September 2004 Show Resources—Back To School: Ready to Read, Ready to Succeed
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Online resources and organizations

Selected Department of Education Resources

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)

This department oversees all matters related to elementary and secondary education and is principally charged with implementing the reading initiatives and programs authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Reading First

Reading First is a focused, nationwide effort to enable all students to become successful early readers. This website provides information on Reading First, including information on funding and frequently asked questions.

Department of Education, Reading Resources for Parents

On this site, the U.S. Department of Education offers information for parents, such as links to the Helping Your Child series, to aid in promoting reading success. It also offers tips to promote parent involvement in developing their child's literacy.

Department of Education, Reading Resources for Teachers

On this site, the U.S. Department of Education offers information for teachers, such as links to scientific research on teaching methods, to aid in promoting reading success. It also offers tips and lesson ideas for teachers to use in the classroom.

Teacher to Teacher Initiative

Provides resources for teachers regarding teacher quality, including information on research, workshops, and press releases

Organizations, Efforts and Schools

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The mission of the NICHD is to ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from reproductive processes, and that all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives, free from disease or disability, and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people through optimal rehabilitation.

National Institute for Literacy

The National Institute for Literacy's activities to strengthen literacy across the lifespan. Among many of its efforts is The Partnership for Reading—a national reading research dissemination project that strives to make scientifically—based reading research more accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, and other interested individuals. The Partnership is partially funded by the Department of Education.

National Center for Family Literacy

The mission of the National Center for Family Literacy is to create educational and economic opportunity for the most at-risk children and parents. The center offers a range of services that include: professional development, program development, and policy and advocacy.

National PTA

The National Parent Teacher Association is the largest organization of its kind. A non-profit, it consists of parents, educators, as well as students and other interested individuals, whose mission is to provide support for parents, their children, and public schools.

Reading Rockets, Between the Lions, and Reading Rainbow

These resources are PBS-based multimedia projects that focus on reading for children. These websites offer fun things to get kids involved with reading, as well as a wealth of resources for parents and teachers.

Oregon Reading Center

The Institute for the Development of Educational Achievement concentrates on the dissemination of resources, information, as well as technology to those interested in seeing that the nation's children attain appropriate literacy levels by the 3rd grade.

University of Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts

The Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts in the University of Texas' College of Education emphasizes the role of educators in assisting students attain a proficient reading level. Their concentration is on English language learners, special education students, and struggling readers.

Florida Center on Research

The Florida Center on Research strives to accomplish its four-part goal of literary research for K-3 personnel. Their scientifically researched reading instruction, as well as their technical assistance to schools and districts recognized for concentration on reading, is made readily available to those in the education field.

Verizon Reads

Verizon Reads, established in 1999, consists of a number of programs dedicated to increasing literacy in America. The program, through fundraisers, awareness elevation, and collaboration amongst other literacy organizations, Verizon aims to provide necessary resources and assist in pushing forward the collaboration of those fighting for the literary cause.

A.V. Norrell Elementary School

A.V. Norrell ES in Richmond, Virginia has taken on the challenge of bringing all children as well as their parents up to speed on reading with the help of a grant awarded to them by the Toyota Families in Schools program. TFS assists in creating family literacy centers for parents.

Broad Acres Elementary School

Broad Acres Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland firmly believes in the power of proficient reading. Four years ago Montgomery County Public Schools focused on internally restructuring Broad Acres as a result of declining student achievement. During the past four years student achievement has risen dramatically on all state and county assessments.

Val Verde Unified School District

Val Verde USD in Riverside, California has placed reading at the forefront of educational priorities. Participating in such programs as the Riverside County Reading Task Force and sponsoring such events as Run for Reading, Val Verde has been awarded the 24th Annual Golden Bell Award for the leadership.


No Child Left Behind

Helping Your Child Series

The Helping Your Child publication series focuses on providing parents with the tools and information necessary to help their children succeed in school and in life. Titles of particular interest are Helping Your Child Become a Reader and Helping Your Preschool Child.

No Child Left Behind—Especially for Parents Page

On this site the U.S. Department of Education offers information about public school choice, supplemental services, testing and accountability, as well as parenting tips on reading and homework.

Tools for Student Success: Selected Publications for Parents and Teachers

This catalog provides brief descriptions of a number of publications featuring the latest research and most effective practices in subjects such as reading, homework, and staying drug free, as well as information on how to obtain these publications in hard copy or online.

No Child Left Behind: A Parents Guide

This is the essential guide for parents, and provides answers to questions specifically about No Child Left Behind and what the law means for parents, in an accessible and easy to understand format.

Questions Parents Ask About Schools

This pamphlet provides answers to commonly asked questions on topics such as Getting Ready for School, Monitoring School Work, Helping with Reading, and Working with Schools and Teachers.



Michael Petrilli serves as the Associate Deputy Under Secretary at the Office of Innovation and Improvement. In this capacity, he oversees approximately two-dozen discretionary grant programs that support a variety of education reforms, including alternate routes to certification, teaching American history, and more. Mr. Petrilli also coordinates the Office's evaluation and dissemination activities and works to promote promising innovations in education. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Petrilli served as Special Assistant for Policy and Planning in the Office of the Deputy Secretary where he led the U.S. Department of Education's strategic planning process and revamped its approach to program evaluation.

Al Jarreau (via satellite) is a five-time Grammy Award-winning world-renowned jazz musician and a 2004 Verizon Literacy Champion. Through its Verizon Literacy Champion program, Verizon partners with celebrities like Al Jarreau, Sean Astin and others who donate their image and their time to help raise awareness about low-literacy in the United States and to raise funds. The Literacy Champion program is an initiative of Verizon Reads, Verizon's literacy charity. Established in 1999, Verizon Reads is dedicated to the fight for a more literate America through meaningful programs that create awareness, raise funds, and encourage collaboration among literacy providers.

Reid Lyon (in a taped conversation with Education Secretary Rod Paige) is a research psychologist and the Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a former third grade teacher and school psychologist, Dr. Lyon has spent his professional career studying the instruction and development of children. Dr. Lyon has written multiple articles on literacy development in children and effective means of reading instruction based on scientifically based principles. His work helped lay the foundation for the U.S. Department of Education's "Reading First" grant program.

Jody Leleck is beginning her sixth year as principal of Broad Acres Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Four years ago, Montgomery County Public Schools focused on internally restructuring Broad Acres as a result of declining student achievement. Under Mrs. Leleck's leadership, student achievement has risen dramatically on all state and county assessments. Prior to becoming an administrator, Mrs. Leleck taught English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at the elementary school level, and middle school French, Civics, and English. She has an undergraduate degree in French education and master's degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and school administration.

Lynn Figurate, Jr. has taught third grade at Manuel L. Real Elementary School in Riverside, California for the past 7 years. Beginning this school year, Mr. Figurate strives to help all students at Columbia Elementary as the school's Literacy Coordinator. Utilizing district benchmark assessments and state STAR results, he has assisted his colleagues by establishing school wide goals, implementing standards-based instruction, and developing collaborative lesson plans to pace instruction. Recently, Mr. Figurate's leadership was showcased as part of the U.S. Department of Education's Research to Practice Summit.

Theresa Hinkle holds certifications in English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Gifted Education, and Reading and has taught for the last 28 years at the middle school level. She is certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the area of Early Adolescent English/Language Arts and is a "highly qualified" teacher according to the standards set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act. Ms. Hinkle currently teaches on a three-teacher interdisciplinary team in Greensboro, North Carolina at Kernodle Middle School, a School of Excellence according to state standards. She also serves as the Teacher Trustee representing the south and east regions on the National Middle School Board of Trustees.

Andrea Jordan is an at-large member of the National Council of States for the National PTA, the vice president of legislation for the PTA in Oregon, as well as the mother of three school age children ages twelve, eight and six. Her duties, as an advocate for parent involvement programs and policies, include the promotion of child reading development initiatives and the launch of a before and after-school parent involvement program, entitled, Bryant Above & Beyond.

Mary Pierce is the principal of A.V. Norrell Elementary School, Richmond, Virginia. A.V. Norrell Elementary enrolls a student body that is 99 percent African-American, 80 percent of which qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Mrs. Pierce has over thirty years of elementary education experience and is noted for her success in turning Norrell Elementary around from a struggling school to a fully-accredited school with rising student achievement. Part of the school's success is attributed to a particular focus on reading and family literacy aided by private, state and federal grants to provide the resources and time students and families need to ensure academic success.


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Last Modified: 08/09/2013