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DCPS Readers Next Door


Launched during School Year 2022-2023, the DC Public Schools (DCPS) Readers Next Door initiative provides elementary students at DCPS with books designed to strengthen early reading skills. Written and illustrated by mostly DCPS educators, these books celebrate and reflect the unique culture of Washington, DC. 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