William & Mary Literacy Lab

Providing support for readers

Despite considerable resources and reform efforts, the American public school system is failing to help a sizeable portion of children in reading. Recent data suggest that one-third of fourth graders still read below a basic level of proficiency. The W&M Literacy Lab is an interdisciplinary initiative that aims to address these issues by providing tutoring, advocacy and educational opportunities for teachers. 

Our Goals

Our goals are three-fold:

  • Capitalize on both in-house expertise among faculty members and the service-oriented population of W&M students to provide K-12 students and their families in our local community with educational supports and services
  • Leverage our partnerships and interdisciplinary strengths to offer conferences and courses on best practices
  • Engage interested students and faculty in interdisciplinary research on the topic
Our Work

We provide local K-12 students with explicit, systematic and multi sensory tutoring to support their reading needs. We are developing opportunities for K-12 teachers to gain skills and knowledge in supporting students struggling with reading. In addition to hosting conferences and book clubs on the topic, we’re building a credit-bearing Dyslexia Certificate that teachers can pursue.

We also provide assessment and advocacy support services to local families and schools, and we’re conducting cross-disciplinary research with W&M students and faculty to expand evidence-based strategies that can be put into practice.

Our Team

Julie Agnew
Professor of Finance and Economics
Raymond A. Mason School of Business

Kristin Conradi Smith
Associate Professor of Reading Education
School of Education

Debbie Ramer
Clinical Faculty and Coordinator of the Elementary Education Program
School of Education

Sya LaManque
Reading Specialist
Newport News Public Schools