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Dedicated to achieving 100% literacy by 2035 for all California students 4 to 8 years old.

Mission x Vision

Our mission is to achieve 100% literacy by 2035 for all California students 4 to 8 years old.

Our vision is an equitable education for all children. We unite and catalyze California private and public stakeholders to direct resources to schools to achieve 100% literacy for all of California’s children before they reach the age of 8. 

Informed by research in neuroscience and reading science, as well as by expertise in data analysis and software development, Breaking Barriers By Eight (BB•8) advises State policymakers and provides support for early screening, teacher training and integrated whole child-based approaches for all California schools and counties.

Guiding Beliefs x Values

Guiding Beliefs+Values

Breaking Barriers By 8 believes:

LITERACY IS AN EQUITY ISSUE. The role of basic literacy education in the broader framework of the U.S. Constitution suggests that it is essential to the exercise of other fundamental human rights.


NEUROSCIENCE research of a developing brain should inform pedagogical methods because learning is both a cognitive and an emotional process.


STRUCTURED LITERACY training for teachers, TK through grade 3, will lead to improved reading and writing skills for all students.

WELL-BEING and PHYSICAL HEALTH are key influencers on a child’s ability to read and to write to their fullest capability.


UNIVERSAL SCREENING for language-based learning differences and psychometric data is key to achieving 100% literacy and should be free to all.


PRIVATE CORPORATIONS have a stake in supporting the development of[e2]  a vital, more diverse workforce and a better quality of life for our communities.


RESEARCH and DATA-INFORMED decision-making are critical to effective education.


TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS to assist teachers are part of the solution.


Our Team

Our Team

Steve Carnevale

Founder & Chairman, UCSF Dyslexia Center +
Founder, Point Cypress Ventures President Emeritus Alliance
for Excellent Education

Elizabeth Estes

AALRR law firm (specializing in education) +
Commissioner to Governor’s Advisory + Commission on Special Education

Matthew Kropp

Managing Director & Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Sue Shalvey

Former National Director of Charter Schools for Aspire +
Former Member of California Task Force of Special Education

Kristen Wright

Exec. Director of Equity, Diversity, Early Intervention, and
Support Services for Sacramento County Office of Education + Former California State Director of Special Education

at the California Department of Education 

Laura A. Jana, MD
Pediatrician, Author, Early Childhood & Early Literacy Advocate
Founder - Jana Ventures and Amazing Me Books
Adjunct Research Professor - Penn State University’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center
Patrick Brennan

VP of Government Affairs, Learning Ally +
Board member, Strategic Research Education Partnership (SERP)

Bob Wise

Former Governor and US Representative of West Virginia +

Former Chair of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 


Ron Powell

Former CEO of CA Association of Health and Wellness +

Former Administrator for Desert/Mountain SELPA and Childcare Center


Katrina Maestri

Board President, Chartwell School +
UCSF Dyslexia Advisory Board Member +
Marketing & New Business for GM Motors


Karen Rosenquist

Founder & Executive Director, North Bridge Academy &

Board Trustee Canal Alliance



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