through so many situations with less frustration. He is thriving in Kindergarten which was a huge fear of ours years ago. He is making so many friends and having clearer speech is all part of that. Thank you so, so much.

–  Parent of Lemon Tree Student in Kindergarten

Dear Ms Maria,

I am going to start off with saying hi. I miss you a lot. Also, on my first report card of middle school I got all A's and one B! I owe it all to you! Thank you so much for teaching me all theses years. You brought me joy every Monday. You are the best teacher I have ever had. So, thank you for teaching me and giving me the knowledge to get all A's and one B. Thanks for everything!

–  Former Lemon Tree Student

Ms Maria and Ms Meg,

Thank you so much for helping me throughout elementary school. As you know, I just finished my 6th grade year. At the end of the school year, we of course had to take the dreadful FSA's! I was really nervous about how I was going to do. I looked over all the tricks and tips you taught me over the years which made me feel so much better and helped me during the test. This past week, I found out I got a 5 (highest score) on Reading and 8/10 on Writing! All of which would not have been possible without the Lemon Tree. Along with that, for the whole 6th grade year, I made straight A's in every subject! I am also in the National Junior Honor Society. Thank you for everything you taught me!!!

–  Former Lemon Tree Student

Dear Ms Maria,

Thank you for walking us down this path with so much grace and kindness. We have learned so much with your loving care and guidance. You will always have a special place in our hearts.

–  Parents of Lemon Tree Student in the 2nd Grade


A. wanted me to share with you how she's progressed in reading and english classes. This year she is in Honors English class with high A's and has been recommended for AP Literature next year. She just got her ACT scores and on the first sitting scored a 34 out of possible 36 on the Reading section!! In the English section she scored above average. She is so excited and proud of her progress. She thinks back to 2nd grade when she couldn't read the Dolche sight words and where she is now. She learned the tools necessary through the various years you worked with her in order to gain the confidence to continue moving forward.

L. is doing very well in 5th grade. She sailed through 4th grade when many of her peers seemed to be struggling. The help she received in 3rd grade from you empowered her with the skills she needed in 4th grade and beyond.

A. is also doing well in 7th grade. He is on the Latin Certamen Team (think Latin Jeopardy) and will be attending the state competition the beginning of April. BTW he loves latin. He continues to push himself in writing (a few ups and downs still), but the skills he learned from you, again have empowered him to know it's possible to continue.

I think more than just the skills my children learned it was your believing in them and showing them their progress from when they started the programs and how they grew.

Thank you again for all you and your staff have done to help all my children over the past several years. Obviously I continue to recommend you to anyone who has a child that I know would flourish with your help.

–  Parent of Three Lemon Tree Students

Dear Ms. Meg,

I loved being your student. You made me laugh and have fun while learning. I could ask you to help me without being uncomfortable. I am so thankful for all the help you gave me with my writing and school assignments. I am very happy with everything you taught me that will help me for my future. Thank you!

–  Student of Lemon Tree in the 7th Grade

Dear Ms. Maria,

Thank you for everything you've done for me. These past years, you have helped me to become a better reader and writer. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be the student I am today. I am very grateful to have met you. You always made me feel safe and comfortable in Lemon Tree. You weren't only my teacher but my friend whom I trusted. You will always be an important person in my life.

–  Student of Lemon Tree in the 7th Grade


I have attached an essay E. wrote for her honors English class.  Her teacher was so impressed with her writing she asked if she could share the essay with future classes.

This paper brought tears to my eyes, not because it was so good - although it is - but because she has come so far. I cannot say enough about what you and your team did for her. Not only did it improve her reading, writing, spelling, but because of the improvements, it developed a love for reading, writing, and literature that I do not believe she could’ve ever found. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You are all making a difference - your life work is changing lives!!!!!  She has also been recommended for AP English for next year!!!  Thank you, thank you for what you do!!!!!

–  Parent of Lemon Tree Student in the 5th Grade

Dear Ms. Courtney,

I want to thank you for all you have done for C. over the past years.  Not only has he become a better writer and reader, but he has grown to be more independent in doing his school work.  He has gained so much confidence and self esteem and I have you to thank for that!  You have truly brought him to his full potential!  We love you and thank you!  We will miss you, but hope we can return for a hug and a smile from time to time.

–  Parent of Lemon Tree Student in the 5th Grade

Dear Ms. Meg,

Thank you so much for all you taught me and all the time you spent with me! On my last report card, I got all As.  If you didn't help me, that would be all Ds.  Thank you so much! I will miss you, but I will come to visit!

–  Lemon Tree student in the 5th grade

Dear Ms. Maria,

Thank you so much for teaching me at the Lemon Tree.  This quarter of 5th grade, I got straight A's!  Last year on the FSA, I got a 3, but this year I got a 4!  I couldn't have done that without you!  Thank you again!

–  Lemon Tree student in the 5th grade

Dear Courtney,

There simply are no words to adequately express how humbled and blessed I feel.  You have taught my daughter the skills she needs to pursue her dreams.  No mother could ask for more. 
With loving gratitude, I will just say thank you.

–  Parent of a Lemon Tree Student in the 4th Grade


Thank you so much for all that you do for our children. You are a beautiful person who truly cares about the children you work with. During out efforts to find help for our daughter, we were met with a lot of setbacks and felt helpless. But, then you came along. I don't think we can ever express how much you have done for our family. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

–  Parent of Lemon Tree Student in the 2nd Grade

Dear Ms Courtney,

I wanted to thank you for your therapy work with O. over the past year. We loved seeing her blossom during your weekly sessions. Thank you for the loving connection you established with her. Every time we drive by Lemon Tree she gets excited because you "live there". Many many thanks for your love, care, and expertise!

–  Parent of Lemon Tree Student in Preschool

Dear Maria,

How can we ever thank you?  When C. started with you in the 2nd grade, everything was difficult and seemed impossible.  You developed a beautiful relationship with C. over the years and now she is in 6th grade doing amazing at school and so confident in herself.  It is just so exciting to watch her blossom. We truly believe that she wouldn't be where she is today without your help over the years!  Your care, support, patience and wealth of knowledge have been the biggest blessing.  C. will always treasure the bond she has with you. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

–  Parent of Lemon Tree Student in the 6th Grade

Thank you so much for giving me the gift of reading!  I have really enjoyed my time at Lemon Tree!  Can't wait to see you soon!

–  Student of Lemon Tree in the 5th Grade


"Thank you" is not enough for all you have done for K.  Not only did you help her with spelling and reading, you also helped her with her self-confidence!  She loved coming to see you each week and that says so much about how she felt about you.  You are a gift to all children with speech/learning needs.  We will miss you so much, but know you have gotten K on the track to success!  We wish you all the happiness in the world!

– Parent of Lemon Tree student in 5th Grade


Words will never be enough to adequately express how grateful I feel for all you have done for me and my family. You were a big help and such a positive influence for us in a time that was very confusing and frightening. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are such a special person and we are so very lucky to have you in our lives!

– Parent of Lemon Tree Student in the 1st Grade

I wanted to thank you again for all the wonderful changes we are seeing in T. I especially love how he just walks into Lemon Tree and goes straight into Ms Courtney's room without fussing or complaining. He really likes her! Even my mom noticed how well he was doing and how much he was talking during his sessions with Ms Courtney. T's school teacher and OT have expressed seeing improvements in his speech and in his ability to follow directions. He was recently placed in a Gen Ed class for 1 hour a day, 5 times a week and is doing very well. Last May, we were told that T was nowhere near ready for spending any time in Gen Ed. I can't thank Courtney enough. She is such a wonderful therapist! Thank you for all your help!

– Parent of Lemon Tree Student in Kindergarten

My daughter was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder. I felt like I had been handed a diagnosis, but no plan of action on what to do with it. All the resources I could find were out of reach. They were either 'do it yourself' online resources, too far away, or the most common, so expensive they were out of our reach for a long term solution. When I found The Lemon Tree, I felt such a sigh of relief and after talking to Maria, I knew I had found a solution for my daughter. For one of the first times, I talked with someone who knew what I was experiencing and it felt so refreshing and validating to be understood. Maria has worked with my daughter to get her organized with her school work. We had issues with organization were she wasn't getting home with assignments needed for homework or wasn't getting to school with assignments she completed while at home. We have not had this issue once since Maria has been working with my daughter to organize her locker, school papers, backpack and more. It has relaxed my daughter and given her confidence because she is not constantly feeling like she is letting someone down by not showing up with what she needs. I am very blessed to have found The Lemon Tree and find Maria very comfortable for me to deal with and my daughter relates to her so easily. This is truly an answer to my prayers.

– Parent of Lemon Tree student in 7th Grade

I can't thank you enough Maria. My son started first grade this year with hesitation and worry. He's been seeing you now for 6 months and his reading fluency has improved greatly. He's a happy and positive little guy again. I know that his time with you has set him up for a great second grade year. He also enjoys his therapy sessions so much, that he's asked to continue seeing you over the summer. Thank you.

- Parent of Lemon Tree student in 1st Grade

Maria and Lemon Tree are an answer to prayer for our family. While our 8 year old twin daughters did very well academically, there was a nagging suspicion that something wasn't quite right with reading fluency and handwriting. Even as a teacher myself, I could never identify the problem I knew was there and this created a lot of stress during homework. By nothing short of a miracle, we were introduced to Maria. She was able to test our girls and immediately identify them as dyslexic. With Maria's amazing gift of compassion and knowledge, she has been able to turn this potential learning disability into a 'learning difference'. We see our girls empowered with the information of what makes their learning styles different. They are equipped with the learning tools to succeed, regardless of their differences, and excited about school and their individual abilities to do whatever they set their minds to! Maria has helped us see the strengths, not the weaknesses, in all learning styles. We are so blessed to have someone like Maria Saravanos in our lives!

– Parent of Lemon Tree Students (twin siblings, 2nd grade)

We want to thank you for the wonderful job you are doing to help our granddaughter with her stuttering. As you know , as grandparents, we were very concerned that she would suffer scholastically and socially. Today, because of your dedicated care she has improved greatly. She is a confident and happy child.

The stuttering has improved not only because of the techniques you teach her in a patient and caring manner, but thru the confidence you give her every session, that some day she will control the stuttering. She is able to face people and tell them " face to face " that she stutters and its fine because she is going to a speech therapist.

We again thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping our granddaughter! We feel that you are a lifesaver! Thank you for everything!

– Grandparent of Lemon Tree Student in 7th Grade

Dear Miss Maria,

I really want to thank you for being my speech teacher. I really have come a super long way and I couldn’t have done any of it without you. You have given me the techniques and courage to do more than even someone who doesn’t stutter. I am going to miss you so much, but I realize that I am ready to move on all thanks to you. I will remember everything you taught me for the rest of my life. Thank you again for helping me through the “blessing” of my stuttering. I will never forget you.

– Lemon Tree Student, 8th Grade

Dear Maria,

I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks once again. We really enjoyed our experience at the Lemon Tree. As you may recall, I was very anxious to get started with K's therapy. You offered your services immediately and within a week K had her first speech therapy session. You taught her to say her first real word "more." You also taught her how to sign. You opened a door to a whole new world for K. We now have the Early Steps program but already I can tell you, its not the same. You have a very special way with children and I'm so glad we had the chance to meet you. Thank you for all that you have done for us.

– Parent of Lemon Tree Student, 2 years old

Dear Maria,

I wanted to send you an email to let you know just how special we think you are! God allows Angels to spend time here on earth every now and then, the ones he trusts with his special children, the ones who have the gift of insight and glowing hearts...... ones like you!

– Parent of Lemon Tree Student in 4th Grade

Phone: 813.854.3000 • Fax: 813.854.3002 • 3885 Tampa Road, Suite A, Oldsmar, FL 34677• info@lemontreecenter.com