Jun 19, 2023
What can we do to improve reading growth in children in their critical first years of school?
Driven by the unshakable commitment to ensuring every student in America is given the right to read on time, Jessica Sliwerski founded Ignite! Reading, a virtual high-dosage foundational reading skills intervention literacy program.
She launched Ignite! Reading during her time as CEO of Open Up Resources, a national nonprofit whose mission is to increase equity in education by making high-quality curricula openly accessible to schools and districts.
Prior to that, Jessica began her career as an educator with Teach For America in New York City before becoming a founding teacher, then an Assistant Principal at Success Academy Charter Schools.
Bringing instructional best practices from the charter world to district schools, she became a network Literacy Specialist at The Urban Assembly, a nonprofit organization overseeing more than 10,000 students in secondary schools. Jessica also co-founded the adaptive literacy software company LightSail Education.
Today we’re going to talk about the crisis of illiteracy in America, the roots of the issue, and Jessica’s vision to reimagine how students are taught to read in school. Listen as we explore the science behind learning, why Ignite! Reading focuses specifically on educational tutoring, and how they support teachers and parents while igniting the future teacher talent pipeline.
We also discuss her new book, Cancer Hates Kisses, which is a children’s book Jessica wrote while overcoming breast cancer after her daughter was born.
What We Discuss in this Episode