FIRST Education
Literacy Center



The FIRST Education Literacy Center prides itself on providing relevant, timely professional learning and support to leaders, coaches, and teachers as they seek to provide the very best for their students. We believe that teaching students to read and write is a complex process and educators must be knowledgeable about all facets of literacy learning. Our team includes currently practicing teachers and coaches, along with experts in the field. We understand the challenges schools face today in educating our learners.  We have a proven track record of success in implementing high quality curriculum and instruction and achieving desirable student outcomes.  We will work to develop and strengthen your literacy programs by listening, collaboration, and working alongside you and your team to create a high quality, high impact environment by providing practical and meaningful support to your teachers and leaders to bring about real sustainable change.


The FIRST Education Literacy Center provides training, coaching, and resources to leaders, coaches, and teachers so that instruction in partner districts is systemically aligned and intentionally designed to meet the needs of all learners.


We will develop teachers, coaches, and leaders who have confidence in their skills, and who implement best practices, allowing all students to experience high levels of growth and to achieve at high levels

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our services

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Institutes and Workshops

Our workshops are fully customizable, but some of our most popular topics include:

  • Early Literacy Fundamentals

  • Best Practices in Reading Instruction

  • Phonics and Word Study: Foundations for Success

  • Designing and Implementing a Workshop Approach

  • Powerful Guided Reading Groups

  • From Assessment to Instruction: Using Student Data to Drive Literacy Instruction

  • Engaging Literacy for the Big Kids

  • Literacy Workshop: Every Minute Matters

  • Teaching in a Readers/ Writers Workshop

  • Interdisciplinary Literacy

  • Designing to the Edges: Universal Design for Learning

  • The Power of the Read Aloud

  • Leading Literacy

  • Conferring with Confidence

  • Small Group Instruction in the Secondary ELA Classroom


Onsite and Virtual Coaching

​Coaching for leaders and teachers is critical. When leaders and teachers work with a coach, they are able to refine their practices and try-out new learning. The impact that coaching has on any change is significant! our team includes trained coaches who are skilled at supporting teachers and leaders in setting short-term goals and designing coaching supports to assist in meeting those goals. We believe in coaching that is responsive to the needs of the school and educator. Contact us to get started!

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Facebook Teaching Community

​The FIRST Education Literacy Center provides a community for literacy teachers and leaders to connect and learn together. Videos, lesson plans, and other resources are shared by our team. Click below to join!.

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Literacy Audit and Action Planning

Understanding your current reality and setting goals to move your school or district forward is an important first step when planning for literacy success. Our literacy audit team will use a needs assessment process to conduct a deep dive into your data, teaching practices, and student learning.

Our Team


Danica Lewis,
Director for FIRST Education Literacy Center

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Renae Braun

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Katy Honish


Amy Lubben

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Nicole Mashock

Katie McKnight

Katie McKnight

Leah Mermelstein

Leah Mermelstein


Colleen Pennell

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Julie Wright

Free Resources

Join Our Free Teaching Community!

This community of educators and leaders is focused on sharing practices, resources, and expertise in the teaching of literacy. We invite you to share your experiences and celebrate your successes! Through this Facebook Group, our team will share book talks, lesson plans, and perspectives on important topics.

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Contact Us to Learn More