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Florida State researchers partner with Harvard and MIT on Chan Zuckerberg Initiative - Reach Every Reader project

Reach Every Reader

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Center for Reading Research and College of Communication and Information at Florida State University have announced a collaborative partnership with Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili) to research improving early childhood literacy through personalized intervention.

The goal of the five-year, $30 million Reach Every Reader project is to ensure that, through individualized assessment and interventions, every child learns to read well enough by the end of third grade. Research shows that a student who fails to read adequately in first grade has a 90 percent probability of reading poorly in fourth grade, and a 75 percent probability of reading poorly in high school. This compounds the need to level the playing field and help all children thrive and succeed as readers.

Lead FSU researchers Dr. Yaacov Petscher at the Florida Center for Reading Research and Dr. Hugh Catts at the College of Communication and Information will combine their knowledge of literacy screening and assessment with MIT’s strengths in science and engineering, and Harvard’s proven expertise in early childhood education.

Dr. Yaacov Petscher

Yaacov Petscher
Associate Director, Florida Center for Reading Research

“We are very excited to be working with researchers from Harvard and MIT on this CZI funded project,” stated Dr. Catts. “We know that reading and language disabilities can have a significant negative impact on children’s academic achievement, psycho-social wellbeing, and future employment opportunities. So it is crucial that we identify children who are at risk early and provide them with appropriate intervention. In this collaboration, we are developing and evaluating screening tools for this identification.”

“Innovation is key,” added Dr. Petscher. “By partnering with MIT and Harvard, we have a unique opportunity to explore innovations in how we measure reading and language skills with advanced measurement systems and new technologies. Our desire is to bring to bear interdisciplinary research, to better understand the beneficial and adverse childhood experiences so that assessment results can guide teachers and caregivers to better support the totality of children’s educational needs.”

Dr. Hugh Catts

Hugh Catts
Professor, College of Communication and Information

The Reach Every Reader project is supported by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, co-founders of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. CZI has invested in a range of educational research initiatives including personalized learning and expanded access to test preparation tools for assessments such as the SAT.

Learn more about the Reach Every Reader project at

The Florida Center for Reading Research is a multidisciplinary research center at Florida State University that explores all aspects of reading research — basic research into literacy-related skills for typically developing readers and those who struggle, studies of effective prevention and intervention, and psychometric work on formative assessment. For more information, please contact Nathan Archer at