We are happy to offer virtual training, coaching, and technical assistance services to support your successful implementation of Reading with Relevance! Contact us to learn more, and explore your school or district’s needs.
Purchases can be made using a variety of funding sources; since the program provides both academic and social/emotional skill development, there are diverse resources available to support your implementation:
- State and Local Curriculum Funds
- Title I, Part A – Improving Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged
- Title I, Part C – Migrant Education
- Title I, Part D – Services for Neglected, Delinquent, At-Risk
- Title I, 1003a – School Improvement Funding
- Title II, Part A – Teacher Training
- Title III – English Language Acquisition
- Title IV – Student Support and Academic Enrichment
- Title V, Part A – Innovative Programs
- Title V, Part B – Rural Education
- Title VI – Indian Education
- Title VII, Part B – Homeless Children and Youth
- Title IX – Gender Equity
- IDEA – Students with Disabilities
- 21st Century Learning Center Grants
- Striving Readers Grants
- Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Funding
- Crime Prevention Funding
- Character Education Funds
- Tobacco Prevention Funds
- Equity or Ethnic Studies Departmental Funding
- Foundation Funding
- Funding for 1:1 Initiatives
- Community Partnerships
- Donors Choose
- Private Giving
To learn more about how Reading with Relevance aligns with the goals of these diverse funding resources, please reach out for support!
Reading with Relevance has flexible applications in classroom settings. Some educators use Reading with Relevance as a core instructional model: these teachers facilitate one lesson plan each day, for the entire school year, exploring one amazing book at a time. Others utilize Reading with Relevance as a supplement to their core instruction; these teachers use the resources to dive into a high-interest novel one day a week, as an interim unit, or for an additional hour of literacy instruction. Other teachers use Reading with Relevance to support independent or small-group literacy time, providing an engaging structure for students’ self-directed reading.
Summer is all about engagement! Reading with Relevance is a perfect fit for summer school programs, driving students’ interest in reading and reducing summer learning loss. Each stand-alone Reading with Relevance unit offers two to four weeks of daily literacy instruction, providing a no-prep, easy-to-facilitate program for schools and community-based organizations alike.
Reading with Relevance is a great fit for out-of-school-time programs that rely on student engagement (and attendance)! Our captivating book selections and creative, hands-on activities make after-school literacy feel like an enrichment program. Reading with Relevance can be used as a daily or weekly programmatic offering, and is user-friendly for non-credentialed after-school staff to facilitate.
Reading with Relevance is a proven academic intervention tool that teaches and reinforces Common Core Standards in English language arts. Our focus on culturally-relevant texts and social/emotional learning authentically engages struggling readers in their own success, igniting their intrinsic motivation to develop critical literacy skills. Reading with Relevance provides an no-prep instructional resource for Tier II and Tier III interventions, and can be facilitated by a credentialed teacher, instructional assistant, or other caring adult.
Reading with Relevance concretely teaches the soft skills that prepare students for college, career, and life success, including self-confidence, self-awareness, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and perspective taking. These are the skills that colleges and employers stress are critical to young people’s success after high school! Reading with Relevance supports WIOA, career pathway, and college access programs seeking clear tools for addressing the underlying mindsets that enable participants to meaningfully access new opportunities.
Social and cultural factors should not determine students’ success in school — every student has the inherent capacity (and right!) to learn. Reading with Relevance was intentionally designed to serve the students least supported by the system; each unit is built around a culturally-relevant text which mirrors the experiences of the diverse learners we serve, providing opportunities for students to see their identities, cultures, and histories reflected in their academic content. Reading with Relevance provides a supportive resource for social justice educators, providing a concrete instructional tool for teaching about civil rights, Black Lives Matter, immigration, and identity.
Reading with Relevance believes that students and their teachers learn best by doing. Our teacher resources embed professional learning in the space where teachers and students need it most — in their everyday classroom experience. Our tools engage educators in proven practices for integrating academic and social emotional learning, equipping teachers with new skills and capacities for engaging and supporting the students they serve each day. Reading with Relevance moves social and emotional learning initiatives from theory to practice–please contact us to explore how we can support your team’s professional development.
The Center for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is the leading authority in the advancement of social and emotional learning in education. Their focus on empirical evidence and district collaboration has made it the trusted source for educational administrators and policy makers seeking guidance on effectively advancing social and emotional learning in their K–12 students. CASEL has been reviewing SEL programs for over a decade, through an increasingly rigorous selection process.
CASEL’s program certification follows intensive analysis of Reading with Relevance — including our program’s outcomes, curricular materials, and implementation supports — to determine that our program meets their rigorous quality and evidence criteria. Their thorough review found that Reading with Relevance:
- is a well-designed program that provides schools with a systematic classroom-based model promoting the development of a student’s social and emotional competence
- offers high-quality professional development and implementation support to ensure that schools are equipped to effectively implement the program
- has carefully conducted research evaluations that document positive impacts on student behavior and academic performance
To learn more about CASEL’s guide to effective social and emotional programming, explore their SELect certification resources.
Book choice is a big part of the magic of this program: each Reading with Relevance unit is built around a carefully-selected text that authentically engages and motivates students. How do we choose our books? We start by reading a lot of children’s and young adult books, and then use our SEL book selection criteria to guide our final choices. When assessing texts for the program, we ask ourselves questions like: “Is the text enabling, providing counter narratives around diverse identities and promoting self-confidence?” “Are values being explored instead of preached?” “Are there conflicts, decisions, and issues for children to consider, question, and talk about?” “Is there a positive or uplifting tone to the text as a whole?”
In the words of Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, “When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part.” We consider providing diverse books to ALL students a moral imperative — our students need and deserve to both see themselves reflected in literature and use books to build empathetic connections to others.
Our teacher’s guides are chock-full of resources for supporting meaningful exploration of the rich social and emotional themes found in our book selections. In the How to Facilitate section of the teacher’s guide, we preview each book’s social and emotional themes, and provide teachers with instructional supports for framing, discussing, and following up on these topics. We also intentionally build our lesson plans to scaffold students’ exploration of these themes: students reflect on a daily theme prior to reading, share their analysis of how the characters are feeling and responding to the events of the plot through classroom discussion, and then use their journal writing to connect these themes to their own lives and experiences.
Reading with Relevance book selections are designed to provide students with characters and content that reflect their own experiences. This means that some reading selections may include controversial themes, mature content, and/or profanity, particularly in our selections for high school readers. Many educators specifically seek these titles because they know their students are wrestling with these topics, and teachers value the intentional framing and instructional supports offered by our curriculum. We advise that you review selections carefully and consider your student population as part of your adoption process, and reach out to us for more information if you have questions about the content. Once you’ve made your selections, we urge you to stand behind your book selections, and engage in thoughtful dialogue with concerned parents and community members about the important social and emotional themes in these valuable books.
The time required to complete a unit varies, based on the book selected and your facilitation structure. Each lesson plan is designed to be facilitated in 60-90 minutes of classroom instruction — check the “Inside the Guide” section on any product page to see how many lesson plans are included. Some teachers facilitate Reading with Relevance daily, and move through the units quickly, while others teach lessons once or twice a week as a supplement.
We applaud any state’s work to enact policies which advance the accurate and equitable portrayal of the cultural and racial diversity of American society — one of our goals in publishing Reading with Relevance is to ensure that teachers have curricular materials and instructional supports to make this vision a reality. Our curriculum has been approved by the California Department of Education for meeting the state’s Social Content Framework. Visit CDE’s Social Content Framework website, and search for Reading with Relevance to verify the program’s approval.
Absolutely — and many teachers do exactly this! Reading with Relevance titles explore historical periods like the Civil Rights Movement (March, Warriors Don’t Cry, One Crazy Summer), the California Gold Rush era (Riding Freedom), the Great Depression (Bud, Not Buddy, The Mighty Miss Malone, Esperanza Rising), World War II (Number the Stars), and the war in Afghanistan (I Am Malala), helping students form personal connections to the events of these historical periods.
Yes — our title list includes a number of nonfiction biographical narratives, including I Am Malala, We Beat the Street, Warriors Don’t Cry, and Street Life: Poverty, Gangs, and a Ph.D.
Reading with Relevance was developed in Oakland, CA — a community where 1 in 3 students in an English learner, where 90+ languages are spoken, and where thousands of newcomers are served each day in our schools. Our students love seeing their experiences reflected in titles like Inside Out & Back Again, Home of the Brave, and Esperanza Rising, which explore the stories of newcomers and English learners.
Purchases can be made easily through our website using a credit card. If you would like to use an order form to make a purchase via check or purchase order, you can download the form here.
Our website checkout accepts all major credit cards — Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. To make a payment via check or purchase order, please download and complete an order form, which can be found here.
All orders ship free to our customers. Sales tax is assessed based on your location, and is waived for government entities. Please reach out if you have questions about fees on your order.
We’ve made our W9 form available for your purchasing department, which you can download here.
We will happily work with you to ensure that your team has all of the materials needed to teach our program. We partner with a classroom book distributor who will custom-build classroom sets to meet your needs.To begin the conversation, please email us for a custom quote!
We’re happy to support you at any time! Please reach out via phone at 510.658.4475 or send us an email, and we’ll be in touch right away to answer your questions.
While our teacher’s guides are user-friendly and easy to facilitate, teachers and other caring adults greatly benefit from professional learning around building social and emotional learning into their classroom practice. Our team offers full and half-day professional development sessions, along with ongoing technical assistance, coaching, and support. Reach out our way to explore the most effective model for your team!
We would be happy to discuss your Reading with Relevance implementation plan, and serve as a trainer and technical advisor to your project. We custom-build our support programs based on your needs — please reach out to explore the most effective model for your team!