Dedicated to Making Reading a Central Part of Life for Students of All Ages

Our mission is to teach kids the skills they need to have positive, meaningful experiences with great books at every stage of their reading development. The reading skills and lifelong love of books that students gain from our programs lead directly to success in school and beyond.

1st grade girl reading

Inspired by the Role Reading Has Played in Our Lives

Inspired by the Role Reading Has Played in Our Lives

Our Story

As a child, the Institute’s founder, Paul Copperman, was shaped by reading great books. In adulthood, he came to understand that reading is a formative experience that gives us insight into what makes life meaningful.

In 1970, Paul set out to help students build the reading skills they needed to immerse themselves in great books and develop a lifelong love of reading. In that first year, Paul was the sole teacher and taught about 300 students. Since then, the Institute of Reading Development has grown to teach reading skills to over three million students of all ages, from preschool to high school, throughout the United States.

Over the last 51 years, our reason for being has remained constant: to teach students key reading skills and provide great experiences with great books – all in service of inspiring a love of books and reading. Many children grow up with our programs, from learning about the alphabet and the magic of picture books to mastering advanced reading skills and engaging with great works of literature. We’re proud to be a partner to families as their children develop into successful students and lifelong readers.

Paul Copperman Founder & President

Paul Copperman

Founder & President

  • Presidential Appointee to the National Council on Educational Research
  • Author of Taking Books To Heart: How To Develop A Love Of Reading In Your Child; The Literacy Hoax
  • Meaning and Purpose in History, a middle-school textbook, coming in 2022

“It’s a joy to be a parent, to watch our children grow, but it’s always challenging and often hard. We need all the help we can get. Age-appropriate literature can help form a young person’s character. Great books help us, as parents and teachers, guide young people to the higher values and truths in life.”

Paul Copperman Founder & President

Paul Copperman

Founder & President

  • Presidential Appointee to the National Council on Educational Research
  • Author of Taking Books To Heart: How To Develop A Love Of Reading In Your Child; The Literacy Hoax
  • Meaning and Purpose in History, a middle-school textbook, coming in 2022
“It’s a joy to be a parent, to watch our children grow, but it’s always challenging and often hard. We need all the help we can get. Age-appropriate literature can help form a young person’s character. Great books help us, as parents and teachers, guide young people to the higher values and truths in life.”

Helping Kids Everywhere Become Stronger Readers

Helping Kids Everywhere Become Stronger Readers

The Institute Today

For decades, the Institute offered summer reading programs in classrooms around the country. To serve students in less populated areas, we created live online versions of our reading skills programs in 2014. Our commitment to making these programs just as fun and effective as our classroom programs led us to develop new techniques for teaching children online. Happily, these efforts have succeeded. We’re proud of our well-established history of helping kids become skilled, enthusiastic readers in our online programs.

When we moved online, we found ourselves able to offer more value for our students and their families. We reduced the price and expanded beyond the summer. As of 2021, we offer online programs for every season of every grade from preschool through high school. Students can build their skills during the summer and throughout the year, after school or on the weekends.

All Institute of Reading Development programs feature effective, research-based instruction that gets students excited about learning new skills. For each program, we carefully select great, age-appropriate books that are sure to capture kids’ imaginations and spark a love of reading. We’re dedicated to supporting each student’s reading development, all the way from learning the alphabet to getting ‘lost’ in timeless works of literature.

Doug Evans CEO & Executive Director

Doug Evans

CEO & Executive Director

With the Institute since 1995
Email Doug

See Doug’s interview on The Balancing Act airing on Lifetime TV.

“If, like me, your child comes to identify as a reader, he or she will eagerly reach for books and gain all the academic and personal benefits that come from having a lifelong love of reading.” Read More…

Doug Evans CEO & Executive Director

Doug Evans

CEO & Executive Director

With the Institute since 1995
Email Doug

See Doug’s interview on The Balancing Act airing on Lifetime TV.

“If, like me, your child comes to identify as a reader, he or she will eagerly reach for books and gain all the academic and personal benefits that come from having a lifelong love of reading.” Read More…

98% of parents said that their child enjoyed attending weekly live online classes.

Endorsed by Colleges and Universities

Endorsed by Colleges and Universities

Since 1970, many colleges, universities, and other non-profits have partnered with the Institute of Reading Development. We are proud to work with the colleges and universities who choose to partner with the Institute in order to bring our proven, high-quality reading instruction to children and families across the country.

Josh Kizner COO & VP--Partnerships

Josh Kizner

COO & VP – Partnerships

With the Institute since 2000
Email Josh

“We’re fortunate that so many talented, intelligent and enthusiastic people have found a home at the Institute of Reading Development. Our team is dedicated to providing students and their families with the best possible experience in our programs.”

Josh Kizner COO & VP--Partnerships

Josh Kizner

COO & VP – Partnerships

With the Institute since 2000
Email Josh

“We’re fortunate that so many talented, intelligent and enthusiastic people have found a home at the Institute of Reading Development. Our team is dedicated to providing students and their families with the best possible experience in our programs.”

Our Team

Our Team

Behind everything we do is a team of talented, dedicated people who understand the importance of building reading skills to succeed in school, and who believe in the simple pleasure of getting lost in a good book.

Lisa Fink Director of Curriculum

Lisa Fink

Director of Curriculum
With the Institute since 1987
Email Lisa

John Boyd Director of Instruction

John Boyd

Director of Instruction
With the Institute since 1991
Email John

Ryan O’Leary Director of Marketing

Ryan O’Leary

Director of Marketing
With the Institute since 1995
Email Ryan

Nicole Prior Technology Manager

Nicole Prior

Technology Manager
With the Institute since 2008
Email Nicole

Tiffany Gilbert Enrollment Manager

Tiffany Gilbert

Enrollment Manager
With the Institute since 2006
Email Tiffany

Eugenie Borton Customer Service Manager

Eugenie Borton

Customer Service Manager
With the Institute since 2000
Email Eugenie

Our Teachers

Institute instructors are experts at guiding kids along the path from pre-reader to literate adult. They know how to inspire and encourage kids to grow as readers and make continuous progress. Their personal love of reading makes a big difference in the way students see their relationship to books.

Our teachers go through a highly selective hiring process and rigorous training that prepares them to teach readers of all ages. They understand the skills kids need to succeed in each stage of reading development and how to engage and motivate students during exciting online classes.

Parents rated their child’s teacher as skilled and knowledgeable more than 99% of the time.

Employment Opportunities

Employment Opportunities

Our team members leave a lasting impact on students and their families. Explore the Institute of Reading Development’s remote job openings below.
reading teacher jobs

Reading Teachers

Share your passion for reading with students of all ages.

program advisor jobs

Program Advisors

Help parents enroll their children in the right program.

Learn More

Connect with us on Social Media for great content and information about upcoming programs.

Help Your Child Become a Confident,
Enthusiastic Reader!

Help Your Child Become a Confident, Enthusiastic Reader!