Makepeace Literacy Leadership Center

Partners in Literacy

With a grant from the A.D. Makepeace Company, Carver Public Schools and HILL for Literacy formed a partnership to provide professional development and support for literacy education for schools in southeastern Massachusetts. The center, located in Carver MA, is used daily for a variety of literacy training and sharing activities. Since its inception in 2011, the center has trained over 2,000 teachers from more than 55 districts.

“When I conceived of the idea of a regional model for dissemination of best practices in literacy, I wrote a grant. They really only give small seed money grants, but they believed in me, and believed in the results we were getting,” said Liz Sorrell, superintendent of Carver Public Schools on the generosity of A.D. Makepeace Company’s funding.


“One of the greatest equalizers in the world is education. What you get here, you can’t find somewhere else all in one place.”

Mike Hogan

President & CEO, A.D. Makepeace Company

A Dynamic Center for Learning

A collaborative space for educators to learn and grow, housed within a district, is an innovation that is extremely supportive for in-house staff and people from outside districts. Plus, the dynamic physical space is a huge improvement over past resources.

“When we provided professional development here eight years ago, we were stuffed into a very small library with small children chairs. It was the vision of the superintendent here in Carver to create what is now the Makepeace Center. It’s just a much more professional look and feel, and teachers deserve that,” said Eleni Steadman, a HILL for Literacy facilitator who presents workshops and trainings at the Makepeace Literacy Leadership Center.

One of the keys to the center’s success is its longtime partnership with HILL for Literacy in providing professional development for teachers in the southeastern Massachusetts region. Said Hogan, “One of the things we were excited about is that they weren’t trying to do this on their own. They found a recognized leader in the HILL who could do this education, who had had success, was driven by data, and had done it in communities and districts that had much greater needs than the districts around here, and had been successful at it.”

Built on a Foundation of Literacy Excellence

A Culture of Literacy

Beginning in 2005, the Carver School district embraced the HILL model and built a culture of literacy: using data to drive instruction. They were so pleased with the success in literacy that they utilized the model to improve math instruction as well.  Now in partnership with the Makepeace Center, the HILL reaches dozens of districts in the south shore region with literacy training. Carver has become a center of excellence for literacy leadership and a shining example of what can be accomplished with a focus on leadership and data driven instruction. In 2012, Carver High School achieved 98% success on MCAS Language Arts scores.

The Key to Success: The Data Meeting

Carver uses the Data Meeting model to inform instructional direction. They hold data meetings three times per year involving the literacy director, reading specialists, interventionists, administrators, and classroom teachers. They analyze each student to make sure no one slip through the cracks. It becomes clear what each student needs and every student receives 45 minutes of intervention a day targeted at their skill level. Carver’s RTI model, Walk To Read, gets children moving and interacting with all teachers. As a result of working with the HILL, they have fewer students identified as needing Special Education, and more resources available to give the extra intervention to students who truly need it.

“Our teachers have learned to meet the individual needs of all their children in their class each day. It is amazing to see the level of skills they have attained. The HILL model helped us transform our district, reach more children in the classroom, and free up resources for special needs.”

Liz Sorrell

Superintendent, Carver Public Schools

MCAS: Top in the State

In 2012, Carver Public Schools was among the top three schools in the state for MCAS, scoring an all-time high in ELA with 98% Proficient & Advanced! Only 1.7% scored Needs Improvement down from 13% the year before. The graph tracks the same students over six years as their reading improves, beginning in 4th grade with 40% at Needs Improvement and leading to the outstanding results in high school.

How Can I Help My Community?

We don’t take the challenge of teaching kids to read lightly: according the 2013 NAEP results, 66% of 4th graders fail to read at grade level each year and we know that we can help them. How? Working with leadership-oriented principals and superintendents, and supported by the highest-quality literacy professionals in the nation, HILL for Literacy helps schools transform into efficient, systemic platforms for literacy excellence. Contact us to find out how we can help your school or district today, or click below to learn more about how you can support our programs in your community!