School Literacy
& Culture

Welcome to School Literacy & Culture at Rice. For more than 30 years, School Literacy & Culture (SLC) has promoted effective teaching through rigorous professional education initiatives that emphasize early literacy, child development, writing and culture.

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Program Development

Through education and mentoring, we not only support teachers, administrators and parents, but also ensure that Houston-area students receive the key to academic success: a high-quality early literacy education.

Our work is based on the following guiding principles:

  • Change requires teachers to become part of a professional learning community that places inquiry at its center.
  • Teachers learn best when they can use their own classroom experience to examine their beliefs and practices.
  • Issues of equity must permeate the fabric of professional development.

To accomplish these goals we have multiple programs tiered to meet teachers’, schools’ and districts’ varied needs.

Browse All Programs


School Literacy and Culture promotes effective teaching through rigorous professional educational initiatives that emphasize reading and writing, culture, child development and research.

At the Center of Houston Education

School Literacy & Culture is part of The Center for Education at Rice University, which serves as the engine for theory into practice preK-12 outreach and impact.

With a focus on core principles of access, preparation and equity, the Center seeks to advance knowledge related to pre-K to 12 teaching and learning to positively impact public schools in the Houston metropolitan area. In collaboration with clinical education faculty, Houston education practitioners, and Rice researchers, the Center extends Rice’s commitment to provide high quality education by preparing and further developing Houston-area educational leaders, so that they may raise expectations and create opportunities for Houston-area preK-12 students.


Our Team

Brenda Rangel, Ed.D.
Brenda Rangel, Ed.D.

Assistant Dean, Rice Center for Education, Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies

Karen Capo
Karen Capo

Director, School Literacy and Culture

Debbie Paz
Debbie Paz

Associate Director, Early Literacy and Bilingual/Dual Language Programs

Image of Jordan Gainey Khadam-Hir
Jordan Gainey Khadam-Hir

Associate Director, Early Literacy Leadership Academy

Heather Loan
Heather Loan

Assistant Director

Vanessa Quezada Vierra
Vanessa Quezada Vierra

Assistant Director, Early Literacy and Bilingual/Dual Language Programs

Carol L. Hernandez
Carol L. Hernandez

Senior Program Coordinator

Lori Espinosa
Lori Espinoza

Mentor Teacher, School Literacy & Culture

Pansy Gee
Pansy Gee

Mentor Teacher, School Literacy & Culture

Support SLC

I'd like to support SLC by making a scholarship gift.

The most critical funding needs at SLC are for student scholarships. Please contact our office at 713-348-5333 or e-mail us at

I'd like to support SLC by making a course development gift.

As culture, communities, students and research evolve, so must our course offerings to meet new needs. Funding for new course development helps us stay ahead of the curve.

I'd like to support SLC by making a gift to the Center for Education.

As part of Rice's Center for Education, we benefit from resources and capabilities the center provides. A gift to the Center of Education increases our potential impact across all areas of education in the Houston area.

Subscribe to learn more about how you can get involved.