Our Literacy Leaders are exemplary Ugandan teachers. They serve as mentors and role models for the in-service teachers we work with and are at the heart of our workshops and other programming.
Akello Catherine started working with Jody at Layibi Techo. They started teaching in upper primary together. Once they realized many children in upper primary could not read or write well, they decided to focus on teaching literacy in early primary while conducting remedial lessons for older pupils. Catherine teaches a literacy instruction course at Gulu Core and Christ the King Primary Teachers Colleges. She continues to train many in-service teachers in the Gulu Municipality. She wants to see all children learn to read and improve their general education performance. And she aspires to one day be a tutor at a primary teachers college.
Atim Caroline started to work with Jody because she wanted to learn more about phonics. After teaching phonics in her primary one class she soon she began also training other nursery and primary teachers about phonics. She visits teachers who have been trained in their own classrooms and supports them in implementing systematic phonics. She has also worked with African Revival training teachers in phonics in Amuru and Nwoya. She is passionate about improving teachers’ literacy instruction skills.
Ruth studied Adult and Community Education at Kyambogo University. She’s interned with African Youth Initiative network. She then went on to volunteer as a phonics instructor with African Revival. She loves phonics! And wants to see all children in Ugandan schools learn to read independently. She now trains and supports teachers in Gulu and Lira to implement the Fun of Phonics program.
Jody Spencer (Unterrheiner) has two Bachelors in the field of education and is currently completing her Masters in International Education. She graduated from Roehampton University in London, UK, with a Bachelor in Primary Education (specialising in English) in 2007 and then more recently graduated from Charles Sturt University in Australia with a Bachelor of Teaching. Jody has taught infant classes in London, working as a primary school teacher; as well as teaching P1 to P7 in Gulu, Uganda; and teaching year 6 children in Sydney, Australia.
Jody taught at Layibi Techo Primary School from January 2013 to July 2014 where she learnt a lot about the local education system as well as the challenges teachers face in improving education standards. During her time teaching, she followed a systematic, phonetic approach to teaching reading and writing and witnessed an increase in children’s reading and writing levels, specifically when working in partnership with classroom teachers. Considerable improvements were noticed in P1 children’s reading and writing levels when pupils were taught phonics every day, and regular revision and follow up from classroom teachers was evident.
Jody’s heart is to see all primary schools in Uganda improve in their teaching of reading and writing; and also to see pupils’ reading and writing improve, lifting the standards of local primary education.
The demand for improved teaching was not limited to one school, it is across the country, so Jody decided to leave the classroom to begin working with teachers in January 2015. READ for Life was born out of this desire to see education improve and to invest in teacher training to see this happen.
Other Team Members
Education and Development Manager
Katie Giseburt met Jody Unterrheiner while she was a Peace Corps Volunteer and literacy specialist at Gulu Prison Primary School in 2015. She then started volunteer with Jody doing early grade reading assessments and assisting in follow up trainings at multiple schools in the Gulu municipality. She started working with READ for Life full time in early 2017 as their Education Development Officer and Development Manager. She is passionate about engaging and quality literacy instruction, fundraising, and working towards children in Gulu having access to Afro-centric and relevant children's books! She also serves as the secretary of the organisation's board.