In response to COVID-19, Evoke Learning has shifted all of its services and programs online

The Evolution of Evoke Learning

Evolution of Evoke Learning

Evoke Learning got its start in 2008 as a grassroots response to an identified need among exceptional students. Our holistic approach to coaching was launched to help them move from underperformance to personal achievement, providing our clients with support for reaching their academic goals, overcoming social-emotional challenges, and putting evidence-based learning strategies into action in every facet of their lives.

The majority of our clients were coping with ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities and they were often gifted. They were also lost in a traditional education system. Observing and working with these amazing students inspired us to respond organically with new programs to meet their emerging needs.

Students who exhibited self-regulation challenges that often resulted in learning gaps inspired our tutoring program. Those who lacked study skills and had notetaking deficits were the focus of our Academic Foundations program. Many of our students struggled to overcome executive function impediments such as initiation, organization, time management, and focus, and so we created our mentoring program. Clients with learning disabilities often suffered from acute anxiety and stress, addressed now through our coaching practices. Students who had difficulty initiating academic work inspired us to create coaching specifically designed for individuals who procrastinate.

More recently, struggling readers benefit from our reading remediation program, designed to assist primary students who are challenged by the acquisition of reading skills or older students with continued reading difficulties. And after observing that exceptional students needed better guidance for making productive university and college decisions, we now offer postsecondary planning.

Evoke programming will continue to evolve to meet our clients’ needs, using evidence-based, peer-reviewed brain science to inform our work.

Our Philosophy

As coaches, we are partners trained to listen, observe, and customize our approach to individual client needs. We believe that each student is naturally creative and resourceful and we work to enhance those abilities to elicit solutions, strategies, and productive habits. We follow the principles of coaching endorsed by the International Coaching Federation.

At Evoke Learning, we know that individuals respond positively when provided with choices, options, respect, and autonomy. Our approach is holistic, and we capitalize on a student’s core strengths, replacing weaknesses and deficits with openness and positivity. Our long-term focus is on developing academic skills and self-awareness and on strengthening those skills across all subject areas. We hold our clients accountable to their goals and agenda.

never stop learning

The Evoke Difference

Evoke Learning offers academic coaching, mentoring, tutoring and remediation services for students and their families. We specialize in working with students who struggle academically, students diagnosed with learning disabilities, ADHD, and/or giftedness, and students with extraordinary goals. All services are confidential. We adhere to the International Coaching Federation’s pledge of ethics and standards of conduct.

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kate Lloyd

Kate LloydMSW, RSW, ACPC

Kate holds a BA (Hons.) in sociology with distinction from the University of Western Ontario where she earned the Gold Medal for a four-year social science specialization, awarded to the student with the highest average in a sociology major. In addition, she holds a master of social work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She is a professional coach certified by Adler International Learning (OISE, University of Toronto) and a member of the International Coaching Federation. Kate is also an Edge Foundation-trained ADHD coach, and a Nurtured Heart Approach® certified trainer. In her work life, Kate was a staff member at Camp Kirk, a residential summer camp for children with learning disabilities and special needs. She has taught a variety of workshops for students on executive functions, study preparation, and metacognition, and was the development director at the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario for 12 years.

Kate believes that individuals respond positively when provided with choices, options, respect, and autonomy. Her approach is holistic, and capitalizes on a client’s core strengths, replacing weaknesses and deficits with openness and positivity. Kate knows that development is rarely a straight line, and she uses appropriate humour to address the periodic need to release stress and help lower anxiety. Her long-term focus is on developing academic skills and self-awareness, and on strengthening skills across all subject areas. She believes that hard work, preparation, and self-confidence are the keys to success.

Read some of the positive reviews left for Kate here

Denise Harding

Denise HardingBA, ACPC

Denise holds a BA (Hons.) from the University of Waterloo. She is a certified professional coach (ACPC) through Adler International Learning and the University of Toronto (OISE), an applied mindfulness meditation specialist (University of Toronto), and has completed postgraduate certification as a learning disabilities specialist (LDGC). Denise is a graduate of popular author and ADHD expert Chris Dendy’s ADHD Training Institute.

Denise has been a consultant with the Learning Disabilities Associations of Ontario (LDAO) and York Region (LDAYR). She serves as an alternate representative for LDAYR on the York Region District School Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee, and was a director of the Ontario provincial board of Canadian Parents for French (CPF), working with CPF’s special education advocacy committee. She has served on advisory panels, co-produced CPF webinars for educators and parents, and has been a presenter at l’association canadienne des professionels en immersion’s (ACPI) annual conference. Denise has been a contributing guest writer to the Journal de l’immersion, a resource for French immersion educators, and is the author of “A Parent’s Perspective: French Immersion and the Student with Special Needs. A chapter from l’Association canadienne des professionels en immersion’s A Reflective Guide for French Immersion Leaders: A Collection of Essays on Topics Relevant to French Immersion Educators Across Canada”.

She has worked with her local school board delivering teacher training workshops as well as consulting on course curriculum development. Denise is a co-presenter of Evoke’s WISE READING® Remediation certification workshops for teachers.

Denise is the proud mother of a young adult with learning disabilities who is a bilingual university graduate, currently pursuing postgraduate studies.

Read some of the positive reviews left for Denise here


Do you offer summer programming?

Yes. During July and August, Evoke Learning offers summer learning programs and supports students who are enrolled in summer school or engaged in online courses. Summer learning can help students improve their academic outcomes.

    Evoke Learning offers summer programs in:

  • Math
  • Academic writing strategies
  • Financial literacy
  • Reading remediation
  • Learning skills
  • Coaching to overcome procrastination
  • Postsecondary planning
  • Transitioning to postsecondary education

Studies demonstrate that time away from academics can result in lost knowledge and skills, especially in math and reading. This loss, compounded over time, contributes to the achievement gap between students who require more time to process information, and their peers. Students who undertake summer learning can master material they did not learn during the previous school year, develop a strong writing foundation, establish good work habits, develop essential skills and helpful learning strategies, prepare for next year’s curriculum, catch up, and learn at their own pace.

Visit the Evoke Learning website to learn more about our summer programs.

How will I know that my child is progressing?

Visible progress and measurable outcomes are important to us. Some programs, such as reading remediation, incorporate standardized assessments that can be used to track the “before and after” skill levels. For programs where this kind of assessment is not possible, we use student and program goals and benchmarks, to monitor progress. Evoke Learning also provides weekly feedback forms that highlight each student’s progress, accomplishments, and areas of challenge.

What are your hours of operation?

Evoke Learning operates seven days a week. All services are by appointment only. Evoke offers flexible session times, including day, evening, and weekend availability.

Do you offer package deals (e.g. 10 sessions for the cost of 8)?

Evoke Learning does not offer package deals. Rather, we invoice at the beginning of each month for the sessions that month.

What are the qualifications of the tutors, coaches, and mentors at Evoke Learning?

Our instructors include teachers, social workers, learning strategists, and individuals with academic credentials in disciplines such as neuroscience, linguistics, psychology, communicative disorders, education, child and youth studies, cognitive science, and language studies. Tutors are experts in their field of study.

Evoke Learning is a learning centre that focuses on delivering programming informed by evidence-based, peer-reviewed cognitive science.

What is the difference between academic coaching and academic mentoring?

Academic coaching is the relationship between a professional coach and a student who is interested in making changes in their academic career and/or personal life to become a more confident and effective learner. Academic mentoring is designed to help students struggling with self-regulation develop effective routines and stronger habits, complete work on time, stay organized, and plan ahead.

Coaching helps students develop their learning skills and make choices and changes with confidence. Learning strategies and skills are offered and taught. Evoke Learning focuses on assisting students in developing critical cognitive thinking skills (executive functions) that relate to managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. These skills include attention, emotional control, initiation, working memory, planning and organization, and self-monitoring/self-regulation. Between sessions, the coach may request that the student complete specific actions that will contribute to their goals.

Mentoring helps students who are easily discouraged or find it difficult to stay organized, plan ahead, initiate work, and remain on task. Evoke Learning’s Facilitated Focus program helps students develop the mental and physical habits required to achieve long-term goals and establish a link to the daily behaviour they need in order to achieve them.

Mentoring offers homework and assignment checks, assistance with creating plans for long-term projects, and guidance for allocating study time. Active study skills for tests and exams are outlined and taught. A mentor works directly with the student to address challenges as they arise, and shows them how to initiate and break down assignments into manageable chunks with due dates. Students also receive support organizing their materials, and developing academic perseverance and self-control to focus on required tasks.

Are your services covered by employment benefits, insurance, or the government?

Receipts are provided for services rendered by registered social workers and professional coaches that can be used for private benefit plans. If a student has a formal diagnosis rendered by an accredited medical professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, family doctor, or paediatrician, our services are income tax-deductible through the disability tax credit. More information on this can be found on the website.

For students with autism, Special Services at Home funding may also cover some of our services, such as executive functioning coaching. The Special Services at Home program helps families who are caring for a child with a developmental and/or physical disability. It is funded and managed by the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Visit the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website to see if your child qualifies.

The Bursary for Students with Disabilities program (BSWD) and the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment (CSG-PDSE), which are funded through the Ontario provincial and Canadian federal government, assist students who are eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), with a permanent disability and financial need, to meet their disability-related educational costs. More information can be found on the OSAP website.

My child has ADHD. Won’t online learning be challenging for them?

Evoke Learning specializes in working with students with ADHD and self-regulation challenges and understands their profiles and unique learning needs. We use evidence-based best practices for online instruction and learning.

Evoke Learning has more than 150 students who receive online services. We use strategies, effective approaches, structure, and tools to enhance student engagement.  We have had very positive feedback from clients with ADHD, some in grades as early as Grade 1, regarding our virtual services.