About Reading Rockets
Reading Rockets is a national public media literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.
We bring the best research-based strategies to teachers, parents, administrators, librarians, childcare providers, and anyone else involved in helping a young child become a strong, confident reader. Our goal is to bring the reading research to life — to spread the word about reading instruction and to present "what works" in a way that parents and educators can understand and use.
In 2016, the Reading Rockets project received the David M. Rubenstein Prize, the top honor in the Library of Congress Literacy Awards program. The Library of Congress Literacy Awards honor organizations working to promote literacy and reading in the United States and worldwide. The awards recognize groups doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work, and they spotlight the need for the global community to unite in striving for universal literacy. Read the press release here.
The Reading Rockets project includes PBS television programs (also available online and on DVD); online services through the websites ReadingRockets.org and ColorinColorado.org; professional development opportunities; and a robust social community on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube The project is guided by an advisory panel made up of leading researchers and experts in the field of reading. In 2011–2012, we celebrated our 10th anniversary!
Teaching reading is a complicated task…so much so, that reading expert Louisa Moats titled her influential article about the skills and knowledge educators need to teach reading well "Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science." That's how Reading Rockets got its name!
Download the flyer about Reading Rockets (1.5MB PDF).
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Find more information about Reading Rockets
The National Institutes of Health estimates that one in five children has serious difficulties learning to read. These children are potentially among the most troubled kids in society. With early identification and a lot of help, however, children who struggle to read can flourish; without it they are at risk for failure in school and in life.
Since 1965, the federal government has invested more than $100 million to find out why so many children have problems learning to read and what can be done. Thanks to that research, we now know how to identify children at risk and how to help them before they fail. Reading Rockets' mission is to take that research-based and best-practice information and make it available to as many people as possible through the power and reach of television and the Internet.
Launched in 2001, Reading Rockets is an education initiative of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in the nation's capital. Learn more about the Reading Rockets project in this audio interview with Executive Director Noel Gunther, on the national radio series The Parent's Journal With Bobbi Conner.
From 2001 to 2012, the project was funded by a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. In 2013, we received a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to relaunch ReadingRockets.org with new content and improved usability on mobile and desktop. Since 2014, Reading Rockets has received funding from The Poses Family Foundation.
Reading Rockets creates and disseminates free, evidence-based information about reading through our three major services: PBS television programs, online services, and professional development opportunities.
In-depth resources — all about reading
ReadingRockets.org provides free resources about teaching children to read and helping kids who struggle. You’ll find a hundreds of articles on teaching reading, classroom strategies, in-classroom video, parent tips in 11 languages, video interviews with top children’s book authors, a daily news service, and much more.
Our companion bilingual initiative, Colorín Colorado, provides information, activities, and tips for Spanish-speaking parents and educators of English language learners (ELLs). Colorín Colorado receives major funding from the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
Free professional development for teachers
Reading 101: A Guide to Teaching Reading and Writing — our self-paced course for pre-K to grade 3 teachers presents the most vital information and strategies that teachers need to help students become skilled readers and writers.
Reading Rockets also produces free webcasts for teacher professional development. The webcasts offer teachers an opportunity to hear from national experts, and are available online to watch at any time. Watch and listen to experts Steven Graham, Isabel Beck, Diane August, Mary Ruth Coleman, Robert Pianta, and others.
We use the power of public TV to show how parents and educators can help children become better readers. Our Launching Young Readers series explores the stages of reading that every child goes through. Hosts like Morgan Freeman and Henry Winkler bring it all to life.
Stay connected through social media
Reading Rockets has a robust presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Follow us regularly to find the latest research, reading news, tip sheets, children's books, interviews with experts and authors, writing contests, literacy events, and much more.
Help spread the word
Please let others know about Reading Rockets and help us spread the word about the importance of reading. The Connect, Link and Share page has lots of suggestions, from flyers to web widgets to video embeds. The Reading Rockets in Action page may inspire you with the innovative ways many different people and organizations are using our resources.
Reading Rockets also welcomes press inquiries. Press materials, including press releases and high-resolution images, are available in our Press Room.
You are welcome to print copies for personal use, or a limited number for educational purposes, as long as credit is given to Reading Rockets and the author(s).
Material from our website may not be sold or used commercially. Permission to publish materials must be granted by the copyright holder.
Because we get our articles from a variety of sources, please check the bottom of the article for special reprint permissions or restrictions from the publisher.
If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected].