Data from Leaders in Literacy Illustrates Program’s Impact

Jun 27, 2023 | Cradle to Career Team, Data, Early Grade Literacy, News

The Cradle to Career Partnership concluded another successful year of Leaders in Literacy program with three partner school districts: Marana Unified, Tucson Unified, and Sahuarita Unified. Early school and participant data shows the huge impact that the expansion of this vital program made over the past school year.

Leaders in Literacy is a program facilitated by Cradle to Career that provides job-embedded professional development around continuous improvement for elementary school teachers, developing and testing strategies centered on improving reading among K-3rd students. C2C also provides additional support in analyzing quarterly student assessment data to identify promising strategies, which can then be shared and implemented at other partner schools and districts.

This school year, 63 educators participated in the Leaders in Literacy program, directly impacting their 818 students. An additional 3,914 students were impacted due to district-wide shifts in practice due to learnings from the Leaders in Literacy program.

For one district, assessments showed that at the beginning of the school year 32% of the K-3rd students of teachers working with C2C were reading at target level. By the end of the year, that percentage was 55%.

Feedback from educators who participated in Leaders in Literacy shows the immense value of the program and the work of C2C. Results from participant surveys illustrate the program’s impact:

  • 100% of participants found the C2C Leaders in Literacy program valuable.
  • 100% of participants reported feeling more comfortable testing out new instructional strategies because of Leaders in Literacy.
  • 100% of participants will continue to utilize student data to inform their instruction.
  • 98% of participants reported that their students’ literacy skills have been positively impacted because of their participation in the program.
  • 98% of participants reported feeling a stronger sense of community and connection with their colleagues.

Additionally, educators shared their positive experiences working with Amber Schlak and the C2C team.

“What was most helpful about working with C2C to support students was the idea that instruction and data became a meaningful conversation,” said Michelle Castillo of Butterfield Elementary in the Marana Unified School District. “C2C gives a teacher time to reflect on their instruction and allows them to make meaningful and well-planned lessons.”

At the end of the school year, 19 educators graduated from the Leaders in Literacy program after two years. Going forward, these educators will lead their own continuous improvement work utilizing the tools and the skills they developed from their participation in the program.

We are excited to continue to expand the Leaders in Literacy program as we head into the next school year. For more information, contact Amber Schlak at