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About PRI


The Penn Reading Initiative is a tutoring program developed by the University of Pennsylvania Linguistics Laboratory to raise the reading levels of urban elementary school students. PRI tutors use The Reading Road, a curriculum that includes lessons, stories, and games designed to engage the interest in reading of inner-city kids. Students in low-income areas of American cities are at risk for reading failure. Consideration for the home language of these students distinguishes PRI from other research-based reading programs. PRI is committed to making practical knowledge about language and literacy available to everyone. Contact us if you have any questions or comments about the information on this site.

Our Mission

Our mission is to apply sociolinguistic knowledge to improve the teaching of reading in inner-city schools through the development and use of a curriculum called The Reading Road.

The Reading Gap

Due to the high segregation of American cities, African-American residents of inner-city neighborhoods are particularly unlikely to have direct contact with other sectors of society. This isolation puts people at high risk for reading failure.