University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover



The University of Minnesota Center for Reading Research conducts applied research on reading and research on teaching approaches that facilitate reading instruction.

The focus is on conducting research that supports teachers, particularly those who teach students of poverty and students from diverse backgrounds. The Center addresses problems and issues in reading that require creative and powerful research efforts. Learn more about our mission.

Upcoming PRESS workshops 2015-16

Click here or on image below for upcoming PRESS workshops.



Summer Literacy Workshop presentations

Presentations from the MCRR Summer Literacy Workshop on August 12 are available here.

Classwide Interventions: How 10 Days Can Significantly Reduce the Number of Students in Tier 2

Lori Helman and Kathy Patton presentation at the 2015 International Literacy Association Conference, St. Louis, MO. Presentation available here (PDF).

Educating Somali children, in the era of Captain Phillips

MCRR Visiting Scholar Sirad Shirdon presented at the April 15 Diversity Dialogue. Her presentation is available here (PDF).

Summer Reading Programs

MCRR is teaming up again this summer with the Institute of Reading Development for Summer Reading Programs. Details here.

Lori Helman in Germany

MCRR Director Lori Helman in Germany

MCRR Director Lori Helman spent three weeks in Germany in March as a scholar in residence at two international schools - Munich International School and Bavarian International School - helping the teachers and administrators better integrate word study into their comprehensive literacy curriculum. Photo: Lori with leadership team from Munich International School.

Lori Helman's presentation at CABE

Words Their Way Spanish Intervention Program: Palabras a su Paso (PDF). Presented March 4, 2015 at California Association for Bilingual Education.

Cory Stai's presentation at LiRN

On February 19, 2015, Cory Stai of the Minnesota Department of Education presented the keynote to the Leaders in Reading Network. The topic was Fostering Literate Thinking: Demystifying Text Complexity. See the presentation here (PDF).

Dr. Alfred Tatum's presentation from CEHD Policy Breakfast

On January 20, 2015, Dr. Alfred Tatum, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, delivered the keynote address at the January 2015 CEHD Policy Breakfast, Framing Responsive Literacy Instruction in the National Policy Context. Dr. Tatum's presentation focused on advancing the reading, writing, and intellectual development of African American boys in ways that move beyond some of the limitations of policy authorizations. See Dr. Tatum's presentation here (PDF). See video clips from the Policy Breakfast here.

Leaders in Reading Network (LiRN) Presentation October 30, 2014

The Important Things: Creating Classrooms Where Thinking is Valued, presented by Nicki Clausen-Grace at the Leaders in Reading Network (LiRN) meeting, October 30, 2014. Download PDF.


Upcoming Events

Dr. Nonie Lesaux: Making Assessment Matter

Friday, September 25, 2015
Minnesota Department of Education
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Making Assessment MatterAttention Minnesota Teacher Educators, Administrators, PreK-12 Teachers & Literacy Leaders

Please join Minnesota literacy leaders and teacher educators in a Statewide Professional Book Club this summer! Regional Book Clubs are free and meet twice during the summer months. Participants then have the option to join colleagues from across the state at the Minnesota Department of Education on Friday, September 25, 2015 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM for an opportunity to learn from author and researcher Dr. Nonie Lesaux. Participants are welcome to attend the book club or symposium or BOTH! Minnesota Regional Book Club Facilitators have been identified and are inviting their higher education colleagues, PreK-12 teachers, administrators, and literacy leaders within their specific geographical area to be part of the summer book study of Dr. Nonie Lesaux’s Making assessment matter: Using test results to differentiate reading instruction.

If you would like to participate in a regional book club, please register here

The registration fee for the Friday, September 25, 2015 symposium with Dr. Nonie Lesaux is $75.00. Please register today! This event is sponsored by the Minnesota Center for Reading Research, Minnesota Academy of Reading, Minnesota Reading Association, Minnesota Department of Education, the International Dyslexia Association/Upper Midwest Branch (IDA-UMB), the Dean’s Office of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, and The June Stern Family Foundation. A special thank you goes to The June Stern Family Foundation whose financial contribution and vision make this event possible.

Dr. Nonie LesauxNonie Lesaux is a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Lesaux leads a research program that focuses on increasing opportunities to learn for students from diverse linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds in today’s classrooms. Her research on reading and vocabulary development, and instructional strategies to prevent reading difficulties has implications for practitioners, researchers, and policymakers. Dr. Lesaux is also a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to young professionals beginning their independent research careers.

News & Highlights

MCRR Quarterly Reader | February 2015

Check out the new MCRR Quarterly Reader, with updates on what's going on at MCRR.

MCRR Policy Brief: Making Sense of Dyslexia

Making Sense of Dyslexia | MCRR Policy BriefThe Minnesota Center for Reading Research has released a new Research to Policy Brief: Making Sense of Dyslexia (PDF).

The American Psychiatric Association (2000) defined dyslexia as reading achievement that:

  • is significantly below expected levels based on an individual’s age and education,
  • interferes with every day activities that involve reading, and
  • is low because of reasons other than sensory disorders such as visual impairments.

The term “dyslexia” is a medical term. Schools do not use the term “dyslexia.” Instead, special education laws use the term Specific Learning Disability (SLD). Experts do not agree on how to best identify SLD. Most school districts have historically relied on identifying a discrepancy between intelligence (IQ) and achievement (reading), but many are attempting alternative approaches...Click here to continue reading MCRR’s Research to Policy Brief: Making Sense of Dyslexia (PDF)

Online Course: Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Grades

MCRR will offer this 4-credit online course throughout 2013-14. Registration is now open!
New sessions will be starting each month throughout the academic year.

This course has been approved by the Minnesota Department of Education as a Reading Methods Program for applicants who completed out-of-state licensure programs. If your initial Minnesota Teaching Licence has a renewal condition stating that you must complete one or more "reading courses," this course would qualify toward that requirement. For more information, visit MDE: Licensing.

Professional Development

MCRR can help with your professional development needs

MCRR is available to help school leaders and teachers in grades K-6 learn how to use scientifically-based reading instruction to improve reading achievement. We can tailor sessions to the specific needs of your school. For more information contact us at 612-624-4561 or

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Last modified on July 14, 2011.