About Us

Our Mission

At Ignite! Reading, we’re on a mission to ensure that every student is an independent reader by the end of first grade.


Only 33% of fourth graders are reading at grade level, a heartbreaking statistic. Our goal is to set a new bar for what’s possible, and that means getting at least 80% of kids nationwide reading proficiently by the end of first grade. Our latest program results tell us we are on track to achieve this ambitious and necessary goal. 

Meet Our Leadership Team

Jessica Reid Sliwerski


Driven by an unshakable belief that every student in America has the right to read on time, Jessica co-founded Ignite! Reading to reimagine how students are taught to read in school. She launched Ignite while she was CEO of Open Up Resources, a national nonprofit that increases equity in education by making high-quality curricula openly accessible to schools and districts.


Jessica began her career with Teach For America in New York City before becoming a founding teacher, then Assistant Principal, at Success Academy Charter Schools. She later became a literacy specialist, bringing instructional best practices to district schools at The Urban Assembly, a nonprofit overseeing more than 10,000 students in secondary schools. Jessica also co-founded and was Chief Academic Officer & Chief Product Officer of the adaptive literacy software company LightSail Education. Jessica’s work has been featured in the documentary films The Lottery and The Right to Read. She is a breast cancer survivor and the author of the children’s book Cancer Hates Kisses (Penguin, 2017). Jessica loves yoga, traveling, and reading with her daughter.

Evan Marwell


Evan is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Ignite! Reading. He is also the founder and CEO of EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit with the mission of closing the digital divide for 18 million households that have access to the Internet but can’t afford to connect. In only eight years, EducationSuperHighway connected nearly 47 million students in 99.7% of America’s classrooms to high-speed broadband after Evan secured commitments from 85 governors in all 50 states to upgrade their schools and obtained $2.5 billion per year in federal funding to make those commitments a reality.


A recipient of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Visionary of the Year award and a serial entrepreneur, Evan has launched companies over the last 25 years in the telecom, software, and hedge fund industries. Evan is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School and an advisor to high-potential social entrepreneurs. He is the board chair of myAgro, an NGO helping smallholder farmers in Africa move out of poverty, and Recidiviz, a nonprofit that partners with state criminal justice agencies to advance their use of data and reduce incarceration. Evan is passionate about literacy in America and co-founded Ignite to help solve the nation’s reading crisis. 

Charlotte Marks


Charlotte started with Ignite in its founding summer of 2021 and leads the work of tutor development and student impact. Charlotte believes in empowering teachers with deep Science of Reading knowledge to ensure that each student has the reading teacher that they need and deserve, making choices on their behalf that are rooted in research and data.


Charlotte started her education career teaching science in the Amish community in Lewisburg, PA, before returning to her hometown of New York City to teach fifth grade with Breakthrough New York. She then taught at Uncommon Schools, where she led third and fourth grade classrooms, was responsible for coaching grade teams, and designed informational reading curriculum and structures for the network. After leaving the classroom, Charlotte worked as a learning architect with Relay Lab Schools and was responsible for the professional development and instructional coaching of Talma Israel’s cohort of teachers. Charlotte developed a passion for literacy as a pathway for social justice working as an instructional specialist at Lit, a nonprofit organization that imagines a world where all children receive high-quality reading instruction powered by the Science of Reading. At Lit, Charlotte helped schools across the country ground their literacy programs in the Science of Reading, specializing in foundational skills instruction. She is passionate about explicitly teaching the code of the English language, as she deeply understands that being a code-breaker is essential to becoming an independent reader who is set up for success in making meaning of rich, beautiful texts.

Join Our Team

Join a team of people passionate about teaching every student to read.

Check out open roles on our team.

Learn more about tutoring with us.