What We Do

Photo by Holly Kuper

Reading is the most fundamental skill that students must master in order to be successful in all other subjects. We believe that any student – no matter his or her background – can succeed when given the right tools.

It’s part of our Theory of Change, which states:

“In order to equip our children with the reading skills they need to be successful in college, their careers and in citizenship, we need strong, literacy minded leadership in every public school and dedicated, creative, literacy-minded teachers in every classroom.”

The Barksdale Reading Institute is designed to significantly improve Mississippi students’ pre-literacy and reading skills through our four-part mission & programming:

  • Enhance the quality of early childhood education programs, including Head Start, in-school and private programs through a focus on parent engagement and kindergarten readiness (Parent Academy).
  • Expand teachers’ knowledge of reading instruction through professional development focused on BRI’s Reading Universe program and instructional practices grounded in the science of literacy (Regional Education Service Agencies or RESA Professional Development).
  • Develop and enhance partnership efforts to achieve grade level literacy, especially pre-service teacher reading instruction at Mississippi’s colleges and universities (Policy & Partnership Work).
  • Strengthen the role of the principal as instructional and literacy leaders in Mississippi (Principal Impact Fellowship).


BRI Programmatic Priorities
To significantly improve the pre-literacy and reading skills of Mississippi's children.

    Goal: to strengthen the knowledge base and capacity of school leaders to build a healthy school culture and effectively support literacy development


    Goal: to significantly improve the quality of pre-service teacher preparation and grade level reading through state and national partnership


    Goal: to significantly improve the quality of K-3 literacy achievement by designing and disseminating a gold standard of professional development & pre-service education


    Goal: to improve the quality of early childhood experiences and kindergarten readiness through parental/family engagement

In The News

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