Kiwanis Club of Tampa
with Turning the Tables on Illiteracy
Carlo Franzblau was born and raised in Tampa. He earned his BA in English and French Lit. from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School. After working for a variety of companies, including Paramount Pictures and American Express, Carlo joined his family’s business, The Thompson Catalog Group located here in Tampa. After 10 years with the Thompson Group, Carlo began experimenting in software development, eventually creating a program to teach people to sing in tune. Unexpectedly, this “learn to sing” computer program turned out to help kids who were behind in reading.
In 2004, Carlo began a 7 year collaboration with leading literacy researchers at the University of South Florida’s College of Education. Over that time he worked closely with Dr. Susan Homan who lead multiple research studies of the “singing approach” to reading remediation. Dr. Homan’s studies documented gains of one full year in reading comprehension level after 3 months of program use. Groups of students that benefitted from this work included English Language Learners, At-Risk youth, Struggling Readers, and incarcerated youth.
Since the Fall of 2006, TUNE into READING , has been implemented in more than 1,000 schools across the US and abroad. More than 50, 000 students have benefitted from the rapid and lasting reading gains that come usage of the program. In addition Carlo’s software has won the Tampa Bay Technology Forum’s Innovation of the Year Award and the Wall Street Journal’s Innovation of the year Award (in the software category). Carlo is also the holder of 3 US patents on the software technology and design of the program.