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WE HELP SCHOOLS REACH THEIR LITERACY POTENTIAL

About Us

We have worked to raise students literacy skills for years, as educators, researchers, and instructional leaders.

Who we are and how we got here

Our Story

Joshua Lawrence and Jacy Ippolito started collaborating ten years ago when they were both working as literacy coaches and researchers in the Boston area. They were approached by the Massachusetts Department of Education to develop a set of materials to support adolescent literacy across the Commonwealth. These materials became the basis for a series of professional development workshops that they offered, which grew into ongoing collaborations with schools across the state, including Brookline, Acton, and Newburyport public schools, among many others. This work has now formed the basis for Reading Ways, a new endeavor —led by Josh Lawrence. Reading Ways works with schools nationwide to grow a network of expert coaches and literacy instructional leaders. Contact Reading Ways at contact@readingways.org for more information.

Our Mission

To ensure high quality literacy instruction in on content areas

We believe that all students should leave secondary school able to use reading and writing to participate effectively in society in a variety of roles, be it as a private individual, citizen, or employees.

Our Goals

To improve reading scores and create a new generation of pupils able and willing to critically engage with texts in digital environments.

To create and sustain a community of teachers who reflect deeply on their practice and push one another to improve it​.

To embed high-quality research based pedagogical tools in schools and classrooms, and to work with teachers to adopt them.

To use a research-based model of higher-order thinking that aligns the instructional mission of teachers across content areas​.

Meet the team

Leadership Team

Josh Lawrence
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshflawrence/https://twitter.com/Josh_F_Lawrencehttp://readingresearch.info/

Josh Lawrence

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Principle Researcher & CEO

Josh Lawrence is currently a Professor at the University of Oslo in the Faculty of Educational Sciences. Since deploying an open-source PHP bulletin board to host “writers' workshops” in middle school classrooms (Fahey, Lawrence, & Paratore, 2007), he has been using online collaborative tools to support teaching and learning. He completed a three-year postdoc at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  During his time there he worked with Catherine Snow and the SERP institute to conduct an evaluation of the Word Generation curriculum. He was subsequently hired in the Language, Literacy and Technology Specialization at the University of California, Irvine School of Education where he published extensively on secondary literacy interventions, literacy and second language development, and technology. He is the lead developer of the OASIS PD Model and creator of Reading Ways. He is also currently the CEO of Reading Ways, a member of the Board of Directors, and the Chair of the Research Advisory Board. You can find out more about his research at http://readingresearch.info/.

Selected grant funding

Selected publications

Jenny Michelle Thorbjørnsen
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennymichelle/https://twitter.com/jennymichelle91

Jenny Michelle Thorbjørnsen

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Product Manager

Jenny Michelle Thorbjørnsen recently graduated from the Department of Education at the University of Oslo with a Masters's degree in Comparative Education and a thesis on Literacy Plans. Before joining Reading Ways, she served as a substitute teacher at several high schools in Oslo and as a research assistant for Joshua Lawrence on two projects: Understanding Teachers as Designers and Critical Thinking in Middle Schools. Behind the scenes at Reading Ways, Jenny employs her understanding of technology, design, and pedagogy to deliver creative and strategic solutions.  


"I appreciate the way the rest of the Reading Ways team focuses on student’s needs even when working on national or other levels that are more removed from the students. At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure that students are prepared to meet a world in flux - a goal I will continue to work hard towards achieving." - Jenny Michelle 


Selected grant funding
Selected publications

  • Lawrence, J. & Thorbjørnsen, J. (In press) Å utvikle elevers kritiske tenkning gjennom lesing, argumentasjon og debatt. In Bråten, I. (Ed.) Leseforståelse. Oslo: Cappelen Damm akademisk.
  • Thorbjørnsen (2020) European Perspectives on Local Literacy Plans. [Master Thesis]. https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/80469

Erin Kourafas
https://www.linkedin.com/in/erin-kourafas-160bbb109/

Erin Kourafas

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Client Engagement Executive

Erin Kourafas has years of experience working with students with disabilities at the secondary and university level. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts of Boston with a Masters degree in Education she transitioned from teaching special education to working with the same population at the university level, most notably establishing a partnership program at Salem State University that offered transition-age students currently enrolled in their high schools a college experience. After moving to Norway, she was eager to remain in the educational field and is delighted to be continuing her work in education. Although a slightly different venture from her past, it fits well with her personal mission to offer support to every student in reading, writing, speaking, and learning across content areas through the building of instructional leadership and disciplinary literacy in schools.  


Selected grant funding
Selected publications
John Fahey

John Fahey

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Director of Business Development

John Fahey is our Director of Business Development and has an extensive background in sales and marketing from the technology industry. John has also held a variety of positions in non-profit organizations and holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Starr-King School for Ministry from the University of California, Berkeley. John is currently a student at the Claremont Graduate University and is an active member of the Claremont Institute for Process Studies.

Selected grant funding
Selected publications

Advisory Board

The Research Advisory Board provides insight into matters relating to instructional practice, adolescent literacy, child development, and academic language. Board members have a wide range of backgrounds with strong connections within academia. The board meets twice a year and is chaired by Josh Lawrence, Reading Ways founder.

JACY IPPOLITO

JACY IPPOLITO

Research Advisory board member
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacyippolitohttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jacyippolitohttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jacyippolito

Jacy completed his doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on literacy coaching and school reform. He is a national leader in coaching and professional learning. He has published over a dozen articles on coaching and school leadership, written or edited five books on adolescent literacy or instructional leadership, and currently co-directs the Educational Leadership program at Salem State University, where he also serves as department chair. Jacy advises Reading Ways on matters related to coaching and professional learning.

Selected publications
  • Fahey, K., Breidenstein, A., Ippolito, J. & Hensley, F.  An UnCommon Theory of School Change: Leadership for Reinventing Schools. (Teachers College Press, 2019).
  • Ippolito, J., Dobbs, C. L. & Charner-Laird, M. Disciplinary Literacy: Inquiry and Instruction. (Learning Sciences, 2019).
  • Bean, R. M. & Ippolito, J. Cultivating coaching mindsets: An action guide for literacy leaders. (Learning Sciences International, 2016).

Selected professional services
  • Department Chair, Salem State University, School of Education, Salem, MA, Secondary and Higher Education Department
  • Lead writer for Standard 6, International Literacy Association Standards Revision Committee, charged with revising U.S./International Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals (2017), serving from 2015-2018
  • Board Member for the Specialized Literacy Professionals SIG (Special Interest Group), an affiliate of the International Literacy Association (2017-2019)