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Heggerty’s Bridge to Reading Curriculum

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Heggerty’s Bridge to Reading is a foundational skills curriculum that pairs explicit phonics instruction with phonemic awareness lessons for daily instruction. Bridge to Reading provides all the components teachers need for comprehensive foundational skills instruction in 30 minutes a day, within the literacy block.

Program Outcomes

A study of Heggerty Bridge to Reading was carried out with first-grade students in a rural school district in Georgia during the first half of the 2023-2024 school year. The final sample included 247 first graders from 3 schools using Bridge to Reading and 736 first graders with similar demographics and pretest scores from 17 schools continuing with their regular literacy program. After one semester, students using Bridge to Reading significantly outperformed students in control schools on MAP Growth Reading scores (effect size =+0.16), earning the program a Moderate ESSA rating.

Staffing Requirements

Bridge to Reading is a teacher-led curriculum requiring an educator to deliver classroom instruction. Participants in this study also had access to additional staff at the district and building level, such as literacy coaches, reading specialists, and instructional assistants, to provide support. However, this additional staff is not required to implement Bridge to Reading.

Professional Development/Training

Heggerty offers both webinar and in-person PD options provided by a Heggerty literacy specialist. All classrooms purchasing Bridge to Reading have access to the On-Demand PD available for each grade level in myHeggerty, along with skill tutorial videos and phonemic awareness lesson demonstration videos that can be used to support instruction and implementation.

In this study, a Heggerty literacy specialist provided on-site training before the start of the school year for teachers implementing Bridge to Reading. Classroom modeling by a Heggerty literacy specialist was provided 12 weeks after the initial implementation PD. In January, lesson observations and coaching support were provided by a Heggerty literacy specialist while observing Bridge to Reading lessons taught in classrooms. Monthly virtual coaching sessions were available for participating teachers and administrators to ask questions about curriculum implementation during the school year.

Professional development – virtual or in-person – for teachers implementing Bridge to Reading is recommended, but it is optional.


Heggerty’s curriculum does not require the use of technology in the classroom, but the program does include digital resources via myHeggerty that teachers can use to support their planning and professional learning and enhance classroom instruction. To make use of these optional digital materials, teachers may choose to use hardware such as a laptop or desktop computer, an iPad, or an interactive whiteboard or projector to model and practice skills and activities in small or large groups.