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

We believe that a meaningful connection to books is the basis for both academic achievement and personal enrichment. Our mission is to teach students the reading skills they need to immerse themselves in great books at every stage of their reading development. We help kids build a lifelong love of reading that leads to success in school and beyond.

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 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

  • 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

  • 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 four online programs for 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

With the Institute since 1995
Email Doug

“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. On a deeper level, being a reader will help define your child’s sense of self and life’s possibilities, and it will shape his or her relationship with the world and the other people in it.”

Doug Evans

CEO & Executive Director

With the Institute since 1995
Email Doug

“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. On a deeper level, being a reader will help define your child’s sense of self and life’s possibilities, and it will shape his or her relationship with the world and the other people in it.”

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 the children and families across the country.

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

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

Driving our evolution 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
With the Institute since 1987
Email Lisa

John Boyd

Director of Instruction
With the Institute since 1991
Email John

Ryan O’Leary

Director of Marketing
With the Institute since 1995
Email Ryan

Nicole Prior

Technology Manager
With the Institute since 2008
Email Nicole

Tiffany Gilbert

Enrollment Manager
With the Institute since 2006
Email Tiffany

Eugenie Borton

Customer Service Manager
With the Institute since 2000
Email Eugenie

Our Teachers

Our Teachers

We only hire knowledgeable teachers with the lifelong habit of reading for pleasure to lead our programs. Having a warm, inspiring teacher who loves to read will make a big difference in the way your child sees his or her relationship to books. The right teacher can instill confidence, enthusiasm, and motivation to read more.

We train our teachers to support and encourage students of all ages – in all stages of reading development – as they build stronger skills in the best books available. Every Institute teacher is an expert at keeping children and teens excited and engaged during online instruction.

Learn More

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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 Teachers

Share your passion for reading with students of all ages.

Program Advisors

Help parents enroll their children in the right program.

Help Your Child Become a Confident,
Enthusiastic Reader!

Help Your Child Become a Confident, Enthusiastic Reader!