Childhood Education Expert Offers Literacy Coaching for Parents

A Reading Mother, a Rye-based literacy business, is now offering coaching for parents to help their children who are struggling with reading and writing. Owned and operated by Molly Ness, Ph.D., a nationally recognized author and researcher, the business works to empower parents and help them support their children as they develop into proficient readers. Dr. Ness has a doctorate in reading education and is also an associate professor of childhood education at Fordham University. She launched A Reading Mother in June and began offering parent coaching in September.

Through her coaching, Dr. Ness aims to help parents with children in kindergarten to sixth grade assist in their child’s literacy development. The process starts with a candid discussion with parents about their child’s work, strengths, and weaknesses. From there, Dr. Ness will typically meet with the child and have the parents watch her model language and literacy strategies. Dr. Ness meets with parents and their child an average of two to four times, though scheduled sessions vary depending on the needs of each child.

“This is a different approach. I think a lot of parents have the power and capacity to help grow readers at home and it doesn’t always have to be something that has to be farmed out to a school or tutoring company,” Dr. Ness says. “One of my areas of interest is helping parents with what they should be doing to be as effective as possible.”

One technique Dr. Ness uses for younger children is print-focused, during which the parent or instructor asks the child to point to a specific word or letter on the page, which helps reinforce word recognition. When teaching older children, Dr. Ness will go over reading comprehension, stopping at various points to ask questions about the story, something she discusses in her book, Think Big With Think Alouds.

In addition to parental coaching services, Dr. Ness—who has more than 15 years of teaching and clinical reading experience—also offers educational evaluations and works with teachers and schools to provide additional professional support.

A Reading Mother is located at 16 School St. in Rye. For more information, call 434-242-3733, email [email protected], or visit

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Main image: Molly Ness, Ph.D., launched A Reading Mother in June.
Jo Bryan