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The Penn Literacy Network Difference

The goal of the Penn Literacy Network is to nurture and improve the quality of instruction for all students. With professional development tailored to the needs of individual schools and districts, PLN positively impacts teaching and learning, aligns with state standards, and improves student achievement.

What teachers are saying

  • “Left a lasting impact on the way that I teach.”
  • “The suggestions made in workshops or in mentoring can be used the next day.”
  • “Student attitudes, motivation level, and assessments show how the PLN course has improved their learning."
  • “The Four Lenses cannot be underestimated in terms of their positive impact on all students. My students, many who have significant learning and social challenges, tell me how much they love learning because it is interesting and fun. As a seasoned educator, my only wish is that I had been able to avail myself of this knowledge earlier in my career. I can only imagine the tremendous benefit to be derived by a beginning teacher.”
  • "The literacy approaches in math are enlightening and have helped me to understand how to use literacy techniques in a subject that doesn't lend itself to literacy quite as easily as language arts.”
  • “My students have come a long way. I walked into my class recently, picked up the previous day's lesson where I had left off, and the kids said, ‘Hey, where's our writing prompt?’”

What administrators are saying

Archbishop Ryan School

Over three years, we grew in our understanding of literacy and saw how reading, writing, speaking, and listening across all content areas could impact student learning in profound ways. Our classrooms became more interactive, our students became more engaged, and our teachers became more creative. This past year we raised our SAT English Reading and Writing score to above the national average.

Milton Hershey School

We have developed a partnership of more than 15 years with PLN and because of this, our instructors and administrators understand that literacy skills are a requisite across the curriculum. We speak the same “literacy” language. Our PSSA/Keystone results are one determiner of our success in this consistent, high-level professional learning. PLN courses have provided our faculty with practical, research-based strategies that have the power to transform classroom learning.

Williamsport High School

PLN helped to significantly improve three high schools where I have worked over the past 13 years. Using a transformational leadership model that included responsive instructional coaching while simultaneously building a strong, comprehensive literacy background with all teachers, has led to significant achievement growth and long-term opportunities for students at all three schools.

Derry Area School District

Veteran teachers have stated that PLN instructors and course content have transformed their instructional design and delivery, increased student engagement, renewed their enthusiasm for teaching, and provided them with practical, research-based strategies that can be implemented immediately. PLN has given us one voice throughout the district, across all schools, grade levels and content areas. This common language facilitates deep conversations between teachers and administrators on how to best serve our students. PLN has transformed our district and deepened the skill set of our students to be successful in an ever-changing world.

Northern York County School District

We know student learning is catalyzed when teachers facilitate learning activities that require students to summarize frequently and use higher level thinking skills. As a result of PLN, our students are utilizing these two powerful learning strategies through writing, explaining, building support for an argument, and solving problems, all within a co-constructivist learning atmosphere. Teachers have flourished because this professional development is relevant, authentic, and purposefully job-embedded, providing a climate that incorporates both high expectations and high support.

Parent Infant Center

I consider this one of our most successful professional development opportunities that we have ever had. We had a very mixed group of teachers, ranging in their own age and the age groups that they teach. Several barely knew each other. The coaches provided so many interactive activities, and the group gelled and became their own tight community. The content of the class was excellent. The teachers made great connections and were reflective in their comments. This was a huge success for us.

Catholic Partnership Schools

Nothing is more crucial to setting a child on the path to be successful than learning to read... to decode and comprehend and fall in love with reading. PLN works side-by-side with professional educators to help them master the strategies that will make our children readers. PLN’s Four Lenses approach--no need for extra or special materials--offers practical ways to help teachers create the instruction that entices children to fall into the depths of the written word. Through a coaching style that is specific and totally confirming, it offers the kind of support that teachers crave and that helps them develop into better educators.

Diocese of Camden, Office of Catholic Schools

I could not have imagined the tremendous impact that PLN would have on administrators and teachers but more importantly for students in the schools of the Diocese of Camden. The professional development programs that we have experienced during these past two years are rated as the best in most teachers' professional careers. Teachers in all content areas have been engaged, and the techniques and processes modeled in the professional development experiences are practical, sustainable and easily transmittable to all levels K-12.

Bet Shira Early Childhood Center

The Four Lenses of Learning and The Five Early Reading Writing Talking Processes take everything that our teachers have learned over the years about teaching literacy, science and math, making these frameworks useable for our classrooms. My teachers feel that these two mini-courses have been the most practical and worthwhile workshops that they have ever attended.

PLN Partners


  • Agora Cyber Charter School
  • Archdiocese of Philadelphia
  • Bangor Area School District
  • Carbondale Area School District
  • Centennial School District
  • Cheltenham School District
  • Coatesville School District
  • Cocalico School District
  • Colonial School District
  • Garnet Valley School District
  • Harrisburg School District
  • Innovative Arts Academy
  • Lancaster Catholic High School
  • Marple Newton School District
  • Mechanicsburg School District
  • Millville Area School District
  • Milton Hershey School
  • New Hope-Solebury School District
  • Northern York County School District
  • Neshaminy School District
  • Penn Manor School District
  • Penns Grove-Carneys Point School District
  • South Middleton School District
  • St. Marys School District
  • United Way of Westmoreland County
  • Westmont Hilltop School District
  • Williamsport School District
  • IUs 10, 16

New Jersey

  • Camden Archdiocese Schools
  • Cherry Hill School District
  • Gloucester City School District
  • Salem City County School District

New York

  • BOCES- Western Suffolk


  • SAU 70
  • Leeleand & Gray School District
  • Springfield School District


  • Minhang School District, China
  • Shainghai Pinghe School, China