What We Do

The University of Florida Literacy Institute (UFLI – pronounced “you fly”) is an ongoing effort by UF faculty and students to improve literacy outcomes for struggling studentsby addressing two key areas: reader development and teacher development. UFLI began in 1998 as a tutoring model for struggling beginning readers, but it now encompasses a variety of literacy projects, including tutoring and instructional models for struggling readers, assistance to schools and school districts, and teacher education and professional development.

Reader Development programs focus on assessment, instruction, and intervention for students.

Teacher Development programs prepare preservice teachers and practicing educators to use evidence-based instructional practices to serve struggling readers. These programs include graduate coursework, school-based supports, and online professional learning experiences to reach teachers worldwide.

UFLI Venn Diagram

Our Mission and Vision

Vision:
We envision a time when ALL students experience success in reading, because

  • every teacher has the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and resources required to address individual student needs, and
  • every student and family has access to the necessary support.

 

Mission:
The University of Florida Literacy Institute promotes equitable, inclusive, and effective teaching and enhanced reading outcomes for all children through transformative teacher and reader development programs.

Making an impact on the future of literacy

At home in Florida, we have endeavored to improve reading instruction throughout the stat. Our intensive, school-based professional development efforts have focused on deepening teachers’ knowledge and enhancing their classroom application of evidence-based instructional methods. Over the past year, we have broadened our focus to include supporting the development of district leaders and school administrators. This expansion will help school districts build capaciity and create systems in which our teacher development work can thrive.

We have cultivated new partnerships to expand our impact throughout Florida. We are working with the Just Read, Florida office to provide professional development and resources for the new state Literacy Directors. We have held a series of webinars For the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System to enhance the literracy support they provide to teachers in every district.

Our Research

The primary purpose of UFLI’s research initiatives is to study the impact our work, improving literacy achievement through coordinated efforts in reader development and teacher development. Projects include ongoing evaluation of the impact of professional development (PD) initiatives of the James Patterson Literacy Challenge, explorations of teachers’ use of UFLI’s Virtual Teaching Resource Hub and literacy applications, as well as the study of student and tutor outcomes in our Summer Adventures in Literacy (SAIL) programs. In addition, UFLI faculty and doctoral students engage in robust research across many domains of early literacy, reading acquisition, dyslexia, pre-service teacher preparation, and literacy PD.

Team

Holly Lane, Ph.D.

Holly Lane, Ph.D.

UFLI Director

Vivian Gonsalves, Ph.D.

Vivian Gonsalves, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Kristi Cheyney-Collante, Ph.D.

Kristi Cheyney-Collante, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Valentina Contesse, Ph.D.

Valentina Contesse, Ph.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor

Jennifer Bigos, M.Ed.

Jennifer Bigos, M.Ed.

District Partnership Coordinator

Mindy Nissenberg

Mindy Nissenberg

Project Manager

Maya Brown, M.Ed.

Maya Brown, M.Ed.

Partnership Facilitator

Colleen Pollett, M.Ed.

Colleen Pollett, M.Ed.

Professional Learning Specialist

Rasheeda West, Ed.D.

Rasheeda West, Ed.D.

Partnership Facilitator

Alyssa Ricke, Ed.S

Alyssa Ricke, Ed.S

Partnership Facilitator

Carrie Perry

Carrie Perry

Partnership Facilitator

Graduate Students

Talia Campese, M.Ed.

Talia Campese, M.Ed.

Gentry Earle, M.Ed.

Gentry Earle, M.Ed.

Christina Flake, M.Ed.

Christina Flake, M.Ed.

Alexis Freeman, M.Ed.

Alexis Freeman, M.Ed.

Rachel Kaplan, M.S.

Rachel Kaplan, M.S.

D’Annette Mullen, M.Ed.

D’Annette Mullen, M.Ed.

Danielle Pico, M.Ed.

Danielle Pico, M.Ed.

Kelley Taksier, M.Ed.

Kelley Taksier, M.Ed.

Collaborators

Shaunté Duggins, Ph.D.

Shaunté Duggins, Ph.D.

Nicholas Gage, Ph.D.

Nicholas Gage, Ph.D.

Caitlin Gallingane, Ph.D.

Caitlin Gallingane, Ph.D.

Alisa Hanson, Ed.D.

Alisa Hanson, Ed.D.

Linda Lombardino, Ph.D.

Linda Lombardino, Ph.D.

Kathrin Maki, Ph.D.

Kathrin Maki, Ph.D.

Sunshine Moss, Ph.D.

Sunshine Moss, Ph.D.

Paige Pullen, Ph.D.

Paige Pullen, Ph.D.

Phil Poekert, Ph.D.

Phil Poekert, Ph.D.

Christopher Redding, Ph.D.

Christopher Redding, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Jennifer Reeves, M.Ed.

Jennifer Reeves, M.Ed.

Sarah Giuliani, Ph.D.

Sarah Giuliani, Ph.D.

Keri Madsen, Ph.D.

Keri Madsen, Ph.D.

Ritsa Mallous, Ph.D.

Ritsa Mallous, Ph.D.

Tyran Butler, Ph.D

Tyran Butler, Ph.D

Meridith Strout, Ph.D.

Meridith Strout, Ph.D.