Students who recognize high-frequency "sight words" are able to read with more ease and accuracy.

The U.S. has a literacy crisis

Research shows that 70% of children do not read at grade-level by the critical milestone of third grade. And yet, research also shows that almost all children have the ability to do so. In particular, low-income children of color and children with learning differences disproportionately fall behind in their reading levels over time. 

But the reason children are struggling isn’t because they can’t learn to read—it’s because the education system has largely failed to teach them in a manner that is both effective and engaging.

The 2000 National Reading Panel found that students need structured literacy instruction that addresses the five pillars of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension. Yet, recent studies show that roughly 60% of schools still don't teach reading by the methods science has shown work.

Curious. Creative. Unstoppable. Reading is a super power!

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Clever Noodle was created when our founder's son, Madden, was struggling with reading during the COVID-19 pandemic. After months of creative problem-solving, Jacquelyn found that games provided the perfect combination of fun, physical movement and practice to help Madden master high-frequency and sight words.

Madden's teacher saw the power of the game with her other students too, and encouraged Jacquelyn to fill the need. Now, Clever Noodle is bringing learn-to-read games to kids all across the country.

Cutting-edge games.
Old-school fun.

Clever Noodle designs games that support young students at each stage of their learn-to-read journey. We ignite every child’s potential by crafting fun, offline experiences based on cutting-edge reading science.

In an increasingly online world, we believe in the power of tabletop games to build new skills while bringing families and children together.

We envision a world in which every child learns to read. We're building that future one game at a time.

Our Values

Impact over profit
Child-centered design
Informed by science
Right to read
Protect the planet
Kindness wins
Made with love
Who We Are

The Clever Noodle team includes parents, educators, reading experts, and business leaders who are committed to improving literacy for all children.

We share a passion for family game nights, laughter, and old-school fun. We’re also committed to testing our ideas and integrating the latest research to ensure that every game we create can ignite the imagination and help kids learn to read!

Chief Game Testers

Madden, Helena and Alex

These three board game visionaries are instrumental to Clever Noodle’s work. Their feedback influences every aspect of game development, including gameplay design, box sizes, and final color selection. 

Alex, Madden and Helena have been at the table since the very beginning, testing games and giving feedback for two years. Madden is Jacquelyn's son and his learn-to-read journey as a dyslexic student was the original inspiration for Clever Noodle and all of its games.

Beyond the Clever Noodle games they all help design, Alex’s favorite game is Scrabble, Helena’s is Spy Alley and Madden’s is Dragonwood.

Founder, CEO & Mom-in-Chief

Jacquelyn Davis

Jacquelyn Davis’ work and interests are best explained by her personal North Star: making a meaningful difference for children and families. 

She has been living this value for decades as a teacher, school leader, trainer of principals, and advisor to the nation's leading education nonprofits and foundations. From launching an innovative charter school to co-founding a $65M social impact venture fund, she has seen first-hand what works and what doesn’t. 

She has served on the boards of many nonprofit organizations, authored seminal education reports, and been a national presenter and speaker. Jacquelyn holds a BA from Brown University and JD from Georgetown Law Center. She is currently a Fellow and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Bellwether Education Partners.

Jacquelyn’s ideal game night involves gathering the neighborhood children and her family with pizza to play one of the many card or board games on their dedicated bookshelf!

Jacquelyn loves hiking the woods, moving into downward dog, and reading non-fiction, mainly about changing the world. She and her son, Madden, love the books “Beautiful Oops!“ and “The Dot“ that teach children a growth mindset: mistakes are part of learning and help us grow and improve.

Director of Impact & Strategy

Dr. Andre Dev

Andre is a trained medical doctor and lifelong lover of games. At Clever Noodle, he is responsible for business and financial planning, manufacturing, and fulfillment. 

Andre is passionate about combining his interests in game design and public health by addressing literacy challenges. In addition to his work at Clever Noodle, he recently founded a private medical and healthcare consultancy focused on holistic, preventative, and coordinated care. He holds a BA in Commerce, Entrepreneurship and Organization from Brown University and an MD from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Andre loves spending time with his German shepherd, Juno, and advocating for affordable housing in Rhode Island. Andre’s ideal game night is spent with friends playing cooperative and creative board games.

Marketing and Operations Intern

Kalden Namgyal

Kalden is a first-generation junior double concentrating in International & Public Affairs and Economics at Brown University. Born in Tibet, Kalden fled into exile, seeking a better life and educational opportunity. He grew up in India and the U.S., attending two schools throughout the year. His background and non-traditional experience with education have considerably shaped his perspective and interests in education. Not only does Kalden find the field of education incredibly exciting, but he is also guided by his hopes and desire to serve both the Tibetan community in exile and inside Tibet potentially via education, something that has changed his life. At Brown, he is actively involved in student organizations like Brown Public Speaking Initiative and the Himalayan Cultural Association. He also co-leads an initiative assisting and mentoring Tibetan high school students from India and Nepal with the college application process. 

Kalden enjoys learning and improvising new recipes, taking long nature walks, and, more recently, listening to the “Melissa and Lori Love Literacy” podcast (highly recommended).

An ideal board game night consists of brewing tea to enjoy during a game of Bananagrams.

Executive Assistant

Ashlie Scott

Ashlie has almost 20 years of administrative experience, primarily in education. Prior to her work in administration, she taught science to elementary school children in an after-school program in Los Angeles. She also served in the Texas education system at  Texas Education Agency as well as Texas Region 13 Education Service Center within the state accountability, state assessment, principal certification, and superintendent certification programs.

Ashlie holds a bachelor’s degree in media production from American InterContinental University. In her free time, she enjoys researching topics that interest her, spending time with family, reading, and traveling.

An ideal game night would include a round of Catch Phrase with family and friends.

Chief Growth and Impact Officer 

Kimberly Strenk

Kimberly is a purpose-driven leader with a passion for leveraging her skills to be a part of creating positive, progressive social change. She is charged with building and leading the company’s Growth and Impact strategy, leading marketing, partnership development and sales.

Prior to Clever Noodle she was senior director of partnership development at a Woman of Color (WOC) led social justice nonprofit. Additionally she enjoyed time as a Major Grants Officer (MGO) for a national non-profit organization dedicated to elevating the lives of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Prior to her move into the nonprofit space, she was a public relations executive for companies such as Williams Sonoma and Nordstrom. She was also the founder and principal at two start-up PR and marketing agencies. 

While family game nights remain an unrealised ideal, a love of cooking, reading and being outdoors have been the source of the best shared family activities!

A West Coast native, she now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, three teen daughters and two vertically challenged doxie pups, Ollie and Lola. In her free time, Kimberly is an avid runner, hiker, and reader.

Founding Team Member and Champion

Victoria Camelio

As the first employee of Clever Noodle, Victoria was instrumental in defining our vision and telling our story. Victoria and our founder, Jacquelyn, have been friends since their college days at Brown University, where Victoria earned a BA in Political Science and Public Policy.

We are forever grateful to her for believing in us from the very start. As the parent of a neurodivergent child, the Clever Noodle mission is near and dear to her heart and she will forever be a part of our company and our mission to live in a world where every child learns to read!

Vic and her kid’s favorite children’s book is centered on inclusion, “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson.

We’re lucky to work with the nation's best advisors, partners, and literacy experts.

These professionals are the secret ingredient in all our “surprisingly educational” games! Our advisors are national experts in the Science of Reading and meet throughout the year to review and provide feedback on our games, as well as discuss ways we can work together to improve literacy for our nation.

Our Charitable Partners

We are committed to equity and access. Our partners help ensure that our games reach historically underserved children and schools.

New Leaders: Leadership Changes Everything

New Leaders is redefining how schools are led. They build the capacity of equity-minded school leaders who are committed to the success of every child.

Expert Literacy Panel

Nikki Bridges

Founder and CEO of Lit; Former Superintendent of Education, Uncommon Schools

Tom Dillon

Co-Founder, The Literacy Lab

Kate Franz

Former Director of Literacy, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School; National Literacy Consultant; PhD student in Literacy Education, Syracuse University

Laurie Moloney

Co-Founder, Decoding Dyslexia DC; Academic Language Therapist; Former President, International Dyslexia Association

Molly Ness, PhD

Vice President of Academic Content at Learning Ally

Katharine Noonan

Vice President, The Reading League Washington, DC; National LETRS Professional Learning Facilitator; K-5 ELA Coach at Garrison Elementary School, D.C. Public Schools

Carolyn Strom, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Literacy, NYU


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