Annual Report

School Year 2021-22

Quick Stats For SY 2021-22

Schools Served

Teachers Trained

Children Reached

cents of every $ spent went toward direct delivery in schools


Dear Colleagues,

School year 2021-22 was a year of exponential growth for HILL for Literacy. The demand for our services significantly increased, due in large part to our work with Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and our Science of Reading Professional Learning Series. As a result, we hired 9 new facilitators and 20 consultants to ensure we continued to provide high quality service to our expanding client base.

A major highlight of our year was our merger with Momenta (formerly Bay State Reading Institute). We’ve been longtime colleagues and with missions so well-aligned, it only made sense to work together rather than competitively. We’ve taken on some of their staff and clients, and we look forward to dovetailing the complementary pieces of their process into the HILL’s to provide the most robust support possible for our schools and districts.

This past year presented many exciting opportunities for the HILL. We partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on three new initiatives: GLEAM, Mass Literacy: Open Access Professional Learning, and the Mass Literacy Support Network Meetings. We’re thrilled that all three initiatives are expected to continue in the next school year. Our newest offering, the Science of Reading Professional Learning Series, garnered huge interest in 2021-22. Over the course of the year, we held 54 series through in-district and open enrollment workshops, and trained approximately 1,400 teachers in the critical components of literacy instruction. We also expanded our work in Bridgeport, CT, providing training and support around leadership practices, multi-tiered instruction, professional development, and data meeting implementation, to great success.

We anticipate school year 2022-23 will be a year of even more growth for the HILL. We look forward to continuing our partnership with DESE and impacting even more teachers in the state through their initiatives. Our commitment to developing the technology to support our schools with HILL Online also continues. We plan to refine and expand those efforts in the coming year to provide the teachers we serve with high quality tools that will help them apply evidence-based practices in the classroom. As the HILL continues to grow at a rapid pace, we’re eager for what the future holds and broadening our reach to even more schools and districts.

As a nonprofit, our organization’s ability to continue operations is due in part to the generous donations of community members and foundations. We don’t take the challenge of teaching kids to read lightly: according the latest NAEP results, 65% of 4th graders fail to read at grade level each year and we know that we can help them even if they aren’t in a physical classroom. Your support can have a tangible, meaningful impact on the lives of children in HILL schools. Donations can be made via our website or by contacting the HILL office at 888-860-0190.

Best Wishes,

Darci Burns, Ph.D.
Executive Director


HILL-Momenta Merger

During the 2021-22 school year, HILL for Literacy and Momenta, two literacy organizations with a long track record of providing support around evidence-based practices to schools and districts, combined their resources and expertise in a merger.

Both organizations started in the early 2000s with similar philosophies and approaches to helping schools improve their teaching of literacy. Recently, the HILL has evolved by systematizing processes, expanding outside Massachusetts, building a reputation and network within education thought leaders, and bringing more services online.

The Boards of the two organizations agreed that a merger, with the HILL as the sole surviving entity, was the best way to harness their strengths and address the challenges to attaining sustainability. The merger has had several advantages including increased effectiveness in improving literacy education for children through combining our staff and methodologies and a greater efficiency on the administrative side, which will lead to improved sustainability and an overall reduction in cost per student impacted.

Expanding Partnership with MA DESE

The HILL is proud to have partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on several exciting initiatives in school year 2021-22:

  • GLEAM, Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts. This project is intended to support implementation of deep and lasting improvements in programming across the Commonwealth through a multi-tiered system of support for ELA/literacy, as well as expanded access to high-quality preK. We’re working with 8 districts and have made great progress this year in conducting needs assessments and guiding the process of selecting high quality core programs.
  • Mass Literacy Support Network. The HILL was selected to facilitate DESE’s virtual network of educators seeking to improve and expand their use of evidence-based early literacy practices and data-based decision making. We provided 5 trainings focused on maximizing data-meeting effectiveness to 90 educators from 51 districts across the state, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
  • Mass Literacy: Open Access Professional Learning (OAPL). DESE is offering educators an approved selection of professional learning opportunities focused on early literacy. Qualified Massachusetts educators can enroll in these courses for free and receive a stipend upon completion. We’re thrilled to offer our Science of Reading Professional Learning Series as an OAPL course. Interest has been very high in this timely topic, and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the next school year as well!

Bridgeport-HILL For Literacy Partnership

During this past school year, HILL for Literacy worked closely with Bridgeport Public Schools in CT to implement our K-3 Literacy Model in their district and help close their achievement gap. The district includes 36 schools and serves nearly 20,000 students, 89.1% of whom are minorities, 50.8% are economically disadvantaged, and 14.1% are English language learners.

We provided training and support around leadership practices, multi-tiered instruction, professional development, and data meeting implementation. Thanks to the hard work, collaboration, and dedication of our joint team, Bridgeport teachers are already seeing improvements in their students’ literacy skills, and teachers and staff are eager to continue the forward momentum of our partnership. We’re very proud of the progress that’s been made, and we’re excited to continue the collaboration in the next school year.

Watch this brief video to hear what our partners in Bridgeport have to say!

Science of Reading Series Takes Off

In an effort to increase student proficiency in early reading, the HILL developed its proprietary training sequence to empower educators to understand and act upon scientific, evidence-based practices, materials, and assessments.

The Science of Reading: Professional Learning Series (SOR) arms educators with the foundational knowledge to teach reading to K-5 students through an asset-based approach and provides educators with strong base-knowledge to differentiate instruction amongst students. These modules can be translated across any reading program or instructional pathway. The original series is 10 modules for grades K-2 or 3-5 with an additional 7 modules called Digging Deeper into the Science of Reading launching in Summer 2022. We’re also developing an adolescent literacy track, an administration track, and a cultural responsiveness sequence. In the past year, demand for this course has skyrocketed! Between our in-district and open enrollment trainings we’ve held 481 training sessions attended by approximately 1,500 teachers, reaching 92 districts.

Key Partners

Black and Puerto Rican Caucus of the Connecticut General Assembly
Center on Teaching and Learning, University of Oregon
Center for Behavioral Education & Research, University of Connecticut
Commonwealth Learning Online Institute
Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors
Connecticut State Department of Education
Crafting Minds
Educational Performance Systems, Inc
The Grimes Reading Institute
Keys to Literacy
Literacy How
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Professional Training Institute
Public Consulting Group
Rhode Island Department of Education
Right to Read CT
RMC Research Corporation
The Reading Institute
YMCA of the Northshore

Our Supporters

For a complete list of HILL Supporters, please click the link below.

Our Schools

For a complete list of HILL Schools, please click the link below.

Interested? Give Us a Call or Email!

888.860.0190 |


from FY2020-21 financial audit



For more about the administrative side of the HILL, please see the links below.

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