About Us

Learning Foundations is a Diagnostic and Learning Center based in San Antonio, Texas. We strive to create a friendly and safe environment for our students to challenge themselves and think about themselves in a positive way.

Our team of experienced trainers are specialists in their field and are caring mentors for our often frustrated children. We are excited to work with you and help your child become the confident learner he or she deserves to be.

History of Learning Foundations

Learning Foundations Team

Learning Foundations is a San Antonio based cognitive training center. Learning Foundations assesses and strengthens foundational cognitive skills, enabling them to become comfortable, independent learners with the tools to be successful in all areas of their lives. Students are challenged and empowered in new engaging ways in a nurturing, safe environment.

The initial concept was developed by Fran Tarkenton, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, who organized a team of reading specialists to help a struggling family member. Based on their findings, Learning Foundations was born. Subsequently, in 1969 Patricia Pate Ph.D. opened an extension of Learning Foundations in San Antonio. Starting in the 1990s, an independently owned and operated Learning Foundations by the Ames Group began to integrate new neuroscience-based programs, designed to strengthen learning by improving cognitive processing skills.

As the years went by, Learning Foundations continued updating programs in response to newly available research. In 2012, new partners joined the venture with the goal of opening more centers that could reach as many struggling students as possible. Professional development is ongoing for directors and trainers, who have access to the latest advancements in cognitive training, including dyslexia intervention. Degreed professionals work one-on-one with students over a period of months. Those who attend may be students who are not getting the educational help that they need, students for whom tutoring has not been a solution, students who want to improve their processing skills to make learning easier, or adults who have struggled with attention and learning challenges and are ready to make a positive change in their lives. Distance learning with an online coach is available for some programs.

Learning Foundations' research-based, clinically driven programs deliver real results for students along with their families. Students experience a boost in their confidence as they begin to enjoy school and the learning process, some for the first time in their lives. The sharing of any victories is encouraged on the WOW Moments bulletin board, and families celebrate each improvement and milestone along the way. Students from the early years now bring their children to Learning Foundations. Most gratifying are the visits from former students which often result in joyful tears and the sharing of stories of successful graduations and careers, in addition to fulfilling lives. Learning Foundations has been proud to be a part of the rich history of San Antonio for almost 50 years. Learning Foundations' continuing mission is to strive to empower their students and families through their unique approach to overcoming learning challenges.

Our Team

Morgan Shafer Director of Cognitive Development

Morgan Shafer
Director of Cognitive Development

The best part about my role as Director of Cognitive Development is being able to work one-on-one with families in order to get them the help they are looking for.   I went to school at Texas State and received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a focus on biology and neuropsychology. Growing up I always knew I wanted to work with children, but that working in a classroom setting wasn’t for me. In high school and college, I worked as a private swim instructor for children of all ages and skill levels.   I started working at Learning Foundations as a trainer and immediately fell in love with the job and the students we have the opportunity to work with. Not long after starting as a trainer I began working as the Assistant Cognitive Director where I aided the Director of Cognitive Development with tasks around the center and started to learn more about the administrative side of things. The more I learned about our process and how much we help the families we work with the more confident I felt that I was in the right place.  My goal is to reach as many families as possible to get their students the help they need that they might not necessarily be getting at school.

Leslie Jernigan Director of Assessment

Leslie Jernigan
Director of Assessment

I joined Learning Foundations in 2004 after 10 years in the public schools. When I was getting my Master’s degree in school psychology, I dreamed of helping students of all ages, one student at a time. Upon graduation I learned just what teachers, parents and students are up against. By necessity, most schools best serve the “typical” learner. For those who learn differently, school can be a holding cell, or worse, a place of daily struggle, frustration, and shame.

As a school psychologist, my primary job was to evaluate students to determine eligibility for special education, and there was a tendency for schools to postpone those evaluations until at least third grade. This “wait and see” approach caused some students to struggle for up to four years before any real assessment was done.

Indeed, I have met students who were in the Response to Intervention (RTI) for years; and while they made some progress, they were still falling further behind their peers. Often, students I did evaluate failed to qualify for services or accommodations in school because they were not eligible, not “low enough.” I was frustrated and doubted whether I was truly helping anyone.

Finding Learning Foundations was a dream come true. Now, I use assessment to plan targeted intervention tailored for each student’s needs. I evaluate cognitive skills such as memory, attention, processing speed, auditory and visual processing, and language processing. For students with difficulty reading and spelling, my dyslexia battery can determine whether they fit the dyslexic profile and what interventions and accommodations would work best. I am a proud member of a team that helps students become comfortable and independent learners, one student at a time.

Sofia Scarnati Director of HR Finance and Marketing

Sofia Scarnati
Director of Administration

My role at Learning Foundations is to provide our staff, students, and families support and create a positive environment to ensure the best, most effective intervention programs.

Looking back on my own experiences growing up, I can relate to many of the families here. Although I was a good student, I always wondered why I struggled with certain things, like word retrieval, why my words sometimes “came out wrong” and why I sometimes had to read something several times to understand and retain it.

I always compared myself to my older brother, the classic over-achiever who seemed to glide effortlessly through school and read books with ease. I also saw my other brother, who always struggled in school, especially with attention issues, and how our whole family was at a loss about how to help him.

As an adult, I discovered that I fit the profile of someone with mild dyslexia. So many of my unique challenges made sense after that, and it left me with an even greater sense of determination to help all students who may be struggling.

Natasha Johnson Administrative Assistant

Natasha Johnson
Administrative Assistant

I have been with Learning Foundations since June 2017. I serve as the Office Manager and the Marketing Assistant. I graduated from Coastal Carolina University (Conway, SC) in 2004 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.

I have worked for multiple non-profit organizations as a Counselor, Residential Assistant and an Office Manager for several years. Before joining LF, I was a Jewelry Consultant for 8 years and during that time, I have also volunteered with several youth groups and churches. After traveling the world, first as an Army Brat, then as an Army Spouse, my family has settled in San Antonio, TX.

Since joining LF I have been able to watch so many children grow and begin to love learning and reading. It has been a pleasure to be able to see so many students come out of their shells and see a boost in their self-confidence. I look forward to coming to work every day because I know there will never be a dull moment. Every day is a chance to impact a young life and put a smile on someone’s face!

Contact Us

San Antonio

Northwoods Shopping Center (281 & 1604)
18130 U.S. HWY 281 Suite 102
San Antonio, TX 78232


215 West Bandera Rd., Ste. 105
Boerne, TX 78006
To learn more about why your smart child is struggling, and what solutions are available for your family, attend our FREE Parent Information Seminar or Webinar, OR call us at 1-844-TX-LEARN.

To find out more about our research-based, clinically proven programs contact Learning Foundations today.

Success Stories

  • I will and have recommended Learning Foundations to friends at work. My son Jeremy has a new attitude about responsibility and his grades. He has more confidence when he is in class. So much, in fact, that he feels he no longer needs me to help him with his studies.
    - Mary A.
  • Learning Foundations has taught my son Kevin how to spell, read and write. When he comes here, he gets so excited to learn. He will actually pick up a book and read it now. That is amazing!
    - Bridget R.
  • Every time our daughter Crystal came out of her sessions, she seemed to be oozing with confidence. Kind of like “I’m smart and I know I’m smart.” That is something we’re not used to seeing. She also does an awful lot of reading on her own now.
    - George F.
  • We would highly recommend our friends to this program because it has made our relationship with Jonathan much happier and easier when it comes to school.
    - Debra A.
  • Learning Foundations has truly helped my child in many areas. He has learned how to focus and concentrate better. He now understands not only why it is important to be focused, but how he can achieve that. I have recommended this program to several parents.
    - Angie O.
  • Fortunately, our trainer Joel warned us that we had to be dedicated by completing our home assignments and not missing appointments. He was very dedicated and accommodated us even on weekends.
    - Greg & Michelle H.

    © 2020 Learning Foundations
    18130 U.S. HWY 281 Ste. 102 San Antonio, TX 78232 | 215 West Bandera Rd, Ste. 105 Boerne, TX 78006
    Call Us: 1-844-TX-LEARN | Call Us: 1-844-895-3276

    Learning Foundations serves these areas:
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