Professional Development


Upcoming Speaking Engagements

  • Keynote Speaker, Texas Region 8 Education Excellence Conference, Mt. Pleasant, TX, June 3, 2020
  • Workshop Leader, Literacy How, Trumbull, CT, May 4, 2020
  • Featured Speaker, Virginia State Reading Association, March 28, 2020, Roanoke, VA
  • Featured Speaker, Dyslexia Society of Connecticut, March 20, 2020
  • Keynote Speaker, Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, October 2019
  • Keynote Speaker, Delaware Department of Education, Spring Literacy Conference, May 8, 2019
  • Plenary Speaker: 34th Annual Learning Differences Conference, March 2019 - Boston, MA, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Plenary Speaker: The Dyslexia Foundation Annual Conference: Dyslexia and Literacy – Understanding executive functions, language, and reading – UCLA – February, 2019 (

Professional Development Opportunities

Kelly is available to present professional development sessions for PreK-12 educators on the following topics:

  • Good Readers are Good Thinkers: Teaching Executive Skills to Support Reading Comprehension
  • Word Callers: Interventions for Children who Struggle with Reading Comprehension
  • Play, Talk, Think: Getting Brains Ready to Learn (Executive Skills in Young Learners)
  • Contact Kelly to discuss other topics


“If you are a classroom teacher, reading specialist, or graduate student looking for one book that not only will have a deep impact on your understanding of thinking and learning, but also will significantly improve your instructional practice related to reading comprehension, look no further. Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension is that book.”

Robb Gaskins, PhD, Head of School

Benchmark School

Media, Pennsylvania

“I can’t begin to tell you how much our faculty enjoyed your workshop last Thursday. We have talked about it for days! The teachers are so excited and looking forward to using the assessment and strategies to help identify our word callers and provide the much needed remediation. With this knowledge perhaps we can truly meet their instructional needs and further open the door to the world of reading!  It is so wonderful to participate in staff development that is meaningful and meets the needs of educators. Your delivery was also exceptional! That was a long day and you kept the interest of all-all day long! What a gift!!!  Thank you again for helping us learn more about our students and how to address their needs.” 


Sonia Truitt, Assistant Principal

Galax Elementary School

Galax, Virginia 

“Anyone who teaches in the intermediate grades is familiar with word callers. They are those kids that can't seem to use strategies to improve their comprehension. They get little or nothing out of print, even when they have background knowledge to support them. They flit from book to book and say they "hate reading".  I have read many books in my ten years as an educator about trying to reach these students, but NOTHING I have ever read was as well-written and simple to follow as this book. It should be required reading for every intermediate teacher. It begins with a solid research base as to why these, often bright, students are floundering. Come to find out, it is often a lack of executive skills. Or, put simply, they do not have the mental flexibility to handle decoding and making meaning simultaneously. Can we measure this flexible thinking? Yes! This book has a simple, quick assessment to do just that. Can we improve this flexible thinking? Absolutely...although the methods are not at all traditional. Several ways to reach these students are described in detail in this book. Does it take a big investment in time or materials? No! Everything you need for the assessment and most of what you need for teaching is included. Other materials you might need are easy to obtain. And the best part? You can make a huge difference in your word caller's comprehension in just a matter of weeks, using Kelly's methods.”

C Jones, South Berwick, Maine

"I teach kindergarten and had 4 children come in reading very high this year. Two had excellent comprehension and two had little to no comprehension despite "reading" over 75 wcpm. The typical things I do to improve comprehension worked well with one student but the other barely made progress. Someone in one of my reading specialist graduate courses mentioned this book when I spoke of my concerns for this child. I bought the book, did what it said and her comprehension soared! I have shared the book with fellow staff and they are very excited. We have ordered 5 more books for staff to use.  I am using it in tutoring a second grade boy and am loving the results. He is so much happier now because he is understanding what he is reading.  I have been using it with all of my students in a small group setting. I have seen it transfer to math comprehension also."

Paula, Minnesota

Contact Kelly Cartwright

1 Avenue of the ArtsNewport News, Virginia 23606, United States (757) 594-7949