In January 2023, we released the Early Literacy Playbook, a comprehensive resource designed to equip school and system leaders with a game plan and tools to improve each of the five essential practices in early literacy: vision, materials, data, team, and time.

Over the next year, Julie Parrish, director of early literacy, wrote a series of blog posts diving deeper into each of the essential practices and detailing examples and strategies that can help school and district leaders implement them. Learn more about the posts below!


1) Vision

3 Ways a Vision Statement Can Transform Early Elementary Reading” explores how collaborating with teammates to write a clear vision statement can provide an anchor for a school’s or system’s early literacy initiatives. The blog unpacks three key actions to take when you’re writing an early literacy vision statement for your community: 1) raising the bar for students, 2) making aligned decisions, and 3) fostering community.

2) Materials

4 Common Pitfalls of Reading Curriculum Implementation” outlines common challenges that leaders face when implementing new materials: 1) making decisions without teacher input, 2) inadequately training stakeholders, 3) moving forward without a strategy, and 4) not protecting time for ongoing support. But, fear not! Julie offers strategies that can help leaders navigate and overcome each.

3) Data

A Quick Guide to Foundational Literacy Assessments” provides an easy-to-read overview of the types of early literacy assessments used in schools everyday—universal screeners (aka benchmarks), diagnostics, progress monitoring assessments, and formative assessments—including the kind of information they provide and the different ways in which they help teachers understand where students are on their learning trajectory. 

4) Team

Developing Strong Readers Takes a Strong Team offers tips that can help you decide who needs to be on your early literacy team, clearly define roles and responsibilities for members, and more directly support teachers and students. Taken together, these considerations can help you build an early literacy team capable of catalyzing and sustaining change throughout an entire school or system.

5) Time

The Hidden Resource: How Time Allocation Impacts Reading Instruction” explores the importance of time allocation to improving reading outcomes at scale. In this piece, Juile takes a closer look at classroom instruction, teacher professional learning, and leader preparation as top priorities to support effective structures and strategies in early literacy.



The short reads above are a useful starting place for anyone looking to learn more about best practices for setting up and managing systems and structures for early literacy. 

Ready to learn more?

If you’re looking for more guidance that can help you improve early literacy instruction for every student you serve, check out the Early Literacy Playbook, a free, comprehensive series of action plans, complete with practical tools, that is customizable to meet early literacy teams’ specific needs and contexts.