Our Programs

Reading Allowed was founded in 2019 by Angela Marks who passionately believes that reading is a social justice issue. There are numerous sobering articles and much research that describe the long-term effects of illiteracy in our society.

Current Programs
  • Partner with underserved school and community organizations. We support faculty in implementing best structured literacy practices in their classrooms, screening and identifying those students at risk of reading failure and providing small group and individual instruction to those students. Reading Allowed closely monitors the progress of all students to ensure that interventions are appropriate and effective. Under this model, Reading Allowed is working with 150+ low-income students across multiple schools with diverse student populations that have high levels of English Language Learners and nearly all students living in households below the federal poverty line.


  • Provide individualized structured literacy tutoring on a sliding scale basis. We utilize a pool of 70+ rigorously trained, certified instructors to provide these services. Fees are charged on a sliding scale model based on household income. Nearly 50% of these students have a household income of less than $60k and receive year-round tutoring free-of-charge or at a greatly reduced rate. Under this model, Reading Allowed currently serves over170 students in the Philadelphia region from kindergarten through adult. Income from this sliding scale model supports our free tutoring for students in lower-income communities.


  • Offer training in structured literacy certification.  We have made it a priority to broaden and diversify our pool of instructors to reflect the diversity of students we serve. In the 2022/23 school year, we trained 15 individuals from diverse backgrounds to become certified structured literacy practitioners and we are repeating this program in the 2023/24 school year.


  • Serves as an advocate for the literacy crisis. Reading Allowed is working to bring attention to the literacy crisis in Philadelphia and its consequences to the wider community by means of our Speaker Series, “Reading is a Social Justice Issue.” In the spring of 2024, we are launching our program with the Free Library to provide our structured literacy programming to recently incarcerated individuals.


  • Engages in Literacy Professional Development. Reading Allowed co-sponsors a Literacy Community of Practice, attends conferences, and engages in and provides coaching and professional development to ensure our instructors are at the forefront of reading research and bringing this to our students.
Who is Currently Supporting Us
  • The William Penn Foundation
  • Connelly Foundation
  • K-10 Foundation
  • HDR Foundation
  • Vert Charitable Foundation
  • Dollar General Literacy Foundation
  • Scholler Foundation
  • Patricia Kind Foundation
  • Caroline Alexander Buck Foundation
  • Corporate and Individual donors
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