Inventor of PALS, Prof. Invernizzi, Named Charlottesville 'Founder'


Marcia InvernizziOn September 26, the Curry School’s Henderson Professor of Education, Marcia Invernizzi, will be recognized as a “Founding Cville” honoree by the Tom Tom Founders Festival.  The first annual Founding Cville celebration will recognize 18 local individuals who have “made national, local, and global impact.”

Chosen from a pool of 120 nominees, Invernizzi will be recognized for her innovative work in reading education.  Invernizzi is perhaps best known for founding PALS, the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening.  This screening is used in 131 of Virginia’s 132 school divisions and has been used in schools in all 50 states across the country.  There are now assessments for pre-kindergarteners, kindergarteners, first through third graders, and most recently, PALS español, a literacy assessment tool for native Spanish speakers.

Invernizzi is also the founder of Book Buddies, a nationally recognized one-on-one reading intervention for young children.

In 2013, Invernizzi was the first Curry School professor to be named U.Va.‘s Innovator of the Year.  Earlier this year, Invernizzi was named among “Influential Women of Virginia” by Virginia’s Lawyers Media.

“Founding Cville talks about the Thomas Jeffersons of today,” explains Paul Beyer, Director of Tom Tom Founders Festival. “The act of Founding transcends just having a good idea, because to realize that idea takes perseverance and teamwork. In that sense, Jefferson’s legacy as a revolutionary leader is more relevant than ever. The founders celebrated in this project show how Charlottesville’s extraordinary history sets the stage for an exceptional future.”

Invernizzi will receive her honor on Friday evening at the McGuffey Art Center, as part of Tom Tom’s Fall Block Party, the organization’s 3rd annual end-of-summer bash.

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C’ville Tomorrow