Marcia Invernizzi (2023)

Henderson Professor of Reading Education, Emerita
School of Education & Human Development
University of Virginia


mai [at]

Mailing Address: 

Bavaro Hall 312, P.O. Box 400267, 417 Emmet Street S, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Curriculum Vitae: 

Biographical Statement

Dr. Invernizzi received a Ph.D. in Reading Education from the University of Virginia in 1985. Marcia’s classroom teaching experience confirmed her deep commitment to literacy development and the prevention of reading failure, and she has earned international recognition for her research, particularly in preschool and elementary-age children. Her work has been published in a wide range of articles and book chapters including Reading Research Quarterly, Scientific Studies of Reading, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Applied Psycholinguistics, The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, and The Elementary School Journal. Marcia’s development of the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) has impacted assessments and teaching in six countries and all 50 states. PALS identifies and provides customized learning experiences for young children at risk of becoming poor readers. Through a grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences, she also developed PALS-español for Spanish-speaking students. In recognition of this work Marcia was awarded the University of Virginia’s top “Innovator of the Year” award, which noted how PALS had given teachers “the tools to effectively teach reading, even where budgets are limited.” Marcia is a founder of Book Buddies, a nationally recognized one-on-one reading intervention, and co-author of the professional publication Book Buddies—a Tutoring Framework for Struggling Readers, now in its 3rd edition, as well as Words Their Way, now in its 7th edition. Her coauthorship of instructional resources for teachers has in turn impacted thousands of students. From 1990-2018 Marcia was Executive Director of the McGuffey Reading Center at the University of Virginia, the oldest operating University reading center in the United States.