the newsletter

MSED, mom, wife, reader, writer, and so much more

About me

we're going to do so much good together.

I'm Clarkie Doster, and I envision a world filled with good humans who can think and communicate well, who are less stressed and more connected to those they love, all while doing whatever it is they love to do.

And the key to this magical place? It's the written word.  

In addition to years of working with children and families -- through teaching, athletic coaching, camp counselor-ing, and tutoring -- I have a BA in English Literature from Sewanee: The University of the South (a beautiful, special liberal arts school in Tennessee with a rich literary tradition) and an MSEd in Secondary English Education (so, teaching reading and writing to middle and high school students) from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. And now, I'd love to share my passion + knowledge with your whole family.

I love literature, I love the magic and emotion and growing that happens during childhood and adolescence, and I love a good challenge. When I went back to school to become a teacher, I knew I didn't want to be a classroom educator forever. I have always been a dreamer, and I wanted to do something education-related (that maybe didn't really exist yet), and I knew classroom experience was my ticket to discovering my next move. I loved my time in the classroom so much and learned more than I could have anticipated while I was doing it, but, y'all, I am so energized to create space to solve a problem that so many families face.

As a teacher and private tutor (and 30-something with a toddler), I've seen reading habits and communication skills for teenagers and adults decline. But reading -- and talking about -- fiction is key to building critical thinking, empathy, and communication skills, all of which we know are gifts-that-keep-on-giving that we can give our children. The "shoulds", the avoidance, the stress, and the embarrassment attached to reading and writing is real, but we can fix it!

Reading + Writing Matters is on a mission to help parents/caregivers and teachers become the team they need to be while also giving parents/caregivers the tools + inspiration necessary to guide their child(ren)'s thinking and communication in a critical, thoughtful direction while developing more connected family relationships and decreasing stress (goodbye screens-as-saviors, hello more sleep). 

And for those who need more details: sign up for the newsletter, and we can become friends. I'll be coming at you from Chicago, where I live with my husband, our toddler son, and our chocolate lab. 


parent/caregiver and so much more

you're in the right spot if...

You are a parent or caregiver.

Your child (or a child in your life -- I'm looking at  you, grandparents!) is in 4th through 8th grade.

You care about your child, their brain, and their ability to think critically, communicate thoughtfully, and be a good person. You and your family  have many  interests, and maybe you don't have a ton of time. You might be overwhelmed thinking about reading, but you know it's important. You'd like someone in your corner. 

At least one of these things sounds like something you'd like to say about yourself:

  • I work alongside educators to prepare my child(ren) for the years ahead, both in and outside of the classroom.
  • We said goodbye to (or never had to deal with!) Reading test prep cramming sessions / tutoring or test score regret.
  • I [re]ignited my own reading life to be the model I know I need to be for my child(ren.
  • We ended (or avoided!) the "you need to read!" battles in our home.
  • Our family has meaningful conversations and connections during dinner, while running errands, sitting on the couch, driving to school, doing the dishes...
  • We decreased our child's stress and anxiety (and mine/ours, too).
  • I understand how to help my child(ren) pick the books that make sense for their interests and skill level.
  • I can make sense of what my child(ren)'s teachers really mean when they talk about reading levels, reading logs, types of reading, etc.
  • We have a strong culture of reading -- and talking about reading -- in our home.
  • I know how to ask my child(ren) questions that will encourage critical thinking and empathy.
  • I'm confident in my child(ren)'s ability to communicate clearly and thoughtfully and think independently and critically.

We value curiosity, honesty, and the learning process.
We do the work we need to do.
We have hope for the future. 
We believe in change.

all together now