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Missouri Reading Initiative Connection:
Middle & High School

The foundation of Missouri Reading Initiative’s professional development is based on the principles of effective and research-based best practices in literacy instruction, including the most current findings by the National Reading Panel. The process and delivery of the Missouri Reading Initiative training is grounded on the principles of quality professional learning following Learning Forward’s recommendations. Missouri Reading Initiative’s on-site, long-term, comprehensive program allows trainers to be invested as partners with individual school sites in promoting improved literacy achievement for every student.

Program Overview


Missouri Reading Initiative maintains that all students deserve the best literacy experience possible in order to guarantee future academic and personal success. This requires expertise on the part of every teacher in every secondary classroom. Intentional decision-making for individuals based on the science of how students learn to read is imperative to supporting their progress.

The National Reading Panel has targeted five essential components of reading: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The Missouri Reading Initiative focuses on all of these in their work with teachers in Grades K-5.  It is important to continue this focus into secondary classrooms across all content areas.  In short, literacy instruction remains every bit as important in the middle and high school classrooms as it is in the Grades K-5 classes.

In addition to these five components, MRI also promotes the importance of building background knowledge of students as well as fostering the motivation to read. Attention must also be given to the impact of speaking, listening, and writing experiences on overall literacy development. As students transition to the secondary level, literacy instruction shifts to a deeper understanding of content, enhanced writing capabilities, and critical research skills.

Through the integration of the best literacy content (knowledge of WHAT to teach) and pedagogy (knowledge of HOW to teach) allows secondary teachers, regardless of their specific discipline, to become quality practitioners for their developing readers and writers.