Join live or receive a link to the recording and earn a CE certificate

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Science of Reading Week: Teachers: Be the Ultimate Expert in the Science of Reading

Thursday, March 28, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Science of Reading Week: Teachers: Be the Ultimate Expert in the Science of Reading

Presented by Kari Kurto, National Science of Reading Project Director, The Reading League; Jessica Farmer, Literacy Advocate and Content Creator, Farmer Loves Phonics; and Julie Harris, Director, Language and Literacy Curriculum, Lexia
Moderated by Cassandra Wheeler, Director of LETRS State Success, Lexia

Sponsored by Lexia Learning

Watch the RecordingListen to the Podcast

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Teachers know that the Science of Reading applies to all students—those who read well, those with dyslexia or other learning differences, those from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, and more. All students benefit from systematic and explicit reading instruction that includes phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.

With their unparalleled knowledge of and access to their learners, teachers must be an integral part of the transition to structured literacy. In this edWebinar, we bring together educators and curricular experts to break down how teachers can advocate for Science-of-Reading-based instruction and professional learning in their schools and districts. Discussion topics include:

  • Becoming the expert and advocating for structured literacy instruction
  • Identifying areas of improvement in current literacy programs or curricula and leveling feedback up to decision makers
  • Identifying professional development and training to implement structured literacy
  • Inspiration to achieve a shared vision of Science-of-Reading-based instruction in your classroom and beyond

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to PreK-12 teachers, librarians, school and district leaders, and education technology leaders.

This edWebinar is part of Science of Reading Week.

Kari Kurto

About the Presenters

Kari Kurto is the National Science of Reading Project Director at The Reading League. She supports work related to the upcoming TRL Compass as well as work supporting English learners and emergent bilinguals; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB); and the Curriculum Evaluation Guidelines; and runs communities of practice for state education agencies and faculty from educator preparation programs seeking to implement evidence-aligned practices. Kari is a member of The Path Forward advisory group and has presented for professional organizations and several state departments of education. She formerly worked as a Literacy Specialist at the Rhode Island Department of Education where she led statewide efforts to implement the Rhode Island Right to Read Act, legislation that requires teacher training in the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy. Kari is an Orton-Gillingham practitioner who worked at Middlebridge School in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and Rawson Saunders School in Austin, Texas. Before her career in education, Kari worked as a casting director in Los Angeles. She lives with her family in southern Rhode Island.

Jessica Farmer

Jessica Farmer is the force behind Farmer Loves Phonics, a literacy advocate in the world of education on social media. With a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, Jessica holds a reading endorsement in the state of Florida. Her journey into the Science of Reading began in 2020, spurred by the onset of the pandemic. In response, she took to TikTok to create informative content, aimed at assisting parents in supporting their children’s learning at home. Since then, Jessica has maintained a consistent presence on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook offering valuable resources and insights for both parents and educators.

Dedicated to advancing the field of reading instruction, Jessica has expanded her knowledge through specialized training. In 2021 and 2022, she successfully completed LETRS for Early Childhood and Comprehensive IMSE Orton-Gillingham. Her unwavering passion lies in making reading instruction accessible and effective for every learner. With a commitment to reaching and empowering all readers, Jessica continues to be a trusted source of guidance and support in the Science of Reading community.

Julie Harris

Julie Russ Harris serves as Director of Curriculum at Lexia Learning, providing educational direction and leadership for the development of literacy and language programs. Since beginning her career as a teacher, Julie has been driven to advance equity and expand learning opportunities by empowering educators with actionable research, curricula, and professional learning. Before joining Lexia, her work in the Language Diversity and Literacy Development Research Group at Harvard focused on strengthening the link between research and practice; the application of this work is featured in policy briefs, scholarly articles, and practice guides including the book, Cultivating Knowledge, Building Language: Literacy Instruction for English Learners in Elementary School. Julie earned her B.A. from Tufts University and her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Cassandra Wheeler

About the Moderator

Cassandra Wheeler is a proud “Poet” of the 1990 graduating class at Sidney Lanier High School of Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) in Alabama. In 1994, following undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education, Cassandra returned home to MPS and began her career as an educator at Morningview Elementary School. After earning her master’s degree and administrative certification, Cassandra joined the Alabama Reading Initiative, where she authored Alabama’s Reading First Initiative grant and managed Alabama’s statewide DIBELS pilot. In 2004, after serving the children of Alabama for ten years, Cassandra expanded her outreach to impact the life trajectories of students everywhere by joining the (then) Voyager Expanded Learning organization. Now, at Lexia, Cassandra serves the organization as Director of LETRS State Success.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join The Science of Reading community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


Lexia®, a Cambium Learning Group company, is the Structured Literacy expert. For nearly 40 years, the company has focused solely on literacy, and today provides science of reading-based solutions for both students and educators. With robust offerings for differentiated instruction, personalized learning, assessment, and professional learning, Lexia helps more learners read, write, and speak with confidence. For more information, visit

Literacy is a civil right

Back to Top