Gordon in the News: last updated 09/29/2010

Helping Johnny Read: Veteran Teacher, Author and Literacy Expert Anthony Pedriana to Speak at Gordon

September 19, 2010

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communication

WENHAM, MA—The latest figures from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that nearly two-thirds of American fourth graders are below level readers while children from poor families lag behind their middle class peers by 30 percentage points.

Anthony Pedriana wants to change that. With 30 years of experience as a veteran teacher, administrator, and author, Pedriana believes every child deserves a chance to read at grade level, and with the right instruction, can achieve such success.

His inspiring research and observations will be the subject of his talk when Pedriana comes to Gordon College on Wednesday, September 29. Sponsored by Gordon’s department of education, Pedriana’s presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in the Ken Olsen Science Center and will address steps to overcome the barriers to literacy and reclaim at-risk readers.

“Considering how important this issue is to the futures of so many children, we’re honored to have Dr. Pedriana share with us at Gordon,” said Priscilla Nelson, assistant professor of education. “Through his research and personal experience, he’s learned how teachers can help every child learn to read at grade level. I’m confident that the teachers, parents, school administrators, and policymakers who hear him will come away with important lessons.”

Because early literacy remains one of the most powerful predictors of school success, gainful employment and societal adjustment, Pedriana’s talk will provide helpful examples and models, including his own successful program in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Pedriana says that one cannot advocate for children without advocating for teachers as well.

Pedriana’s frustration at the lack of reading progress by students from poor backgrounds prompted him to look beyond the conventional wisdom of reading methodology. His discoveries led to his seminal book Leaving Johnny Behind: Overcoming Barriers to Literacy and Reclaiming At-Risk Readers.

Pedriana’s talk is free and open to the public. Gordon College is located at 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA, Exit 17 from Route 128. For more information contact Priscilla Nelson at Gordon College or 978.867.4322.


Gordon College is a multi-denominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 36 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu