Reading Is A Civil Right

We believe that literacy -- the ability to read, write, and understand -- is a civil right.

We know that systemic racism has led to disproportionate outcomes for children of color for generations. We know that elementary literacy rates are a predictor of high school graduation rates and college success; and we know that there is a strong connection between early literacy rates and incarceration rates.

And yet we know that all our students are capable of reading, and academic proficiency. We know learning to read is the gatekeeper to academic success, and it is our responsibility to ensure every child leaves Nystrom a skilled reader.

We know that reading is not a natural process, and given all this, it is our job to explicitly and systematically teach students how to read.We believe that literacy -- the ability to read, write, and understand -- is a civil right.

We Commit To ...

  • The Science of Reading: The Science of Reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing (

    • Skilled reading is built through the development of language comprehension and word recognition (decoding).

  • Grade Level Text: Providing all students with grade level text on a daily basis is crucial to developing skilled readers.

  • Building Background Knowledge: Intentionally building background knowledge through content-based modules is important to deepen student’s understanding of the world. The "baseball study" demonstrates the importance of background knowledge in developing skilled readers.

  • Language Rich Classrooms: Language rich classrooms centered around academic discourse are essential for developing skilled readers and building vocabulary for students with critical thinking skills. By infusing our classrooms with discussion protocols and student voice, we create opportunities for all students, particularly our English Language Learners, to develop readers with strong vocabulary and critical thinking.

Emily Hanford PD

On Feb. 2, 2021 the Nystrom staff hosted Emily Hanford, of APM reports, in a PD about the Science of Reading.

At Nystrom it is clear that a high-quality curriculum is treated as an essential for creating an equity-focused and just school environment. This may sound simple, but working to ensure that each and every student receives inspiring grade-level content every school day is a huge step toward achieving more equitable outcomes.

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