Reading with Relevance improves students’ literacy skills and builds their self-confidence. Students are motivated to read because they relate to the strong, diverse, and resilient characters featured in our selected novels, and because each session gives them the opportunity to connect what they’ve read to their own lives.

Developed, field-tested, and refined in Oakland, CA classrooms, this curriculum has inspired persistently low-performing students to engage with literature, make meaning in their lives, and improve their English language arts skills.

•  Culturally relevant

•  Novel-based

•  Common core standards aligned

•  Socially and emotionally rich

•  Highly engaging for reluctant readers

•  Researched and results-based

•  Easy and flexible facilitation

•  Grades 2-12

“I’ve learned a lot in this program because in the beginning of the year I had no respect for myself, adults, and friends. Then I started reading with relevance and it changed me. Every Tuesday when I walked in the room I felt happy because I could share my feelings. I learned as a person how to express myself more. This program has given me the privilege to speak up and take responsibility for myself. I changed from bad to terrific. My teacher told me that I improved in my reading. I’ve learned a lot in this program. In the book we read, Walk Two Moons, Sal was confident, honest, respectful, and patient. She’s just like me. I love this program!”


Student, 4th Grade | Santa Fe Elementary School, Oakland, CA
“It’s important to me to invest thoughtfully in my staff’s professional development. In just two hours, my after-school staff were totally prepared to facilitate this program, and felt confident on their first day of guided reading. Plus, my grant funder loved hearing that I would be having external evaluations of the program–this helped us win the grant!”

After-School Coordinator

Oakland, CA
“I’ve seen this program blend two needs together really well. Through our books, we’re talking about race, we’re talking about class, we’re talking about gender, we’re talking about how these things play out in our everyday lives, and how we can be empowered by them. And we’re also meeting their academic needs–they know how to read a little bit better, they have an increased vocabulary. With this curriculum, we’re really able to blend the two together.”

Noah Lystrup

After-School Tutor | Oakland, CA
“I started the program last Friday with a group of my school’s most difficult fourth and fifth grade students–the ones who always seem to end up in the Principal’s office. The first day was such a success! They loved the book, right from the first page, and the discussion questions got them sharing about their lives right away. I was shocked when my students ran up to me on Monday morning and told me that they couldn’t wait to keep reading, and that they’d be sure to have all of their homework done by Friday so that they could participate in the next session. It’s like they didn’t even know that it was an academic intervention!”

Elizabeth Calleja

Teacher | Crescent City, CA

We offer training and professional development services to support your school site’s Reading with Relevance implementation.


Contact us today to share more about your school’s needs!