Partners in Literacy is dedicated to creating communities of readers in schools. Although we embrace technology and all that it offers us, our focus is print-based texts.  We believe that students in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade enjoy the “thingness” of holding  solid books in their hands.   Partners in Literacy helps schools create a culture of readers in schools.  A culture of reading exist when everyone is visible reading: custodians, principals, all teachers, staff,  and students.  A culture of reading exist when a broad variety of books are readily available  for check out at all times.  A culture of reading exists when the schools are connected to the  real and exciting world  of writers, publishers and bookstores.  Students in these schools talk about books and believe that their social status now and in the future will be enhanced by being seen as a reader both by their peers and their teachers.

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A reading volunteer  bookgroup, Mackenzie, Mia, Charlotte and Zoe,  reimagine The OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton


Partners in Literacy  incorporated in 2011.  It was incubated at the  Odyssey School of Denver. That is where its staff spent eleven years reading with all students in grades Kindergarten through eighth grade-struggling to accelerated.   They bought books for classroom libraries, made a wide variety of resources, assembled a library from scratch and created a reading volunteer program where every child in the school read with an adult once a week.  In 2o11, they  replicated their   reading volunteer program at a nearby failing middle school with great success.  In the summer of 2012, they  used what they had learned to remake a library in a at risk elementary school.

Our team

Julie Weilga - Director Julie Neitz Wielga Julie brings all her experience  from being a community organizer,  classroom teacher and reading specialist to make Partners in Literacy a unique organization.  She believes that books and libraries are the perfect center of any school.  Over and over again she sees teachers, volunteers,and students, together and  independently truly engaged with literature and content that broadens deepens and challenges them. Julie is founder and director of Partners in Literacy. Julie Neitz Wielga is an Odyssey School Educational Hero.
Judith Bergquist Judith is a circulation clerk at Pauline Robinson Library.  For Partners in Literacy, she  designs  library space that is intimate and inviting. She is gifted at developing library systems and is a master at solving almost any problem, from putting book cases together to figuring out library software.  Outside of her time in libraries, she is also an artisan. Her passion lies in the integration of art, history and incorporating cultural experiences into design.
Erin Isom Erin is a free thinker. Erin has a B.A. with a major in psychology and a minor in education. Her special talent is creating safe reading and learning  friendships with the child who is not comfortable anywhere. She is also good at almost everything including playing the drums. When she walks into the room, everyone feels better.

Our board

Ann Christensen Ann is a career educator currently providing Professional Development in Literacy Acquisition in Denver Public Schools.  Her interests are in children who are difficult to teach and expanding teachers’ ability to teach them.istensen
Mary McNeil Cheever - Baord of Directors Mary McNeil Cheever Mary has spent many years as an active fundraiser, organizer and volunteer working on behalf of children attending public schools in Colorado.  The mother of two daughters who attended Denver Public Schools, Mary enjoys reading, travel, movies, and hiking in the Rocky Mountains.
Shirley Stratford - Board of Directors Shirley Stafford Shirley has written a number of picture books which began as stories she told to her kindergarten students over the years and, now, to her grandchildren.  Shirley has been a teacher for 40 years.  She is a gifted storyteller and educator.  Her debut children’s book is now available.