Valparaiso University Drives State Reading Initiative

Jan. 31, 2023 – Valparaiso, Indiana – Valparaiso University has been selected to receive a $75,000 planning grant as part of an initiative by the Indiana Department of Education to enhance literacy education. Titled “Advancing Science of Reading in Indiana,” the grant is the first part of a two-phase project to give Valpo education students and established local educators the tools they need to help raise reading scores in the K-12 system. 

The majority of the funding from this grant will be used for the development of a Center for Literacy on campus. The Center will educate undergraduate students and Transition to Teaching students on the effective implementation of Science of Reading — a set of extensively researched teaching practices that have proven to be highly effective in literacy education. 

“We’re already doing this work,” said Benjamin Boche, Ph.D., assistant professor of education. “We’re already an evidence-based practice institution, we’ve been teaching Science of Reading in our undergraduate program, so it’s a natural fit. It’s also a way to expand our outreach and reemphasize our focus.”

In addition to the creation of the Center, the grant will support a needs assessment of recent graduates, assess the understanding and implementation of Science of Reading in local schools, and allow faculty to visit similar centers for literacy across the country to research best practices. 

An implementation grant is planned to follow the planning grant later this year. The funding from the second grant will be used to operate the Center for Literacy, support undergraduates and recent graduates of the education program, and connect students with in-service teachers for mentorship.

To find out more about Valparaiso University’s education program, visit