Initiatives & Partnerships

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Partner With Us

If your district or agency is interested in exploring ways that the Reading and Language Development Program can partner with you in order to improve teacher knowledge and skill in the area of reading, or your Foundation is interested in partnering with us on an initiative, please contact Dr. Jule McCombes-Tolis, Director, at

Norwalk Dyslexia Intervention Clinic

Dr. Jule McCombes-Tolis, in partnership with Dr. Steven Adamowski with the Norwalk Public Schools, developed and secured funding for a Dyslexia Intervention clinic.

Through a generous grant from the Noble Charitable trust, Fairfield University and Norwalk Public Schools designed an educator training model that provides supervised practicum training for in-service and pre-service teachers interested in learning how to meaningfully develop, deliver, and monitor the impact of structured literacy interventions provided to students with profile characteristics of, or with identifications of, Dyslexia.

In the spring and summer months, graduate candidates in the Reading and Language Development program provide clinical reading intervention services to eligible students twice per week under the supervision of faculty.

Literacy How

Literacy How Wheel Literacy How is an organization committed to translating “gold standard” literacy research into practice at all levels, with a particular emphasis on Pre-Kindergarten through third grade.

Founded in 2009 by Dr. Margie Gillis, Literacy How continues the work of Early Reading Success, Mastering Reading Instruction, and the Haskins Literacy Initiative, begun at Haskins Laboratories in 2000. At the heart of all that Literacy How does is a deep commitment to children and educators, and the belief that teachers, not programs or products, teach children to read, write, and spell.

Dr. Gillis and her team of literacy Mentors are dedicated to providing teachers and administrators with comprehensive, substantive, research-based professional development in all areas of literacy instruction, and to providing school-based teams with literacy mentoring, modeling, and coaching supports.

In 2014, Dr. Gillis collaborated with the Grossman Family Foundation to design and launch the Anne E. Fowler Fellowship Program at Fairfield University.

The Fellowship Program provides select educators from Connecticut’s urban and priority districts with funding to engage Reading and Language Development Program coursework while also participating in a stipend-supported negotiated leave of absence in order to practice applying acquired knowledge and skills in a structured, supervised, and supported context.

To date, three cohorts of teachers have advanced through the Anne E. Fowler Fellowship Program.

Candidates are advised that the Anne E. Fowler Fellowship Program is not recruiting a cohort for the 2018 academic year. Future cohorts are pending.

Literacy How is instrumental in supporting the design and implementation of Fellows' professional leave experience and in providing Fellows with job-embedded coaching support.

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