Groves Literacy Partnerships®

Groves Literacy Partnerships is about working together to help all students shine brightly through evidence-based literacy instruction. It’s our avenue for sharing the methods used in Groves Academy® to advance literacy instruction with other teachers and schools in the community.

We believe we have a moral obligation to democratize good literacy instruction for all students in our community and nation.

Groves Method Literacy Curriculum

Groves Method Literacy Curriculum for All is available only to Groves Literacy Partnerships schools. If you require additional curriculum materials, please contact your Groves Literacy Partnerships Coach for assistance.

The Groves Literacy Framework®

The Groves Literacy Framework, which was developed at Groves Academy, uses curriculum based on the Science of Reading and is rooted in decades of literacy and brain research. Over 90% of new Groves Academy students (grades 2-8) see growth in Oral Reading Fluency in their first year. The success of struggling readers at Groves Academy inspired us to establish Groves Literacy Partnerships in 2016 to radiate our advanced literacy instruction to other schools.

The Impact of Groves Literacy Partnerships

Groves Learning Organization™ began the first Groves Literacy Partnerships during the 2016-17 school year with two public charter schools and 16 classrooms in Minneapolis serving 350 students. During the 2021-22 school year, the program has ignited and spread to 64 schools and 430 classrooms, illuminating more than 8,000 students in public and independent schools in the Twin Cities metro area.

Nearly all of the funding required to serve Groves Literacy Partnerships schools is generated through philanthropy.

Help Support Groves Literacy Partnerships

Literacy Risk Assessment 2021-2022

Our partner schools are closing the gap:
  • One in three readers who tested in the high-risk category in the fall for grade-level reading fluency was no longer high risk by the end of the school year.
  • 42% of first-grade students tested as high risk in the fall; only 25% were still high risk in the spring.
  • 82% of the students who tested as high risk between the 3rd-10th percentile in the fall increased their national percentile by spring testing and are closing the gap between them and their peers who are reading at grade level.
  • 98% of high-risk readers improved their reading speed and accuracy over the course of the year.

2021-2022 Groves Literacy Partnerships Oral Reading Fluency Data This data represents the oral reading assessments of 4,136 students in grades 1-3 who were tested in both the fall and spring of the 2021-2022 school year.

 

Kindergarten students in GLP partner schools* do not take the oral reading fluency assessment.

*Six Minneapolis Public Schools and St. Paul City Schools are not included in this data set because they use a different screening tool.

Join Groves Literacy Partnerships

Becoming a Groves Literacy Partnerships school begins by meeting with interested school administrators, then teachers in their school. Teachers are asked to vote if they wish to adopt a partnership program in their school, which includes 30 minutes of weekly literacy coaching in each classroom. We move forward to the next steps if we have at least 90% commitment from the teaching staff.

School partnerships begin each fall and typically last for three years, with the goal to make each school site self-sufficient by certifying an onsite literacy coach in the building.

Schools have the best chances for success when six criteria are met:

  1. Strong school leadership that supports the teachers, Groves literacy coaches, and overall program.
  2. Teacher commitment to the Groves Literacy Framework and its implementation.
  3. A building-wide commitment to the fidelity of the Groves literacy program.
  4. Sufficient time allocated to daily literacy instruction.
  5. Appropriate grouping of students based on assessment data.
  6. Flexibility in classroom scheduling to accommodate weekly coaching visits.

In the first year, Pre-K–2nd grade teachers begin the implementation, with 3rd grade joining in year two along with intervention for struggling readers. In year three, a dedicated coach from the school staff is identified and trained by Groves Literacy Partnerships staff to make the program sustainable.

Each year, oral reading fluency data is collected in the fall, winter, and spring to identify high- and moderate-risk students and track program progress. Groves Literacy Partnerships coaches assist in the interpretation of the data, student groupings, and intervention planning.

2022-23 Groves Literacy Partner Schools

Meet the Groves Literacy Partnerships Team

Heidi Alford
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience:  Heidi went to the University of Northern Iowa where she majored in elementary education and French. She received a Master's Degree in Education from St. Catherine University and completed the Reading License program at Hamline University. Since 2002 she has taught at urban and suburban schools in the Twin Cities area. She has experience as a reading intervention teacher, K-3 classroom teacher, and elementary French immersion teacher. Hobbies:  Heidi is fluent in French. In her free time, she enjoys baking pies and volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters/Girls Rise Up.
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Brigid Berger
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience:  Brigid completed her undergraduate studies at Drake University, where she double majored in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education with an emphasis on special education. After teaching first grade for five years, she realized that she needed to deepen her understanding of reading, so she went to Hamline University and earned her Master's of Literacy Education. She taught for 13 years in first and second grades, and PreK-second grade STEM before joining the GLP team as a literacy coach. Hobbies:  A certified word nerd, Brigid loves learning about the fascinating quirks of the English language. A transplant from Chicago, Brigid has embraced life in Minnesota, especially enjoying opportunities for winter activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
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Courtney Bierlein
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience:  Prior to joining Groves Academy, Courtney was a dedicated elementary classroom teacher for 12 years followed by three years as an elementary school principal. Courtney’s greatest joys in her time as an educator have been serving her students and supporting teachers in growing in their practice. Hobbies:  Courtney enjoys time with her family especially up north at the cabin that has housed five generations!
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Katharine Campbell
Director of Groves Literacy Partnerships
Education & Experience: Katharine received her B.S. in Social Science from Denver University. After starting her family, she earned an M.S. in Education with an emphasis on the Handicapped Learner. Katharine is an experienced educator, trainer, literacy coach, and speaker. Prior to joining Groves in 2016, Katharine had her own company and provided teacher training and Response to Intervention modeling to school districts locally and nationally. Katharine began her career in the classroom, helping struggling readers improve their reading skills. Hobbies:  Katharine enjoys playing the piano or reading when she is not outside hiking, biking, or skiing.  
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Jen Clough
Senior Graphic Designer
Education & Experience: Jen received her BFA in graphic design from U of WI, Eau Claire. Prior to working at Groves, Jen worked mainly in the non-profit arts sector - such as The Children's Theatre Company, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, The Cowles Center, and City Pages. Jen was honored to have science illustrations selected for National Geographic and Wired.com websites. Hobbies: Jen loves hiking with her family, live music, art museums, the North Shore of Lake Superior, and women's soccer.
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Rhesa Freeman
Assistant Product Manager
Education & Experience:  Rhesa has a B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences, Master's Certificates in Life Science Teaching and Engineering Education, and a Master's degree in Learning Design and Technology. Hobbies: Rhesa spends a lot of time with her 16 nieces and nephews. Rhesa also enjoys camping, playing and watching softball, reading, and playing many different types of games.
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Steve Hall
Director of GLP Product Marketing
Education & Experience:  Steve studied German and international marketing before he began his career at Braun in Germany where he helped develop the Braun Oral-B electric toothbrush. Six years later, he transferred to Oral-B in San Francisco and later worked for several other companies. Along the way, he earned an elementary teaching credential and taught school in the San Francisco Unified School District, where he would have benefitted from Groves literacy coaching. In 2015, Steve returned to Minnesota with his husband, two sons, and three dogs and began working at Groves. He is inspired by the entire GLO team, especially his colleagues in Groves Literacy Partnerships, and loves to come to work every day and support teachers as they become even better at teaching their students how to read and write. Hobbies:  Steve likes to cycle, spend time with his family at their cabin, and sit near the first base line at Twins games.
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Alicia Hempel
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience:  Alicia started teaching in 2000. She has been a special education teacher and classroom teacher in grades kindergarten through 8th. Alicia has taught in Illinois, Wisconsin, California, and Minnesota as well as internationally in Beijing, China. Her daughter is dyslexic, this has fueled her passion for getting quality reading instruction based on the science of reading to as many students as possible. Hobbies:  Alicia is an Army National Guard Veteran and her husband is a Marine veteran. She loves to travel to new places and always looking to check items off her bucket list. She is not really a pet person but somehow her daughters talked her into a cat, frog, and bearded dragon!
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Antoinette Hill
Curriculum Writer & Tutor
Education & Experience:  Antoinette went to Towson University in Maryland, earning a Bachelor's degree in English. She has completed graduate coursework in Urban Education at Notre Dame of Maryland University and earned a Master's degree in Reading Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. Antoinette began her professional career teaching students in Baltimore, Maryland, and she fell in love with designing and implementing literacy instruction for all students. Over the years, Antoinette has worked to hone her skills and expand her impact in delivering effective, scientifically proven literacy instruction for students and adult learners with an unwavering commitment to student achievement. Hobbies: Antoinette is a proud wife and a mother who looks forward to deliberately cultivating countless memories with her husband, their three children, and their English Bulldog. Antoinette finds joy in creating opportunities that enrich her children's lives and guide them to live lives of purpose!
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Susan Johnson
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience: Susan has spent the last 20 years in education serving as a classroom teacher, early childhood administrator, reading specialist, and literacy coach. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education/English from Concordia University, Chicago, and an M.A. in Education/Literacy from Concordia University, Nebraska and holds MN licensure for both Elementary Education and Special Reading K-12. She has completed training and coaching in an explicit, system literacy program based on science or reading and has been published in numerous education publications. She is passionate about advocating for the "underdogs" and those often overlooked in our educational system. Hobbies: Susan enjoys running, swimming, and reading during her downtime. Her teenager likes to engage in daily sessions of "Let's Make a Deal," while her youngest daughter is content to have "weekly waffles" made by mom. Susan enjoys planning elaborate DIY home projects with her husband and budget travel excursions.
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Jennifer Lee
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience:  Jennifer's experience in education and literacy is both professional and personal. Jennifer worked for many years in public schools as a classroom teacher. Jennifer especially enjoyed working with low-income students of color in upper elementary grade levels. Additionally, Jennifer has experience working at a K-8 charter school in various capacities; Dean, Instructional Coach, Curriculum Specialist, and Assessment Coordinator. Personally, both of Jennifer's children have hearing loss and her son also has Down syndrome. Jennifer understands how important linguistics, science, and language are to being a proficient reader. Hobbies:  Jennifer enjoys walks in nature, spending time with her kids and dog, DIY projects, and traveling on a budget.
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Lindsey McDermott
Groves Literacy Partnerships Literacy Coach
Education & Experience: Lindsey has been in elementary education for 15 years. Her passion and work experience mainly revolves around closing the literacy achievement gap and serving low-income communities and children of color. Lindsey has seen how students thrive with quality instruction throughout her career. Lindsey began her educational career through Teach for America in Philadelphia and continued to work as an elementary school teacher, then a reading specialist, and now a coach in Philadelphia, Trenton, and the Twin Cities. Hobbies: Lindsey has a daughter and two dogs, which consume almost all of her free time! Lindsey is also an avid reader, Jeopardy fanatic, food snob, Barre devotee, runner, and traveler. Lindsey has been to 11 countries, 44 states, and 17 national parks, and has seen 298 of the 1,000 Places to See in the USA or Canada.
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Kathleen McFadden
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience: Before joining GLO, Kathleen taught Kindergarten through 3rd grade in both public and parochial schools in Illinois and Minnesota. Most recently, Kathleen taught a split 1st and 2nd grade blended class where she received coaching and certification through the Groves Literacy Partnerships program. Kathleen has her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's in Reading Education. Hobbies:  Kathleen enjoys traveling, reading, and exploring different parts of Minnesota.
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Diane Morri
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience:  Diane attended the University of St. Thomas for her undergraduate, Master's, and ED.S degrees. Most of Diane's teaching experience has been working with students in 4th grade. Diane was a K-8 Principal for 4 years. Hobbies:
Diane loves to read! Diane also enjoys playing golf, traveling, gardening, and watching her children's sporting events.
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Erin Nemetz
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience: Erin has experience teaching general education in Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 6th grade. She obtained her Reading Specialist degree and licensure from the University of Saint Thomas. Prior to joining Groves in 2020, she served as both a classroom teacher and a school administrator. Erin is passionate about literacy education and believes deeply in the Groves Literacy Partnership vision “ to redefine the way our nation is taught, one student, one teacher, and one school at a time”. Her greatest joy as a  Literacy Coach is getting the opportunity to mentor and build relationships with the teachers she serves. Hobbies: Erin loves downhill skiing, biking, and traveling!
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Maggie Rowan
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience:  Maggie has been in education for over twenty years working as an elementary teacher, school librarian, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator in a variety of public and charter schools and each of these experiences has deepened her commitment to ensuring the success of all students. She joined GLO in 2019 and has greatly enjoyed her opportunities to bring literacy to all students through work with teachers as a literacy coach. Hobbies:  Maggie is an avid reader and always has a great recommendation to share. Additionally, she enjoys time traveling to see friends and family and challenging her mind with puzzle games.
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Phil Singewald
Literacy Coach
Education & Experience:  Phil earned his B.S. in Elementary and Middle School Education from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Reading Certificate from the University of St. Thomas and his Principal Licensure through Hamline University. Phil served as a classroom teacher for 10 years, followed by 10 years as an elementary school administrator prior to joining Groves Literacy Partnerships. Hobbies:  Outside of work, Phil enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his children's sports teams, fishing, hunting, and cheering on the Twins, Vikings and Wild.
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Interested in Learning More?

We want to partner with fellow educators to share our evidence-based literacy instruction so that all students learn to read. New literacy partnership discussions can begin anytime. However, the planning process starts in winter and early spring, with signed agreements in place by early May for the following school year.