“I look at issues like poverty or systemic racism and other social ills and I can’t fix everything but the thing that I do know how to do is teach kids to read and help lots of other caring adults and educators learn to teach kids to read,” said Jessica Sliwerski, founder of Ignite! Reading.
Ignite! is a nonprofit that pairs elementary students with a trained tutor who provides 15 minutes of one-on-one, individualized reading and literacy tutoring via Zoom.
Sliwerski said she became motivated to launch Ignite! Reading after seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted education and how technology, such as Zoom, could be utilized to help close the learning gap students experienced during the pandemic.
After pitching the idea to Zoom, the organization was given a grant to start a pilot of the program in Oakland, California last summer. (March 2022)