The Science of Reading

Mission Statement

Learning to read through equitable, evidence-based literacy practices is a fundamental right for all students. It is the solemn responsibility of many stakeholders, including teacher preparation programs, teachers, districts, and parents/families, to make that right a reality.

After third grade, students who display reading problems will likely remain poor readers for the rest of their lives without intensive intervention. So, early identification and instruction using evidence-based, explicit, and systematic methods is absolutely necessary. Prevention, rather than remediation, is crucial for long-term student success because waiting for students to fail is a costly mistake.

The Science of Reading

What is the Science of Reading?

  • The Science of Reading (SoR) is a movement supporting the use of evidence-based literacy instruction in every classroom
  • Based on a comprehensive body of research from multiple disciplines (developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, educational research, linguistics)
  • This research has drawn conclusions about:
    • How children learn to read
    • What goes wrong when children don’t learn
    • What kind of instruction is most likely to work best for the most students (Moats, 2020)

The Major Tenets of The Science of Reading

  1. The Simple View of Reading
  2. Scarborough’s Reading Rope
    a. Explicit instruction in both word recognition and language comprehension
  3. Structured Literacy
  4. Building a strong foundation in early literacy skills
    a. Explicit, systematic instruction in phonological awareness and phonics
  5. Prevention of reading failure through vs. costly and time-consuming intervention
    a. MTSS framework
  6. Bridging the knowledge and opportunity gap
  7. The Right to Read for all students

Want to learn more about The Science of Reading?

Attend the Joyful Literacy Virtual Zoom Summit: The Science of Reading, A Virtual Learning Experience with Literacy Leaders

May 11 & 12, 2023
8:45AM – 3:45PM

And, consider pursuing one of CityU’s literacy programs!

CityU Literacy Programs

For Teachers

For Admin

Reading Endorsement Partnership

  • Whole-School
  • Train-the-Trainer Model

This partnership program will provide continuing education for current certificated teachers or literacy coaches in evidence-based literacy instruction. Each course is aligned to the International Dyslexia Association’s Knowledge and Practice Standards.

At the conclusion of the program, teachers will have:

  • An additional endorsement added to their teaching certificate
  • 17 credits to put towards certificate renewal or a potential salary revision (district-dependent)
  • A wealth of foundational and practical knowledge to apply to the classroom in order to equitably support a diverse student population in literacy instruction.

Find out more by filling out this form.


“Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin and that is characterized by unexpected difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities that are not consistent with the person’s intelligence, motivation, and sensory capabilities.

These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological components of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities. In addition, the difficulties are not typically a result of ineffective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

This definition of dyslexia is adopted by the 65th WA State Legislature, 2018 Regular Session.

Roughly 15-20% of the population is affected by dyslexia in some way, according to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).
RCW 28A.320.260
Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, schools are required to screen students K-2 for “indications of, or areas associated with, dyslexia”. Once a student is identified as having dyslexia, they must be provided with instruction and “evidence based, multisensory structured literacy interventions” within an multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) model. The screening results and intervention plan must also be communicated with parents/caregivers, in order to form a partnership for the benefit of the student in question.
Early screening and intervention is the key to addressing and overcoming difficulties associated with dyslexia.

It’s important for teachers to understand that students with dyslexia may not qualify for special education services, so they must be served in the general education classroom.

Once a student has been identified as having dyslexia, explicit, systematic and cumulative, multi-sensory instruction will help them learn to read and write well.

What is Explicit, Multi-Sensory Instruction?
Explicit instruction is a method of teaching that provides students with an understanding of what they are learning, why they are learning it, and how to achieve a learning target through explicit modeling, concrete examples, and opportunities to practice their learning with peer support and teacher feedback. This instructional model follows a gradual release of responsibility framework that culminates in independent practice as a demonstration of mastery.

Multi-sensory instruction combines the four domains of language (reading, writing,speaking, and listening) with a tactile or kinesthetic activity.

Structured literacy is a teaching methodology that explicitly teaches decoding skills in a systematic and cumulative manner.

This type of instruction not only benefits students with dyslexia, but all students.


Advocacy Groups

Professional Development