We are a collective of progressive educators on a mission: sharing and scaling the program we’ve built for (and with!) our students over the last decade, to inspire relevant reading experiences, heartfelt conversations, and instructional breakthroughs in classrooms across the nation.

We wrote Reading with Relevance because we couldn’t find the tool we needed to effectively teach our students. Most of the young people in our classrooms not only came to us two to four years below their grade level, but also with very real social and emotional struggles that sometimes felt more important than school. We came to believe that meeting students’ social and emotional needs was the key to unlocking their academic potential.

Reading with Relevance leverages student interest in highly engaging social and emotional learning activities to develop crucial academic skills: reading fluency, comprehension, and critical thinking. We turn barriers to learning into the very tools that accelerate literacy.


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We have over a dozen years of experience custom-building academic intervention and social/emotional support programs for the highest need students in our community.

Our tutoring program focuses on students’ emotional well-being as a critical strategy for improving their academic achievement, and consistently delivers measurable results in student outcomes. As school partners, we custom-build programs to meet the unique needs of each of our school communities.

Our culturally-relevant, skilled, and passionate Academic Mentors:

•  Provide individualized support to students in the context of their classrooms, filling in the skill and content gaps necessary for them to grasp the classroom instruction offered

•  Offer targeted and intensive one-on-one and small group tutoring to their caseload of students

•  Support the development of positive school and classroom culture through a focus on social and emotional learning


Meet some people who REALLY care.

Lacy Asbill & Elana Metz


Elana Metz and Lacy Asbill co-founded Moving Forward because they were inspired by a vision of an organization run by young people, for young people, and believed that they could leverage the power of a new generation to create fresh solutions to persistent social problems.