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Building Literacy Foundations: A Strategic Vision in Hillsborough County
Episode 2321st May 2024 • Science of Reading Leadership • Just Right Reader
00:00:00 00:28:24

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"Kids are too valuable. You can't say, 'Well, we'll see what happens in five years.' No, The urgency is always there."

This week, we talked with special guest, Tracie Bergman, a passionate literacy advocate and the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Instruction with a Literacy Focus at Hillsborough County Public Schools. With a career spanning over two decades, Tracie shares her extensive experience and innovative strategies to enhance literacy across one of the largest school districts in the U.S.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Literacy Frameworks: Tracie emphasizes the need for clear instructional frameworks across all grades to ensure consistent, high-quality teaching.
  2. Professional Development: She highlights the vital role of ongoing training and support in enhancing teacher efficacy and adapting to literacy initiatives.
  3. Community Engagement: Insights into engaging families and communities to support literacy through effective partnerships and resources.
  4. Curriculum Strategies: Tracie discusses methods for selecting high-quality materials and adapting to feedback for educational success.
  5. Challenges and Successes: She shares experiences of overcoming obstacles and achieving success in literacy programs across Hillsborough County.


  • 00:00  Introduction of Tracie Bergman and her educational background.
  • 04:09  Overview of the demographic and structural complexities of Hillsborough County Public Schools.
  • 04:39  Steps taken to establish a foundational literacy framework in the district.
  • 07:16  Challenges faced in standardizing literacy instruction across a large district.
  • 09:33  Successes seen from new literacy initiatives and professional development.
  • 17:40  Role of families in supporting literacy and strategies to enhance parental involvement.
  • 24:01  Advice for district leaders on aligning practices with the science of reading.

Science of Reading Resources

Accelerate reading achievement with over 700+ decodables mapped to a rigorous phonics progression in English and Spanish:

Read our blog: The Science of Reading: What You Need to Know




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