Read On Arizona Literacy Summit 2017

Because reading is the foundation for success in school and life, more than 500 partners are working together to advance early literacy as part of Read On Arizona. This collaborative effort connects communities to evidence-based practices, resources and technical assistance to improve language and literacy outcomes for Arizona’s children from birth to age 8.

If you’re already part of this collaborative effort, or if you’re interested in bringing this work to your Arizona community, join us at the Read On Arizona Literacy Summit, to be held Tuesday, August 29 at 2:15 p.m. at the Phoenix Convention Center, shortly after the conclusion of the First Things First Early Childhood Summit.

The Literacy Summit will highlight the importance of early literacy, its long-term impact on communities and our state, and the critical steps to making third grade reading proficiency a reality for Arizona's children.

Presented in partnership with First Things First, the 2017 Read On Arizona Literay Summit s sponsored by the Arizona Community Foundation.


Welcome from Terri Clark, Arizona Literacy Director

Opening Remarks from Governor Doug Ducey

  • Introduction by Sharon Harper, President/CEO of Plaza Companies

State Pacesetter Recognition from Ralph Smith, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

LIT Talk: Smart Talk - What Every Parent Can Do to Help Their Child Succeed

  • Introduction by Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas
  • Dr. Isela Garcia, Alesi Group, The Kindergarten Experience

LIT Talk: Unpacking Policy to Practice: Policy Changes That Impact Literacy

  • Introduction by Representative Paul Boyer
  • Karol Schmidt, Arizona State Board of Education
  • Sean Ross, Arizona Department of Education

Read On Phoenix Pacesetter Recognition

  • Ralph Smith, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  • Mayor Greg Stanton, City of Phoenix

Panel: Needle-Moving Strategies for Early Literacy

  • Moderated by Mayor Greg Stanton, City of Phoenix
  • Jessica Buttles, Sunburst School, Washington Elementary School
  • Michelle Doherty, Encanto Elementary, 2017 Arizona Teacher of the Year
  • Lisa Holland, Douglas Unified School District
  • Cecelia Leong, Attendance Works
  • James Sheldahl, Yuma Elementary School District

Spotlight: Read On Avondale

  • Dr. Betsy Hargrove, Avondale Elementary School District

LIT Talk: Healthy Vision, Healthy Reader

  • Introduction by Dr. Sue Pepin, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
  • Dr. Andrew Arthur, El Rio Community Health Center

Wrap Up


There is no cost to attend the Read On Arizona Literacy Summit, but registration via the FTF Early Childhood Summit’s online registration form is required.

About Read On Arizona

Read On Arizona is a statewide, public/private partnership of agencies, philanthropic organizations and community stakeholders committed to creating an effective continuum of services to improve language and literacy outcomes for Arizona’s children from birth through age 8 over the next ten years. Named a Pacesetter by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Read On Arizona is committed to helping create an early literacy system that delivers the right program at the right time for every child. Learn more at

First Things First is proud to be a founding partner of Read On Arizona.