The program came as a response to the pandemic and the toll it took on children below third grade. Pre-quarantine, more than 2 million students per grade required additional reading support, as schools have slowly transitioned back to in-person instruction, the gap of reading and learning disabilities has widened.
Just recently, EOU’s College of Education announced a new partnership with the nonprofit Ignite! Reading, which will offer training on the science of Founder Jessica Reid Sliwerski was on hand for the demonstrations. “As I watched what was happening on Zoom and I thought about the power of this research-based, evidence-based curriculum, I saw an opportunity,” Sliwerski said. “I thought about how we could leverage Zoom to teach kids to read and what it could mean if we took a high-quality curriculum that has been shown to work in a classroom setting and we applied it to a one-to-one scenario, and that was the beginning of Ignite! Reading.” The program trains qualified individuals to tutor children one-on-one through Zoom for 15 minutes, working on punctuation and phonetics every day of the school week.