Smart Start and Read Charlotte Partner to Bring A2i to MECK Pre-K Classrooms

October 2022

A2i is an evidence-based platform designed to help teachers and instructional coaches make data-informed decisions about how to use their existing curriculum and instructional time to meet each child's individual needs in regards to literacy learning. A2i is designed to support educators to help children across the spectrum from students who are just beginning to build their pre-reading skills to those who are more advanced.

The web-based A2i platform combines:

  • Online, adaptive assessments of children's reading and vocabulary skills
  • Algorithms that use student assessment data to produce instructional recommendations individualized for each child
  • Recommendations to teachers and instructional coaches for how to organize groups of students with similar instructional needs 
  • Embedded lesson planning linked to their existing curriculum and instructional materials
  • Data visualization tools to identify student needs and progress monitoring
  • Online professional development tools for teachers.
  • Individualized family reports (in English and Spanish) on how to support their child's reading at home
A2i is the brainchild of Dr. Carol Connor, whose vision was "prescription medicine for literacy."
The platform was developed over 20 years with the support of a series of grants from the federal government. Multiple experimental studies repeatedly demonstrated that schools using A2i can accelerate gains in literacy during the crucial early elementary grades for all students, including high-need students, children living in poverty, English learners, and children receiving special education services.

"Read Charlotte tracked Dr. Connor's research and development of A2i since 2017," explains Read Charlotte Executive Director Munro Richardson. "We consider it one of the most promising, high-impact solutions we've seen for improving early literacy outcomes. Much of the work completed to date focused on use in K-3 classrooms. We're excited to partner with Smart Start and MECK Pre-K to learn what A2i can do for Pre-K teachers and their students." 

Staff from Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, MECK Pre-K, and Read Charlotte began meeting in January of 2022 to discuss the ground-breaking research behind A2i and how it could support MECK Pre-K to implement the Science of Reading Instruction. (Click here for Read Charlotte's summary of these cutting-edge findings.) 

"This is such an amazing opportunity for MECK Pre-K--to be in on groundbreaking research on how A2i can enhance literacy instruction in the pre-k year," asserts Mary-Margaret Kantor, MECK Pre-K Chief Early Education Officer. "As a teacher, I would have appreciated having a tool like this--one that can so specifically hone in on individual children's needs and then pinpoint exactly where in the curriculum to go for the most meaningful instructional activities. As a leader, I look forward to working through the process with the teachers and seeing exciting results."A2i is provided by Learning Ovations, and is intended for teachers, principals and districts' leadership. They are a committed group of researchers and educators whose goal is to get every child reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

We are excited to learn how A2i PreK can support the implementation of the literacy curriculum in 10 pilot MECK Pre-K classrooms this school year.

This content supports our vision that all children turn five ready to thrive.