IRA was founded in 1956 as a nonprofit professional organization for those involved in teaching reading to learners of all ages. Our members are dedicated to promoting high levels of literacy for all by
Improving the quality of reading instruction
Disseminating research and information about reading
Encouraging the lifetime reading habit
These goals are set forth in the Associations Mission Statement, which also discusses the nature and purposes of the organization.
Whether your interest is research or practice, traditional print-based reading and writing or the new literacies of the Internet age, new readers or those acquiring higher level skills, we offer something for you.
Advocacy and global outreach
Locally, nationally, and worldwide, we are advocates for policy, curriculum, and education reform that support the best interests of teachers and learners. Our international initiatives encourage communication and collaboration among professionals across national boundaries.
Awards and grants
The Associations awards program includes honors for teaching, service to the profession, research, media coverage of reading, and authorship of childrens books. Grants support professional development, graduate studies, and research.
Meetings and events
Conferences and smaller meetings provide professional development opportunities to educators across the globe.
We reach out to educators directly through a network of councils and affiliates. These organizations extend our community to more than 300,000 reading professionals in 99 countries. Special interest groups are available for those interested in specific topics in reading education, and Alpha Upsilon Alpha Honor Society chapters support education students preparing to enter the profession.
IRA publishes the leading peer-reviewed journals in the field and offers more than 150 books, brochures, and other resources in print. Reading Today, our bimonthly newspaper, keeps members up to date on issues in reading and IRA activities.
The Association is its membership of dedicated individuals, for and from whom we draw expertise, develop programs, and create services. Our member-elected Board of Directors provides leadership, while committees support the Boards work in focused areas.
A professional staff at three office locations serves the membership by supporting programs and services.