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About us

LightSail is proud of the talent we bring to K-12 literacy

LightSail’s staff possesses 208 cumulative years of experience in education, with over 85% of the staff having worked in schools. These 208 years come from a variety of school programs in K-20 experiences: public and charter schools, private schools, Teaching Fellows programs, Education Pioneers, The Broad Residency, City Year, WorldTeach, Americorps, Peace Corps, DOE, TFA and TNTP. For the past decade, our presence in schools empowers students worldwide with literacy education and access to tens of thousands of books, audiobooks, and multimedia resources. We value team diversity in all forms. We feature a majority female team alongside a breadth of cultural backgrounds.
Vida Mercer

Vida Mercer

Literacy Team Leader

Manager - Homeschool Advisory Team

Frequently, I hear from parents who feel powerless to help their children improve their reading and writing because they just don't know where to start and don't have anyone to guide them.

Too often, I have seen them completely at wit’s end, when all they are lacking are the right tools and the right content for their children.

This is why I believe in LightSail. LightSail is the most powerful and dynamic tool I have ever seen put into the hands of parents to help grow their child’s literacy skills from home. It is holistic in that LightSail integrates the elements of reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling together, something that is crucial to developing fluent, masterful users of a language.

The magic lies in the ability to give each child the education that fits their unique interests and abilities rather than being beholden to a timeline. This is why I love to help parents discover LightSail. With a wealth of engaging, multimedia content that children love and state-of-the-art technology that assesses and adapts to the child’s individual level and pace, LightSail has you covered.

I so clearly remember my mother telling me as a small child, “If you know how to read, you will be able to learn how to do anything.” LightSail helps make that “anything” possible for children and gives parents the support and tools they need to meaningfully support their literacy growth. I look forward to sharing LightSail with parents and children and its limitless potential to unlock the power of reading and writing.

Vida Mercer, Literacy Team Leader

Chrsitine Roman-Lantzy (Ph.D)

Chrsitine Roman-Lantzy (Ph.D)

Behaviors Characteristic of CVI and SPED Teacher

Christine Roman was raised in Michigan and received degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education/Visual Impairment at Michigan State University. She worked as an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired in the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area for 17 years prior to becoming a Research Assistant in the Vision Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, she completed studies in Orientation & Mobility and received a Master’s Degree in Medically Fragile/High Risk Infants.

Her doctoral studies were also completed at Pitt where she completed a Ph.D. in 1996; her dissertation, Validation of an Interview Instrument to Identify Behaviors Characteristic of Cortical Visual Impairment in Infants revealed that caregivers of infants can reliably report regarding the presence or absence of the characteristics of CVI.

Dr. Roman is the Director of The Pediatric View Program at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and a former Project Leader of the CVI Project at The American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, KY.

She has lectured extensively regarding the CVI educational materials she has developed. These materials include: The CVI Range an assessment of functional vision, and The CVI Resolution Chart & CVI/O&M Resolution Chart used to plot and monitor progress both of which will be available in a book in press (working title, CVI: Identification, Assessment & Intervention) with The American Foundation for the Blind.

Kelli Trenga (Ph.D)

Kelli Trenga (Ph.D)

Educational Leadership and SPED-Elementary

Kelli Trenga, Ed.D. is the coordinator of PENNCREST Cyber Academy in western Pennsylvania.

She previously taught various levels of elementary education for over 15 years, with heavy emphasis on literacy instruction and special education. During that time, Kelli was honored with the Crawford County’s Educator of the Year award. She holds degrees in Elementary and Special Education, and Curriculum and Instruction from Mercyhurst University and Gannon University, respectfully.

Her passion for education drove her to pursue her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Her dissertation was a phenomenological study of dental professionals’ preparedness to manage the behaviors of patients with autism spectrum disorder during dental treatment. In addition to professional pursuits, Kelli serves on local boards for the United Way and Child to Family to Connections. She resides in Meadville, Pa. with her husband and two sons.

Amanda Strout

Amanda Strout

Reading Specialist

Amanda Strout, M.Ed., is a Reading Specialist who has taught children with language-based learning disabilities for over 15 years. She has worked with children at the pre-school, elementary, and middle school levels. She has worked as a reading teacher, a 2nd grade self-contained classroom teacher for kids with LBLD, and a learning specialist focusing on students who need individualized academic remediation.

Amanda is trained in multisensory phonics and math programs and likes finding new ways to teach familiar skills. She loves teaching reading and writing as well as sharing great literature with children. She finds no greater joy than watching a student gain the confidence to accomplish a skill themselves.

In her free time, Amanda loves reading, cycling, and traveling with her family. She is always searching for new great children’s books and can spend hours at the library or looking at book lists.

Kelsey Thompson

Kelsey Thompson

Speech Language Pathologist

Kelsey is an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified speech language pathologist who is also licensed by the state of North Carolina. Kelsey earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where she earned awards for academic achievement and research.

Kelsey has worked in pediatric private practice since 2015, serving children birth to 22 in the home, school, daycare, and clinic settings. Kelsey has experience working with a variety of diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Dysarthria, Down Syndrome, expressive/receptive language disorder, fluency, articulation/phonological disorder, dyslexia, ADHD, as well as a number of genetic and feeding disorders.

Notably, Kelsey has specific experience treating children with apraxia and working with middle school and high school age students on higher level language processing, executive functioning skills, and reading. In addition to her clinical experience, Kelsey is currently pursuing her PhD in Speech & Hearing Sciences.

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Find answers to frequently asked questions or contact us for more support.

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How do I know what books are right for my child?

LightSail takes the guesswork out of choosing books for your child by tailoring each child’s library to their precise reading level.

By honing in on a child’s precise Lexile reading score, LightSail can match them with books that are at that “just-right” level to promote optimal reading progress.

And because LightSail contains such a wide-ranging array of content, there is always a vast selection of books for any topic or interest.

What ages/grades is LightSail for?

LightSail’s Premium and Standard subscriptions are designed for children in grades 3 through 12 (ages 8-18).

We also have a World Book Kids subscription for grades 1 through 2 (ages 5-7) and a World Book Early Learners subscription for PreK through K (ages 2-5).

Is LightSail different from an Amazon Kindle or other e-readers?

Unlike static e-readers, LightSail doesn’t just offer children books.

Every book and article in LightSail contains 6 layers of added features that let your child experience books.

By adapting to a child’s precise reading ability, offering them content that is at that “just-right” reading level to promote literacy growth, and providing a fully customizable, rewarding reading experience, LightSail unlocks the magic of reading in ways no physical book or static e-reader can.

What types of parental control do I have over my child’s activity and content?

In short, complete control.

LightSail contains an entire suite of parental control features that govern every aspect of the platform from video viewing, to chats, to what content can be seen and accessed.

Additionally, LightSail’s revolutionary ChildSafe Content Controls lets parents screen and block content according to dozens of nuanced subcategories based on maturity factors, family values, and religious topics.

How can I make reading fun for my child?

LightSail incorporates gamification features into every aspect of the platform, especially reading!

By integrating badges, goals and milestones, social sharing options, motivational messages, and the ability for parents to add customizable gift rewards, LightSail incentivizes reading, writing, and learning just like kids’ favorite games.

Parental Controls

Parental Controls allows you to relax while your child is in LightSail. You have complete oversight of all of your child's activities. The ChildSafe matrix lets you control the content your child is allowed to read. You will be guided through the Parental Controls set up, so you never have to worry about whether a book is not appropriate for your child.

About Us

We are LightSail for Reading at Home-a literacy and language arts platform adapted from LightSail Education. LightSail Education has been working to advance literacy skills in K-12 schools since 2012.


LightSail has built gamification into every step of your child’s journey. They can set goals, earn badges, use social sharing, and gift rewards. These practices make learning in LightSail fun and rewarding. Your child will be encouraged and excited to read.

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