83. Literacy as liberation with Nikolai Pizarro of Raising Readers

How can education be a way to create more belonging and contribution for young people?

To frame this conversation, I want to go back to the 2021 / 2022 school year. Even though the initial blows of pandemic schooling had already been experienced, collectively we were all living in the aftershocks and reverberations of what went down in 2020. Personally, my eldest son was just finishing up his SK year and it was a chaotic time in his classroom. I remember having the realization that I should teach him to read because it might be hard for him to learn in his classroom. 

At about that same time, I found the work of Nikolai Pizarro online and her message made sense to me. Nikolai works with parents to, as she says it best: centre home as epicentre or humanity centred literacy instruction. 

In this conversation, we get into how literacy can be used as a tool for liberation, how schools can de-centre themselves, the brave moves teachers make when they realize children are suffering, and the educational trauma that so many adults have experienced. Oh and the science of reading–we definitely get deep into those waters in this episode! 

Nikolai is one of those people that I just want to be near to soak up their wisdom and way of being. She went through the traditional system–all the way to earn a freaking MBA–but then she saw a different path for her own children and boldly charted a new course for her family but also for all families. 

This is a good one, this is an important one, this is a powerful one. I hope you will enjoy as much as I did. 

Things Mentioned in This Episode:

Nikolai’s website

Nikolai on Instagram

Sold a Story podcast

The Fight Over Phonics episode on The Daily


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