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Leading for Literacy: Five Keys for Success

We invite school leaders based in California to join us for a 1-hour webinar with Irene Fountas and Cindy Downend from the Center for Reading Recovery & Literacy Collaborative at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

September 7, 2023
3:15–4:15pm (PST)
Leadership & Coaching
  • District & School Leaders
About the Webinar


Join us to learn how to begin the journey of continuous literacy improvement that ensures excellence and equity. In this introductory webinar, Irene Fountas & Cindy Downend will introduce you to five keys for improving literacy outcomes in your school and district, using the text Leading for Literacy as a guide. 

Topics will include: 

  • Overview of the professional resource, Leading for Literacy, and the variety of professional tools included 
  • The critical role of teamwork and collective responsibility 
  • Creating engaging and inclusive classroom communities that foster literacy learning 
  • Authentic literacy learning that expands knowledge and comprehension and includes strong phonics instruction 
  • Fostering a culture of continuous professional learning 


This webinar is an introduction to Lesley University’s multi-day professional learning seminar, Leading for Literacy: What Every School Leader Needs to Know. Join the upcoming California cohort to delve deeper into your role as a leader who reimagines literacy in your school. Participants will earn professional development hours, or may take it for graduate credit through Lesley University. More details about this seminar will be announced at this webinar.

Irene Fountas, Director of the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative

Headshot of Irene Fountas

Irene is the Marie M. Clay Endowed Chair in Early Literacy and Reading Recovery, and is the author of many books. She is director of the Center for Reading Recovery in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University. She has been a classroom teacher, language arts specialist, and consultant in school districts across the nation and abroad. Irene and co-author Gay Su Pinnell have published numerous books and resources with Heinemann. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to literacy.


Cynthia Downend, Assistant Director, Literacy Programs

Headshot of Cindy Downend

Cynthia Downend has worked at the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative for over 15 years, serving in the roles of primary level literacy trainer and currently as the Assistant Director for Primary Literacy Programs.

Cynthia has worked with many school districts across the United States to train and develop district level literacy staff developers, literacy coaches, classroom teachers, literacy interventionists and school administrators on a variety of topics related to improving literacy instruction.

Prior to her work at Lesley University, Cynthia held positions as a literacy coach, Reading Recovery teacher, and classroom teacher for over 20 years working in a variety of school settings including urban, suburban, and international schools.

Interested in professional learning at your school 
or district? Schedule a meeting with one of our faculty trainers.