Alyssa Ricke UFLI Contributing Author, Coach and Passionate Literacy Advocate


It was an extraordinary treat to have an hour in conversation with Dr. Alyssa (Aly) Ricke. Her passion for the work the University of Floria Literacy Institute (UFLI) has engaged in comes through in every sentence.   For those who wonder what researched work entails, there is little doubt that UFLI is born of research (Check their YouTube post on the “Science of Reading and their work)  and a passion for supporting teachers in their work with students.

Dr. Alyssa (Aly) Ricke graduated from UF with her Bachelor in Special Education and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Since then, she has been a teacher and literacy coach. After receiving her Reading Specialist degree from the University of Florida in 2016 and gaining experience as a literacy coach, she returned to UF. She completed her doctoral program in Special Education with a specialization in dyslexia. Dr. Ricke’s dissertation research focused on the state of literacy coaching in Florida elementary schools.

As of January 2019, she began working for the University of Florida as a Partnership Facilitator for the James Patterson Literacy Challenge. As a JPLC partnership facilitator, one of her most important roles is guiding teachers in implementing research-based reading practices within their classrooms. 

More recently, Dr. Ricke helped create the systematic and explicit phonics program UFLI Foundations as a contributing author. She continues to develop content and resources for the program, especially those related to the decodables, literacy coaching, and supporting teachers’ program implementation.

Aly shared her current professional and personal reading. The latter happens to be primarily picture books read with her child. For the holiday season, she wraps 24 books and opens one with her daughter each day leading up to Christmas. Some of the titles are included below.

Aly’s enthusiasm for building foundational reading skills is contagious. We were particularly interested in her definition and clarification of decodable texts. Listen to the conversation to learn more.

Resources – UFLI Foundations site including a link to their toolbox