Teaching Matters gets more than $2.2 million for early reading program

by Editorial Team

Thu, 10 Nov 2016:

For immediate release

Teaching Matters gets more than $2.2 million for Early Reading Matters from Brooke Astor Fund at the NY Community Trust

Contact: Naomi Cooperman, ncooperman@teachingmatters.org212-870-3505

New York, NY – November 10, 2016

Teaching Matters is expanding its Early Reading Matters program to 25 high-needs Bronx schools over two years thanks to a $2,287,000 award by the New York Community Trust Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education. Building on the program’s success in eight schools last year, seven schools will be added, almost doubling the number receiving the program.
By the end of the 2017-18 academic year Early Reading Matters will serve a total of 25 schools. The award amount was the largest of three literacy grants totalling $4,265,000 in the final round of the Trust’s grant-making during 2016.
Early Reading Matters offers a blueprint that builds teacher leadership and deepens teacher support in the critical area of K-3 reading. Literacy is fundamental to academic success, and the adoption of rigorous Common Core State Standards has added to the challenge for K-3 educators. “It’s not easy to teach children to read, let alone 30 at once—yet many teachers in our public schools haven’t received enough high-quality, practical training on the science of teaching reading,” says Shawn Morehead, program director for education at The Trust.  
Early Reading Matters  addresses this need by focusing on New York City public schools with high concentrations of poverty, where reading scores are particularly low and the most supports are needed. Naomi Cooperman, Senior Director of New Content and Evaluation at Teaching Matters, says “We are thrilled to expand into more schools with a two-year time frame – and the prospect of additional years. We are grateful to the New York Community Trust, and believe this substantial investment will pay great dividends in teachers’ instructional competency and student learning.”
A high percentages of teachers in the program thought it made them better teacher leaders, planned to use the ERM format in the future for teaching literacy, and called it a valuable experience. While literacy outcomes improved fastest with a greater amount of time spent at schools and with teachers, there was a substantial rise in ERM students meeting grade level benchmarks in all eight evaluated schools, and especially among 2nd graders who showed proficiency expectations rising from 35.5% to 51%.

Early Reading Matters builds on our successful Teacher Leadership Matters model of professional development and collaborative inquiry already widely used in grades 3-8. In addition to our direct coaching, we offer an extensive online toolkit with research-based resources to boost teachers’ and leaders’ literacy knowledge and teaching skills.

The Early Reading Matters initiative meshes with NYC Department of Education priorities that recognize structured teacher collaboration as essential to advancing teacher practice and student learning.  “We are so pleased to be expanding this collaborative teacher leadership program that benefits our youngest learners,” says Lynette Guastaferro, Teaching Matters Executive Director. “Investments to close the reading gap of our youngest students pay it forward many times over.” 


Teaching Matters is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness, one of the most critical factors in student success. Our services transform how educators work together at urban public schools, helping the most effective teachers develop the skills they need to lead their peers and drive school-wide improvement. We also partner with school leadership to create a work environment that equips teachers to succeed in the classroom.Visit www.teachingmatters.org to learn more about how we’re making a difference for students and teachers at public schools.