March2023 Newsletter

Up First, A Note From Angela

Angela Marks, Executive Director

“Data is just summaries of thousands of stories — tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.”

— Chip and Dan Heath

It used to be that if you mentioned the word “data” to teachers, they would sigh heavily because it felt like their students were being tested, tested and tested again but then nothing would change and what’s the point of testing and getting data if you’re not going to do anything about it?

At Reading Allowed, data is at the heart of what we do and we take it very seriously. We continue to focus on ways to use data to improve our services and instruction. Each new student is given an initial assessment which helps determine instructional goals. Students are then re-evaluated every six weeks to determine if they are achieving their reading goals and to guide our instruction going forward. We have developed a model to collect and analyze the data and to provide immediate feedback so that our students receive instruction specifically tailored to their needs.

It is this level of individualized attention that sets us apart. We know the stories behind our data and there is nothing better than celebrating with a student and their family when the data shows us that our approach is working and a student is meeting or exceeding their goals.


Angela Marks

Our Open House Recap

Thank you for attending our Virtual Open House on Thursday, February 23rd. If you missed it or would like a recap, you can watch the full presentation below. We have also included links to information about how students read as well as the staggering statistics that motivate our work. Click below.

How Your Gift Helps Us

Reading Allowed was founded in 2019 to ensure that all struggling readers have access to high-quality, individualized structured literacy instruction. We are currently the only intervention program in the Philadelphia area that provides students with rigorously trained instructors who are certified in the most effective methods of structured literacy practices. Students receive the support they need regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.

We are grateful to our community of supporters, who make our work possible. The graphic above shows how contributions to Reading Allowed help our students and also our instructors.


Free Film Screening — The Right to Read

The Right to Read shares the stories of an NAACP activist, a teacher, and two American families who fight to provide our youngest generation with the most foundational indicator of life-long success: the ability to read.

In celebration of National Reading Month, The Right to Read will be available to all audiences for free online for one week. Beginning March 2, 12:00 AM PT—National Read Across America Day—audiences can access the film on a virtual screening platform through March 9, 11:59 PM PT.


Thursday, March 9th — The Anxiety Paradox:

Why Helping Kids Feel Bad Can Help Them to Feel Good

Students are struggling with anxiety—everything from social and academic anxieties to apprehension about the future, to just plain feeling overwhelmed. Debilitating anxiety in youth has been on the rise for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated this long-standing problem. 

In this talk, presented by Friends Select School on Thursday, March 9th, Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary–a renowned psychologist, author, and anxiety researcher–will provide a new model for ways to think about and deal with anxiety, and address how parents and guardians can best support their kids. 


Register Now to Ensure Your Spot

AIM Institute for Learning & Research is hosting its 11th Annual Research to Practice Symposium, “Why is Reading Comprehension So Difficult to Comprehend?” focusing on comprehension research and how educators can rethink reading comprehension to support skilled reading for all learners.

Date: Monday, March 13, 2023

Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm EST

Where: AIM, 1200 River Road, Conshohocken, PA 19428 – OR via Live Stream

Cost: FREE with In Person and Online Attendance Options

CEUs Available for Live Attendance From ALTA, PA Act 48, NY CTLE, IMSLEC, IDA, and Wilson® Professional Learning Credits


March Book Recommendations

This month, for Women’s History Month our list of book recommendations is as strong as the women it highlights. And, you can find some Luck of the Irish, too! Click here for a full list of book recommendations for March.


Sharice’s Big Voice

By Sharice Davids (Grades K-3)

In a true story of determination, perseverance, and using her voice to help others, Sharice Davids shares her life growing up in Kansas as a member of the Ho-Chunk tribe. She describes events of her childhood and her journey to become the first Indigenous woman to serve in Congress.

Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence

BGretchen Woelfle (Grades 1-4)

It’s easy to forget that people in the North owned slaves. Before slavery was declared unconstitutional in Massachusetts in 1783, five thousand slaves lived there. One enslaved woman was Mumbet, a “servant for life” to the Ashley family. Talk around the Ashley table about freedom from England inspired Mumbet to find a lawyer in town who helped her gain her freedom which led to the freeing of all slaves in Massachusetts.

That’s Not Fair! / ¡No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia

By Amy Hill Hearth (Grades 2-4)

This picture-book biography in both English and Spanish describes the struggle of Mexican-American farmworkers in the early twentieth century through the eyes of Emma Tenayuca, who became a labor activist. Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, in the early twentieth century, Emma was shocked by the inequality around her, comparing her comfortable home to the extreme poverty of the families of factory and farm workers. As a smart, kind teenager, she spoke in public about the hardships of the pecan shellers in the factories, and in 1938, at the age of 21, she led 12,000 workers in a strike that forced factory owners to raise wages.


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