About Up-Words Reading®

UpWords characters Gus and Sal blasting off!

Up-Words Reading® is an early literacy instructional program specifically designed to teach students to read and spell the English language. The program, developed by Lorie Delk, M. Ed., CCC-SLP, Laura Scheer, M. Ed., and Jessica Kersting, Ph. D., CCC-SLP, is the product of years of experience in both reading instruction and speech-language therapy. In Up-Words Reading® the designers have crafted a program like no other. Up-Words Reading® carefully follows research driven, evidence-based best practices in literacy education, and the proven methodology developed by Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham, known as the Orton-Gillingham approach. In addition, it incorporates time-tested instructional techniques proven to enhance the learning experience. As a result, Up-Words Reading® is effective for all students across the learning spectrum.


Meet the creators of Up-Words Reading...

Lorie Delk
Lorie S. Delk, M.Ed., CCC-SLP is Founder and President of Next Generation, as well as a practicing speech-language pathologist and mother of four. Lorie graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Education degree in Speech Pathology in 1986. She graduated from Georgia State University College of Education with a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology in 1988. She began her career as a staff speech therapist at Atlanta Area School for the Deaf.  In 1999 she incorporated a home-based pediatric private practice into Lorie S. Delk and Associates. In 2012 Lorie created Next Generation to provide Speech, Language and Reading services to families serving around the world.  She specializes in treatment of Language Disorders. She also provides reading therapy, is trained in Orton Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell reading programs, and is the co-developer of the Up-Words Reading® program.


Laura ScheerLaura Scheer
Laura Scheer, M. Ed. is a former reading specialist with Next Generation and the mother of three. Laura graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Education Degree in Special Education and Cognitive Studies in 1999. She graduated from Georgia State University with a Master's Degree in Reading, Language and Literacy in 2002. Prior to joining Lorie Delk and Associates in 2012, Laura worked as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, instructional specialist, and assistant principal at the Atlanta Youth Academy. Laura is trained in Orton Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell reading programs.  Laura has returned to classroom teaching.


Jessica Kersting
Jessica Kersting, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist with Lorie S. Delk and Associates, as well as a mother of three. Jessica graduated from Auburn University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders. She graduated from the University of Memphis with a Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology in 2005. Jessica worked with pediatric clients in a variety of settings before completing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of South Carolina in 2012. She has published her research and presented her work on language and literacy disorders in children at national conferences. Before moving to Atlanta, she worked as an Assistant Professor at Western Michigan University where she taught courses in language development and served as a clinical supervisor for pediatric clients. Jessica specializes in language and literacy disorders in preschool and school age children.


Eric AllenRussell Eric Allen
Russell Eric Allen is the author of the Up-Words Reading® Decodable Readers. He has written hundreds of articles and stories for a wide variety of purposes, including award-winning short stories, newspaper articles, and business publications. Eric also serves as Program Director for Up-Words Reading®. He is a former Vice President with The Kellen Company and Executive Vice President of the Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Bryan College and a Master's Degree in Mass Communication from The University of Georgia. Eric and his wife, Karen, are the parents of two daughters.


Allen DelkAlan Delk
R. Alan Delk is the Chief Financial Officer of Next Generation Therapy Services. Alan recently retired from his position as Vice President and CFO of PowerPlan, Inc, which he co-founded, a leading provider of Enterprise Asset Accounting software. During his 25-year career, he designed, developed, and implemented software applications to solve complex business and accounting issues. Alan graduated with highest honors from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in Industrial and System Engineering. Alan and Lorie, his wife, are parents of four children.


Julie FerrisJulie Ferris
Julie Ferris is the illustrator for the Up-Words Reading® Program. Julie graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Painting and a minor in equestrian studies. She competed on the SCAD equestrian team throughout her college career. Upon graduation, she started Julie Ferris, LLC, which specializes in equine portraiture and other equine related art that can be found on www.JulieFerrisArt.com.