Athena Academy Partners with Silicon Valley Tech Startup

Since Athena was established in 2010, we have relied on and incorporated the findings of neuroscience and educational research. The latest research shows that dyslexic students learn best with visual-spatial teaching methods[1],[2], which are incorporated into Athena Academy’s specialized curriculum. Athena Academy also utilizes a strengths-based approach – teaching to often under-acknowledged strengths of dyslexic learners, rather than relying primarily on repetition, memorization or other traditional approaches.

Part of remaining assured we are providing the best and most innovative teaching methodologies for dyslexic and twice exceptional students is being up to date and participating in current research. Over the years, Athena Academy has maintained a close partnership with UCSF’s Dyslexia Research Center and Stanford University’s Reading & Dyslexia Research Program. In addition, we are always open to new partnerships that may aid in the understanding of dylsexic and 2e learners or assist in the development of innovative teaching methods based on scientific research.

Recently, Athena Academy was able to start a partnership with a silicon valley tech startup that is working on an app to aid dyslexic learners in reading, an area that is of significant challenge for some. The app the company has created, RIFFIT, allows users to have text sung to them. Athena Academy students were part of the pilot study program and were able to test the app’s features and provide feedback. The pilot study showed a 9% increase in comprehension of text using the app. vs. silent reading alone for students reading below grade level. 60% of students showed improvement in reading comprehension when using the app. 73% of students felt the app improved their concentration. These are great preliminary results and Athena Academy was happy to be a part of the study. We are now incorporating the use of the app for students that prefer it and are looking forward to a continued partnership with RIFFIT.

A quote from Deepak Savadatti, Founder & CEO –

“RIFFIT has created the world’s first AI powered real-time text-to-song generation platform that integrates the proven clinical capabilities of musical therapy into an affordable and personalized solution to facilitate comprehension and remembering written and spoken words. Athena Academy is our first partner in this quest to enable the neurodiverse population to comprehend information easily and we had a great time working with the teachers and students. Ms. Mburi, Ms. Hovish, Ms. Siegel were fantastic to work with and the brilliant students gave us valuable feedback on our technology. We look forward to working closely with Athena Academy to build our technology and deliver it to the world.”

Check out this audio sample of a sung text:


The app is free to use. Download the App here:



RIFFIT founder, Deepak Savadatti, with one of Athena Academy's students, Christopher Duncan.
RIFFIT founder, Deepak Savadatti, with one of Athena Academy’s students, Christopher Duncan.


Athena Academy students Evan Prescott and Gracie Connor during the pilot study in December 2021.
Athena Academy students Evan Prescott and Gracie Connor during the pilot study in December 2021.


RIFFIT's pilot study shows very promising results.
RIFFIT’s pilot study shows very promising results.


[1] Linda Silverman, PhD, “Upside Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner”.

[2] Fumiko Hoeft, M.D., PhD, Associate Prof of Psychiatry, UCSF, and Visiting Professor, Stanford. Pub in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010.

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