Reading is a human and civil right.

A complex process, reading depends upon the ability to decode and process language in order to develop reading comprehension and written expression. Quality language instruction fosters joy, knowledge, skill, and critical thinking. Therefore, best practices in K-12 literacy instruction include:

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Equipping students with knowledge of the alphabetic code through a structured literacy approach that specifically prioritizes systematic, explicit phonics and phonemic awareness instruction so that students can accurately encode and decode.

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Supporting students’ comprehension of complex, grade-level texts, and vocabulary by providing students with the supports needed to deepen their understanding.

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Providing regular practice so that students develop into fluent, independent readers as they increase their ability to autonomously command the code and meaning of language.

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Teaching writing in direct partnership with reading so that the writing process serves as the culmination of language acquisition, becoming a powerful tool for personal and academic expression.

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Designing strategic, individualized instruction informed by diagnostic assessments.

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Exposing students to a wide, diverse volume of texts that serve as both windows into the world around them and mirrors that reflect their own experiences and identities.¹

Ultimately, robust learning experiences grounded in research-based practices allow all students to experience dignity, power, and freedom through literacy.

¹Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, “Windows and Mirrors: Children’s Books and Parallel Cultures”


Equitable literacy achievement through best practices

MLI will partner to train teachers, train leaders, and support schools toward literacy excellence in teacher content knowledge, curriculum, RTI, instructional practices, and literacy coaching—so that students taught by MLI-trained and supported teachers are reading at grade level. 


Every Memphis school effectively teaching reading

Every school in Memphis would implement research-based literacy best practices and be equipped for literacy success such that every student in Memphis would experience the dignity and equity of reading on grade level.