Our theory of change requires that middle school students who struggle with reading have access to a broad variety of content on which they are able to exercise their interests through reading. Thus, we are working to offer voluminous content choices, primarily so that every reluctant or recovering reader can find enough high-interest, high-relevance, high-authenticity content to recruit their individual interests. To provide access to the most varied, authentic, and high interest content, we are recruiting content partnerships with organizations that already have content of high appeal to our stakeholders and that is available on the World Wide Web.
The first step, at least for students who have already struggled to read in the past, is to give them ample and compelling reasons to read. Our “theory of action” is thus to provide voluminous content choices, primarily so that every reluctant or recovering reader can find enough high-interest, high-relevance, high-authenticity content to recruit their individual interests and to ensure that they will find things that they are eager and enthusiastic to read and learn about – UDIO will provide the extra support they are likely to need. Obviously what will be compelling to one individual student will not be compelling to another. For that reason, UDIO depends upon the availability of a wide variety of things to read, things that are widely varied, timely, authentic, individually relevant, and culturally responsive.
UDIO does not seek to develop new sources of content to meet this need. That would be far too broad a task. More importantly, we believe (and our research demonstrates) that there is rich, compelling, and voluminous content available on the World Wide Web that students are already eager to read.
Our tactic was to establish content partnerships with those organizations that already have content of high appeal to students – varied students – and to work with those partners to include their content – with full attribution – as a public service for the public good of literacy.