The Center for Literacy & Learning was originally founded in 1992 as the Center for Development and Learning (CDL) by Alice Thomas, M.Ed. Since its beginning, the organization has specialized in the development and dissemination of leading edge scientific research, knowledge, and best practices that improve teaching and increase student learning.
In September 2021, the organization started a new chapter by changing its name to the Center for Literacy and Learning. The change was made to better reflect the organization’s overall mission and commitment to advancing literacy and learning through evidence-based practices in the classroom, home and community.
Alice Thomas, M.Ed., is the founder of the Center for Development and Learning and the president and CEO Emeritus. Alice’s work has been guided by a steadfast belief that all children, regardless of how they look, where they come from or how they learn, can and will achieve school success when provided with highly effective teachers and positive, supportive learning environments. In addition to executive duties, she facilitated professional learning for school leaders, teachers, and related specialists. Alice previously served as a teacher, counselor, and intervention specialist. She has taught university graduate courses on differentiating instruction for struggling students. She is a Learning Forward Academy graduate. She is the creator and director of the annual evidence-based Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning Institute. Alice is coauthor of the Plain Talk about Learning professional learning curriculum, the Right from Birth parent/caregiver training curriculum, and the Teens & Tots curriculum. Alice completed a fellowship in neurodevelopmental variations at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and doctoral level studies in change leadership at the University of Toronto. She is the recipient of the New Orleans Children’s Defense Fund’s Champions for Children award and the International Dyslexia Association’s 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence.