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DC Public Schools Launches New Book Series to Promote Literacy and Belonging

Wednesday, August 24, 2022
DCPS Readers Next Door Series is Written by DCPS Educators Exclusively for DCPS Students

(WASHINGTON, DC) — DC Public Schools unveiled today a new curriculum resource to support early literacy with the launch of DCPS Readers Next Door! The series, largely written and illustrated by DCPS educators and created exclusively for DCPS students, will include more than 100 individual books featuring ten characters living and going to school in the District.

“We know how important it is for our students to have engaging content in the classroom that also aligns with foundational literacy skill development based on the science of reading,” said Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “I am grateful to the DCPS team for their vision for this project, and to the 18 staff members who helped write and illustrate these books. This will continue to put DCPS at the forefront of building literacy skills among young students and developing a life-long love of reading.”  

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 DC. The series reflects the district's 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.

“I’m thrilled to join DCPS in launching the DCPS Readers Next Door Series. Using my framework for decodable texts that combines a focus on word reading with meaningfulness, the series was carefully planned, written, and edited to reflect decades of research on how children learn to read,” said Dr. Lindsey. “These books will give children the chance to build a strong foundation to become motivated, proficient readers.”

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.

Learn more about the DCPS Readers Next Door series at