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DCPS Readers Next Door


Beginning in the 2022-2023 School Year, elementary students at DC Public Schools will have a few new friends joining them in the classroom!

Meet Kayden, Amanuel, Jenna, Jacob, and Lex — five of the 10 characters in a special new series largely written and illustrated by DCPS educators, exclusively for DCPS students. The DCPS Readers Next Door series will include more than 100 individual books featuring characters living and going to school in the District. Students in kindergarten through second grade will begin using the new series in the classroom starting this school year. 

The books that comprise the DCPS Readers Next Door series are decodables, texts that help students practice certain sound-letter patterns taught as part of phonics. The DCPS Readers Next Door series goes further to build early literacy skills, content knowledge, and language comprehension through inclusive content that represents the unique backgrounds, identities, and locales that represent Washington, DC. The series reflects DCPS’ commitment to providing culturally relevant learning experiences to all students. 

The series was created based on the science of reading and under the expert guidance of Dr. Julia Lindsey, author of Reading Above the Fray: Reliable Research-Based Routines for Developing Decoding Skills

DCPS is proud of our longstanding commitment to implementing the latest research-based instructional practices in literacy that provide a firm foundation to ensure all DCPS students develop strong literacy skills from the earliest age.

DCPS educators who contributed to the project include: 

Tonya Combs - Beers ES
Kiarna Davis - Langley ES 
Claire Gunner - Garrison ES 
Ashley Lawson - Takoma ES 
Celestina Lee - Garrison ES
Heather Murphy - J.O. Wilson ES 
Kenneth Neat - Brightwood ES
Francesca Smith - Marie Reed ES
Mirenda Soo-Hoo - Beers ES
Eric Vinson - Turner ES 

Tavi Barnes - H.D. Woodson 
Ra’eese Corbitt - former student
James Davis - Beers ES 
Yolanda Henson - McKinley Technology High School
Delvecchio Faison - MacFarland MS
Michael Iacovone - McKinley Technology High School
Pamela Tiik Pollet - Key ES
Alexandra Stryker - Jackson-Reed High School