Reading with Relevance: Building Independent Readers and Thinkers

Reading with Relevance, a partnership between Savvas and the Moving Forward Institute, is a powerful resource that integrates social and emotional learning with critical literacy skills.

  • Relevant, diverse novels
  • Inspirational novels with relatable characters
  • Improves self-confidence and empathy
  • Improves learning outcomes in just 15 minutes per day

An Easy-to-Use SEL and Literacy Resource

Reading with Relevance is a literacy curriculum that focuses on students’ emotional well-being as a critical strategy for improving their academic achievement.


CASEL-certified Curriculum

Reading with Relevance is the only novels-based SEL program certified by The Center for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), which has rigorous criteria for SELect Programs.


Easy-to-Follow Lesson Plans

An easy-to-use lesson structure requires only 15 minutes each day, making Reading with Relevance the ideal SEL solution.


Relevant, Diverse Literature

This program’s foundation is that students’ feelings about themselves and their lives directly impacts their ability to engage with and succeed in school and work.


Character-Driven Motivation for Learners

Content-rich novels engage students’ literacy skills and support their character development and self-confidence. Students are motivated by the strong, diverse, resilient characters featured; each session also provides the opportunity to connect what they’ve read to their own lives.

Reading with Relevance Samplers

  • Grades 2-3 Teaching Sampler: Donovan’s Word Jar
  • Grades 6-8 Teaching Sampler
  • Grades 8-10 Teaching Sampler
  • Read the Research
  • Case Studies

Donovan’s Word Jar: Teaching Sampler (Grades 2-3)

Donavan’s Word Jar is the story of a young African-American boy, Donavan, trying to solve his dilemma: He has too many words to fit in his word jar collection! This novel connects powerful social and emotional themes–perseverance, family, empathy, education, and kindness–with students’ own lives.

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Ghost Teaching Sampler (Grades 6-8)

The novel’s focus is Castle, a compassionate yet flawed seventh-grader, who finds comfort and joy when he joins the track team. His story examines themes like poverty, bullying, friendship, overcoming trauma, inspiring students to build connections between Castle’s redemptive life story and their own.

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The House on Mango Street Teaching Sampler (Grades 8-10)

The story of a pre-teen Chicana growing up in the barrio in Chicago, Esperanza narrates stories of herself and her neighborhood, experiencing joy, loss, change, and growth along the way. Esperanza’s rich, challenging journey will inspire your students.

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A Study of Program Efficacy

Read this efficacy report on Embedding Social and Emotional Skill Development in Common Core-Aligned English Language Arts Instruction.

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Court School Case Study Martinez, California

Learn more about how Reading with Relevance accelerates student achievement.

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School Stories

In these inspirational stories, you'll learn about what schools and districts from across the country are doing to help students succeed and shape the future of education.

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