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Children Arriving at School

Our Strategy 

Closing literacy gaps related to children’s family background and economic circumstances is a challenging task at many levels. Many programs show promise at a small scale or in a particular context, but may not work when applied elsewhere, or are difficult to implement on a larger scale. One size does not fit all for solutions to helping our disadvantaged children. Identifying effective reforms that improve literacy outcomes for disadvantaged children and adaptively scaling them in different communities and settings is an implementation challenge as well as a program design undertaking. Leaders in education must work together with stakeholders to identify problems, solutions, and implementation strategies that result in effective and scalable literacy reforms.

The READS Lab at Harvard engages leaders in schools, school systems, community-based organizations, foundations, and government in long-term collaborations to:

  • Conduct randomized experiments of literacy reform strategies and interventions that have a solid grounding in research and theory,

  • Measure the effects of school and home environments on children's literacy behaviors, motivation, and growth,

  • Test planned variations of promising literacy innovations that are likely to be adopted and sustained by policymakers and practitioners, and

  • Partner with teachers to develop and test adaptive literacy strategies for their school and classroom contexts.

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READS stands for

Research Enhances Adaptations 

Designed for Scale in Literacy

The READS Lab at Harvard, led by Professor of Education, James S. Kim, is a research-based collaborative initiative designed to identify and scale adaptive solutions for enhancing children's literacy. We work with leaders in school districts, schools, non-profit organizations, foundations, and universities who are committed to applying adaptive strategies to improve children’s literacy learning opportunities.

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