Ensure positive literacy outcomes for every child in every classroom by partnering with Literacy Collaborative
Literacy Collaborative is a systematic approach for literacy improvement that brings educators together to continually refine their collective work on behalf of all students. This research-based model builds the capacity of school literacy coaches, teacher leaders, administrators, and leadership teams to guide and facilitate ongoing, job-embedded professional learning in their schools.
Literacy Collaborative schools and their university partner work together to achieve a common goal – that every child grows up literate.
Request an information session about Literacy Collaborative via webinar, in person, or by phone by filling out this form. We will contact you directly via email and/or telephone upon completion of this form. If you have further questions about Literacy Collaborative, please email email@example.com. Thank you!
What are the goals of the Literacy Collaborative partnership?
When schools partner with Literacy Collaborative at Lesley University, they work towards implementing 7 elements of a systems design that includes:
- Creating a shared vision for literacy learning;
- Taking collective ownership of student outcomes;
- Committing to teamwork and shared leadership;
- Utilizing a set of research-based instructional practices to equitably address the strengths and needs of all literacy learners.
- Using student data to inform decision making, document growth over time, and reflect on the effectiveness of teaching and learning
- Participating in a variety of job-embedded professional learning and coaching; and
- Working in partnership with families and community members.
Literacy Collaborative is about strengthening school culture and getting everyone on the same page about the most effective way of teaching reading and writing – from school leadership and literacy coaches to the classroom teachers.
Literacy Collaborative Application:
- Complete the Literacy Collaborative Application (PDF). Applications are due June 1, 2020.
- After we have received the completed application, we will schedule an orientation call.
Literacy Collaborative Effectiveness
The results of Literacy Collaborative have been demonstrated in multiple independent research studies. Schools who train in Literacy Collaborative find that teacher quality improves, school cultures shift, and most importantly, student learning accelerates. A federally funded study found that after three years of implementation, student learning accelerated by 32%. Another study found that instructional quality in Literacy Collaborative schools improved at a rapid rate and is significantly higher after 18 months than in similar comparison classrooms without Literacy Collaborative.
Literacy coaches and teacher leaders engage in a year of hybrid coursework that combines theory with practical application to student literacy learning. Coaches/teacher leaders attend a combination of two weeks of face-to-face training at Lesley University and bimonthly online sessions. These frequent online sessions provide participants with immediate opportunities to apply new learning to their teaching of students and work with colleagues. Coaches/teacher leaders also receive 2 – 4 school based visits from a faculty member. Upon satisfactory completion of the coursework, candidates earn 9 graduate credits.
After the initial training year, coaches and teacher leaders return to the campus of Lesley University yearly for a week of professional development as part of Literacy Collaborative schools network.
Literacy Collaborative Courses
The literacy coaches/teacher leaders record videos of their teaching and coaching, and complete readings, case study assignments, and reflection papers. The literacy coach earns 9 graduate credits from Lesley University upon completion of the training.
Here are the three, 3-credit courses they take during the training year:
EEDUC 6056: The Reading Process, Texts, and Teaching in Reading Workshop
This course will give you a deep understanding of theory and practice in the reading process and how children's processing changes over time; an in-depth knowledge of the features of texts, characteristics of genre, and an understanding of how to match texts to readers for effective teaching; and teaching within an organizational framework for reading workshop. We give attention to children who struggle and to children whose first language is not English.
EEDUC 6057: The Writing Process, Students as Learners, and Teaching in Writing Workshop
This course is designed to help you develop deep understandings of theory and practice in the writing process and how children develop as writers over time; the use of assessment to inform ongoing instruction; supporting learners through inquiry into genre craft, and conventions of writing, and how to use an organizational framework for teaching in a writing workshop. We give attention to working with children who struggle learning and those whose first language is not English.
EEDUC 6051: Multiple Roles of the Literacy Coach
This course gives you the opportunity to develop theoretical knowledge and skills necessary to work as literacy coaches in their schools or districts. You'll gain experience in how to develop and work with school literacy teams, plan and implement professional development sessions, and provide collegial coaching around the reading and writing processes and the implementation of reading, writing, and language/word study workshops.
Benefits of an Active Literacy Collaborative School
Find out more about what you get with the Literacy Collaborative affiliation fee.
Primary and Intermediate Faculty Trainers
Assistant Director, Primary Programs
Cynthia Downend has worked at the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative for 10 years, serving in the roles of primary level literacy trainer and currently as the assistant director for primary literacy programs.
Cynthia has worked with many school districts across the United States to train and develop district level literacy staff developers, literacy coaches, classroom teachers, literacy interventionists and school administrators on a variety of topics related to improving literacy instruction.
Prior to her work at Lesley University, Cynthia held positions as a literacy coach, Reading Recovery teacher, and classroom teacher for over 20 years working in a variety of school settings including urban, suburban, and international schools.
Cynthia holds licenses in both elementary education and school administration, and achieved National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Primary Literacy Trainer Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative
Prior to joining the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative as a Primary Trainer, Heather was a Kindergarten, first, second, third, and fourth grade classroom teacher in Middletown, CT for 16 years. She was also a Primary Literacy Coordinator for five years where she provided literacy training and coaching to K-5 teachers. In addition, she was a member of the Connecticut Department of Education Common Core State Standards Curriculum Design Team for English Language Arts.
Primary Literacy Programs Trainer
Courtney has an B.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and earned a Masters in Elementary Education from George Mason University. She joins us from Fairfax County Public Schools, VA where she has 8 years of experience in Title 1 schools. Her teaching experiences were focused in the primary grades where she taught 1st and 2nd grade and served as a Reading Recovery teacher. For the past two years, Courtney was a Literacy Coach and trained in Intermediate Literacy Collaborative.
Assistant Director, Intermediate Literacy Programs
Helen Sisk has worked at the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative for nine years in the role of intermediate and middle school level trainer and currently as the assistant director for those programs. In these roles she supports the literacy training of staff developers, coaches, classroom teachers, and literacy interventionists. She works with administrators in improving literacy instruction within their schools.
Before coming to Lesley University, Helen worked in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. She was a classroom teacher, a reading specialist for grades K-8, a Reading Recovery teacher and an intermediate district trainer for Literacy Collaborative.
Intermediate/Midle School Literacy Trainer
Jillian Fountain is an intermediate literacy trainer at the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative. She worked as a language arts consultant in Harwinton, CT and a remedial reading and classroom teacher in Hartland, CT, where she also organized scientific research-based interventions (RtI).