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Building Wings: The Autobiography of Software Publisher, Struggling Learner and Student Advocate Don Johnston

Posted Nov 3, 2006
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Don Johnston, the founder and leader of the multimedia company that bears his name, has written an autobiography designed to inspire struggling students to become self-learning advocates and to take charge of their own learning process.

The book, Building Wings: How I Made It Through School, tells how Johnston struggled with core reading concepts until his 8th grade teacher, Mrs. Tedesco, recognized his potential and challenged him to discover new ways of thinking and learning.

With age-appropriate text for older readers, Building Wings offers the equivalent of a 3rd grade reading level to enhance the reading experience for all readers. The book was written for the 40% of K-12 students underperforming in literacy skills in every classroom across America.

Johnston's autobiography was created to help struggling students find the right learning strategies, especially students who feel that it's "too late" to catch up. In addition, the book was written as a reminder to teachers to look for signs from struggling students who may be stereotyped as having behavior problems.

Building Wings has been selected by Fairfax County, Virginia, schools as the core of a student self-advocacy learning initiative.

"Don's book is sad, funny, engaging and inspirational and details his personal and painful journey as a struggling learner," said William Reeder, Fairfax County's Director of Special Education, Assessment, Assistive Technology and Support Services. "When our students read Building Wings, they related to his experience and took charge of their learning."

According to Illinois 7th grader Alex F., "Don was brave to tell us his story. It made me think about my learning difficulties. I knew I needed more quiet time, so I asked my teacher if I could take tests in the hallway. It made a big difference."

Johnston began his software company in 1980. Since that time, he has partnered with literacy authors, psychologists, teachers, researchers and scientists to study and test the strategies developed around the science of how people learn.

Building Wings: How I Made It Through School is available at a cost of $9.95. Volume discounts are available. Call 877-253-2892.

Don Johnston, Inc., 800/999-4660 or

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