September 27, 2018 | Washington, DC

Program and Videos

The National Reading Coalition convened leaders across different sectors starting with three pioneers in addressing and supporting childhood literacy from a corporate perspective. Each shared a case study, then led a panel with participants who have shown leadership around an educational or childhood issue, created partnerships to address it, and have made an impact. These organizations have led the way in defining successful models that address the link between literacy and their future workforce.

Welcome Remarks

Alicia Levi, Reading Is Fundamental, President & CEO
Jack Remondi, Reading Is Fundamental, Chairman of the Board

Keynote Speaker

Dane Linn, Business Roundtable, Vice President

Case Study and Panel

Denine Torr, Dollar General Corporation, Senior Director, Community Initiatives

Denine presented the multi-faceted approach Dollar General has taken to make a sustainable and measurable impact on literacy by working with a broad range of community partners.

The panel shared insights, accomplishments, and challenges in working through public and private partnerships and provided takeaways on pathways forward that we can apply to the literacy issue.


Courtney Kissell, National PTA, Director of Programs & Partnerships
Tanya Tucker, America’s Promise Alliance, Chief of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships
Guy Vickers, PVH Corp., President, PVH Foundation

Case Study and Panel

Kathleen Ryan Mufson, Pitney Bowes Foundation, President

By focusing on support of education among school districts in communities where Pitney Bowes has a presence, this case study highlighted their long history partnering with community organizations and schools to help children grow into healthy, productive adults.

This panel of experts in education from different disciplines helped attendees understand the current educational environment, showcased ways that their organizations currently bridge the gap in educational systems, and discussed ideas that can be replicated to create meaningful, sustainable change.


Susanne H. Thompson, Discovery Education, Senior Vice President, Corporate Education Partnerships
Lee Ann Potter, Library of Congress, Director of Educational Outreach
Timothy Shanahan, University of Illinois at Chicago, Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Rebecca Zalesnik, Sheldon Independent School District, Director of Innovative Programs

Case Study

Joseph Swope, UGI Utilities, Inc., Manager, Media Relations & Special Projects

Joseph highlighted UGI Utilities' history and experience leveraging government funds from the Pennsylvania tax program to support literacy programs for underserved first graders in their service area.

These experts helped us understand the current environment and how to navigate it successfully to partner with government agencies to activate innovative literacy programs.


Allie Kimmel, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Senior Education Policy Advisor
Jessie Lyons, Scholastic, Inc., Vice President, Government Relations & Strategic Partnerships
Beth Caron, PhD, National Governors Association, Program Director for Early Care and Education at the NGA Center for Best Practices, Education Division

The Impact Of Reading

Elisha DeMaria, Textbook Buyer for NYU, Children’s Advocate and Former RIF Kid

Closing Remarks