about the author
Margaret Barker is the founder of Reading Works, a community-based adult literacy nonprofit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Like many people who are drawn to adult literacy, Margaret is not a trained educator. She began her career as an attorney. In 1994 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Six years later, the effects of MS made it too difficult for Margaret to continue practicing law and she closed her practice. One morning she read an advertisement in the local newspaper seeking reading tutors at the community college. She volunteered. She was matched with a 19-year old high school graduate who could not read. She and her student met two times a week for five years. Something magical happened during those five years: her student learned to read and he found true joy in learning. Margaret discovered she absolutely loved tutoring.
Recognizing a need for a literacy program in Albuquerque, Margaret launched Reading Works in 2007. In 2009, Margaret tutored Reading Works' first student. That year, Reading Works served 21 adult learners. Fast forward to today: Reading Works has tutored over 1,300 adult students and impacted more than 2,200 children.
Margaret speaking at the Library of Congress Best Practices in Literacy Conference, 2017.
The Library of Congress named Reading Works a Best Practices in Literacy Honoree for creating and
implementing a curriculum to teach phonemic and alphabetic awareness. That curriculum is the
predecessor to Reading - You Can Do It Too!
Margaret has received recognition for her work.
- New Mexico Coalition for Literacy Distinguished Service Award
- Mayor of Albuquerque Commendation for Impactful Service
- Marietta College Distinguished Alumna Award