One8 Foundation Announces $5.7m In Statewide Grants For Districts To Implement Ignite! Reading’s Virtual, One-On-One Literacy Tutoring Program

BOSTON – The One8 Foundation today announced it is providing over $5.7 million in grants to 13 Massachusetts school districts to implement Ignite! Reading’s one-on-one, virtual-powered literacy tutoring for 3,000 first grade students this fall.

The One8 Foundation is expanding schools’ ability to access programs like Ignite! Reading by providing grants to schools that offset the costs of adopting new programs. The 13 districts were selected after fulfilling several criteria, including the use of high-quality literacy materials, alignment to Science of Reading principles, and strong practices related to progress monitoring of students.

Ignite! Reading provides school districts with one-to-one virtual tutoring that teaches every student the foundational skills they need to become confident, independent readers. Ignite! Reading pairs developing readers with expert tutors who deliver daily, 15-minute, Science of Reading-based instruction to target specific decoding gaps. During the last school year, students in the Ignite! Reading program recorded an average of 2.4 weeks of reading progress for every week in the program with no achievement gap for students of color, students with IEPs, multilingual learners or students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.

“We strongly believe in the Science of Reading’s power to unlock learning opportunities and that first grade is the critical point for students to garner the necessary phonics skills they need to unlock independent reading to succeed in school and beyond. That’s why we’re excited to connect school districts serving thousands of students with Ignite! Reading, an innovative and effective model that is transforming literacy outcomes in Massachusetts and across the country. This work has the power to transform the academic trajectory of students who participate, rapidly accelerating their progress to becoming independent readers,” said Joanna Jacobson, a trustee and President of the One8 Foundation.

“We are grateful to the One8 Foundation for investing in evidence-based literacy programs that will supercharge learning outcomes for thousands of students throughout Massachusetts. And we’re thrilled to partner with school districts across the Commonwealth that are eager to deliver results,” said Jessica Reid Sliwerski, Co-Founder & CEO of Ignite! Reading. “With students learning to read at twice the rate that would be expected in a traditional classroom, our one-on-one, high-dosage tutoring model is not just transforming how kids are taught to read, but also how literacy instruction is being operationalized in schools. One8’s support will help accelerate this progress and ensure the students who need this intervention are reading by the end of first grade.”

Ignite! Reading first started working in Massachusetts early in 2022 through a pilot program with Worcester Public Schools. Since that time, Worcester Public Schools has expanded its work with Ignite to reach over 350 students during the 2022-23 school year. Students in Worcester receiving Ignite! tutoring have, on average, progressed at over twice the typical rate of progress for students not receiving tutoring. “This type of highly differentiated support has been totally game-changing for our students who struggle most with reading, allowing them to build their skills and confidence,” said Sam FanFan, Principal at Burncoat Prep Elementary School, one of the Worcester schools that is participating in the program this year.

The following districts were awarded grants:

  • Boston Renaissance Charter Public School
  • Chelsea Public Schools
  • Clinton Public Schools
  • Fall River Public Schools
  • Hoosac Valley Regional School District
  • Leicester Public Schools
  • Milford Public Schools
  • Pittsfield Public Schools
  • Quaboag Regional School District
  • Randolph Public Schools
  • Revere Public Schools
  • Waltham Public Schools
  • Westfield Public Schools

In addition to Massachusetts, Ignite! Reading is currently partnering with schools and districts in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, and Oregon, with further plans to expand nationwide.

About One8 Foundation
The One8 education team identifies, supports, and scales high-impact applied learning programs that engage students actively in their learning and prepare them for success in a rapidly changing, data-rich world. One8 is committed to building a future where high-quality applied learning opportunities, oriented around STEM and 21st century skills, that make learning relevant, stimulating, and rewarding, are a regular part of the student experience, driving impact for all students. Learn more at:

About Ignite! Reading
Ignite! Reading’s mission is to ensure that every student is an independent reader by the end of first grade. The organization was co-founded by CEO Jessica Reid Sliwerski and Evan Marwell, Executive Chairman of Ignite! Reading and CEO of EducationSuperHighway. Ignite! Reading pairs schools with a dedicated literacy specialist and a team of virtual reading tutors, all highly trained in the Science of Reading, who deliver 1:1 daily instruction to students focused on their specific decoding gaps. Ignite! Reading’s data-driven approach, provided by caring and skilled tutors, gives kids the know-how and confidence they need to thrive as fluent readers. The Ignite! Reading program, delivered 15 minutes per day during the school day, takes the burden of differentiated instruction off of teachers and has an impact immediately. For more information about Ignite! Reading, visit:

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