Across my career, I have worked with children and teachers to create meaningful literacy experiences. Over that time, I’ve made important shifts to what I prioritize to make learning to read easier rather than harder for more children. I’ve taken a hard, close look at both reading science and the science of happiness to better understand how we can make the most of the time we have with children during the elementary years.

I’ve also witnessed my own children’s journeys through elementary school, particularly the years they learned to crack the code and fell in love with books. As the parent of a child with dyslexia, I’ve also had to reconsider what joy means in literacy learning for all children. Joy comes from meaningful connection to texts, ideas, and classmates. It comes from a classroom environment that makes learning feel like an adventure. But it also comes from the feeling that you are making progress as a reader and writer. And the best methods we have to ensure that all children make progress are science-aligned.

In my work with schools and teachers, whether they are veterans or brand-new to the field, I strive to honor where teachers are while also supporting them to reconsider how our instructional methods can reach more children while maintaining joy in the process.

© 2023 Katie Egan Cunningham