Reading Achievement Center

The AIU's Reading Achievement Center (RAC) provides services and support designed to increase student learning and achievement in reading. The center's programs and services provide Allegheny County educators access to professional development, high quality materials and resources to transform and sustain effective literacy instruction in grades pre-K to 12.

Registration information will be distributed to district curriculum directors and building administrators.

Each teacher registration on Eventbrite MUST include a PPID # to award Act 48 credits.

TDA Training Materials

TDA Presentation 2016-2017 PowerPoint 

Grades 4-8 Texts and Student Responses

The K-3 Reading Apprenticeship Model

12 day series – $3,800 per participant

  • An initial session of intensive, comprehensive training in reading history, pedagogy, theory, research, and proven instructional practice
  • Monthly follow-up trainings to build depth and breadth of professional knowledge and application
  • All materials (including student materials and professional resources)
  • Monthly (or as needed) on-site technical assistance and corrective feedback
  • Administrators may attend any or all sessions at no cost


2017: September 18-19; October 10-11; November 16-17; December 13
2018: January 10; February 15; March 20; April 17; May 9

Registration: OPEN

Text Dependent Analysis: Effective Instructional Practices

4 day series – $600 per participant, 4th-7th grade ELA teachers

This four-day series focuses on effective teaching practices for helping students overcome some of the biggest struggles with the text dependent analysis (TDA) portion of the PSSA. Sessions will focus on teaching students how to understand the prompt, read and write for analysis, determine the best evidence, and craft the essay. Participants will engage in modeled research-based and classroom-tested activities to strengthen their own instruction.

  • All materials are included
  • Administrators may attend any or all sessions at no cost


2017: September 28; October 26; November 29
2018: January 18

Registration: OPEN

Cultivating Comprehension

4 day series - $600 per participant, 3rd-7th grade ELA teachers

This professional development series consists of four full days of training that focus exclusively on the literacy domain of reading comprehension. Targeted for teachers in grades 3 to 7, the content is directly aligned with the PA Core standards and state test expectations.  Participants learn techniques to design reading instruction that meets the standards’ rigorous expectations, both for literature and informational text.

  • All materials are included
  • Administrators may attend any or all sessions at no cost


2017: October 25; December 4
2018: January 30; March 7

Registration: OPEN


Teaching Writing

4 day series - $600 per participant 4th-8th teachers

Teaching Writing is a four day workshop series aligned to the writing instruction necessary to meet the demands of the PA Core standards. Designed for practical application in grades 4-8 ELA classrooms, participants engage in instructional practices based on current research on what makes a difference in student writing. Topics include teaching academic form, increasing the frequency of writing opportunities, providing effective and timely feedback, incorporating writing into reading, incorporating grammar instruction into reading and writing, conducting document reviews of student work, and teaching mode-specific writing for the PSSA TDA and writing prompts.

  • All materials are included
  • Administrators may attend any or all sessions at no cost


2017: October 3; November 2
2018: January 24; February 27

Registration: OPEN


Adolescent Literacy Institute

4 day series – $600 per participant – middle and high school English and Reading Teachers

The Adolescent Literacy Institute is a series of workshops for teachers in grades 7 to 12 focused on research-based literacy practices that support students as they become college and career ready. Specifically aligned with brain research on how adolescents learn, this workshop series engages participants in the research behind and modeling of effective reading and writing instruction for the secondary grades.

  • All materials are included
  • Administrators may attend any or all sessions at no cost


2017: October 17; November 14
2018: February 6; March 13

Registration: OPEN


Comprehension, Close Reading, and Complex Text:
Laying the Foundation K-2

4 day series – $400 per participant 

Transitioning students to the demands of the PA Core Standards is not a job just for teachers in the tested grades! This three-day series will support teachers in the primary grades in aligning their instructional practices to the PA Core. Participants will engage with teaching informational text, text dependent questions, close reading, scaffolding instruction using complex text, annotating text, designing rigorous tasks, and incorporating academic vocabulary into students’ vocabularies, specifically focusing on how to implement these concepts into everyday practice.

  • All materials are included
  • Administrators may attend any or all sessions at no cost


2017: November 8; December 6
2018: January 22; February 21

Registration: OPEN


English Language Arts (ELA) Symposium

2 days (no cost) 

2016-17 Topic: Mode-specific writing for the PSSA

The Reading Achievement Center provides two annual symposiums that focus on expert literacy practices aligned to the PA Core standards along with modeled instruction that meets the rigor of the standards.


2017: November 9 (3rd - 5th ELA Teachers)

2018: January 17 (6th- 8th ELA Teachers)

      Register today!


Questions about content?

Heather Moschetta, Ph.D. 

Lisa Yonek, Ed.D. 

Questions about billing/registration?

RAC Administrative Staff

Additional Information

The RAC room has limited samples of effective commercial programs and other educator resources to supplement and enhance classroom instruction and out-of-school learning. Reading Achievement Center staff are available to assist districts in reviewing curricular and instructional materials.


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