After graduating from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, I spent 10 years working in and with schools, using current research to create the kinds of instructional settings that children need in order to become strong readers. Over the years, I witnessed the same instructional problems contributing to low reading outcomes over and over again across the country. And I realized that in every setting, parents were effectively left out of the conversation about learning to read. And it made me think: how can we expect children to read well if parents (and sometimes even teachers) don’t know what the skills are or how to build them?
At that point, I knew I had to shift my focus to parents. Parents needed–and deserved–to know how children become strong readers, what to do to move their own children forward, and, if necessary, how to advocate for their children’s instructional needs with teachers and caregivers. Parents are the stakeholders who could make sure the learning-to-read process results in strong reading skills: they are the people in children’s lives who are there the most, and care the most, and could help the most, in easy and natural ways. They just need a little help themselves. And that’s why Abound was born.
Joan Kelley Founder & CEO