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    Glendaliz Almonte Martinez Webinar

    By ILA Staff
     | Jun 15, 2021
    Almonte_w680On Monday, June 7, the International Literacy Association (ILA) held “Disrupting Instructional Paradigms by Embracing Culturally Responsive Pedagogy,” a webinar featuring Glendaliz Martinez Almonte and hosted by ILA member Julius B. Anthony, who also serves as president of the St. Louis Regional Literacy Association.

     

    Almonte, a 20-year career educator, currently supports school districts in their planning, writing, and implementation of curriculum to ensure equity and access for marginalized students.

    More than 2,000 people registered for the event, which was sponsored by Curriculum Associates and simulcast through Facebook Live. The on-demand recording is now accessible on ILA’s YouTube Channel as well as archived on Facebook.

    The following is a list of resources Almonte recommends:

    On the web

    Teacher Competencies that Promote Culturally Responsive Teaching

    Guide published by New America to help facilitate self-appraisal, goal setting, and critical conversations across core culturally responsive teaching competencies

    Dear White Teachers: You Can’t Love Your Black Students If You Don’t Know Them

    Education Week op/ed by Bettina L. Love, associate professor of educational theory and practice at the University of Georgia

    5 Ways Culturally Responsive Teaching Benefits Learners

    Blog post from New America on how culturally responsive teaching practices promote the social, emotional, and academic development of all students

    Saddleback Books

    High interest, low reading level books for students who are learning to read or developing reading skills

    On the shelf

    The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

    An Introduction to Multicultural Education by James Banks

    Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit

    Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research and Practice by Geneva Gay

    Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain by Zaretta Hammond

    Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning by Sharroky Hollie

    The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings

    We Want to Do More Than Survive by Bettina Love 

    Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy by Gholdy Muhammad

    Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies: Teaching and Learning for Justice in a Changing World by Django Paris

    For young readers

    The Questioneers Series by Andrea Beatty:

    • Ada Twist, Scientist | Ada Magnifica, Scientifica
    • Sofia Valdez, Future Prez | Sofia Valdez, Presidenta Talvez
    • Rosie Revere, Engineer | Rosa Pionera, Ingeniera
    • Iggy Peck, Architect | Pedro Perfecto, Arquitecto

    Islandborn | Lola (Spanish version of Islandborn) by Junot Díaz

    La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for los Niños by Susan Middleton Elya

    Latinx publishers

    Arte Publico Press

    Jade Publishing

    Li’l Libros 

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    A Friend and a Mentor: ILA Remembers Past President Jack Cassidy

    By Colleen Patrice Clark
     | May 25, 2021

    Cassidy_w340Jack Cassidy, professor emeritus at both Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Millersville University in Pennsylvania, died on Saturday, May 22, after a long-fought battle with cancer. He was 80.

    Cassidy was a past president of the International Reading Association (IRA, now the International Literacy Association, ILA) from 1982 to 1983.

    As messages poured in following the news of his death, many focused on his stature—in intellect, heart, and even physical presence. (In fact, he was so well known for his height that he included it on his curriculum vitae: 6’4".)

    What was made clear in all of the tributes was his immense dedication to the profession, to ILA, and to the next generation of literacy leaders. He was referred to as a powerhouse, a role model, and the conscience of the field.

    Cassidy’s name is synonymous with service to ILA. He helped found its affiliates the Diamond State Reading Association and the Texas Association for Literacy Education (TALE), serving as their second and first presidents, respectively. He served on numerous committees and special interest groups (SIGs) as member or chair, including but hardly limited to the IRA Standards 2010 Committee and the Commission on the Role of the Reading Specialist. He was highly involved in IRA’s LEADER SIG and was the executive secretary of the Specialized Literacy Professionals (SLP) for three decades.

    Perhaps one of his most notable contributions was his creation of the What’s Hot, What’s Not survey, first published in IRA’s member newspaper in 1997. The project influences conversations in the field by surveying literacy experts on what topics are receiving the most and least attention, as well as what topics should be receiving attention.

    For many graduate students and preservice teachers, the survey results served as their introduction to Cassidy and his work. Many teacher educators still use the results to guide their syllabi and classroom conversations.

    But beyond his professional contributions—which included numerous books, chapters, journal articles, curriculum materials, and more—Cassidy will be remembered as a mentor and a beloved friend.

    “Our coauthorship is what has been most visible to the public,” said Stephanie Grote-Garcia, who coauthored the What’s Hot survey with Cassidy for many years, “but Dr. Cassidy’s impact and influence on my life stretches well past writing together.”

    Grote-Garcia, professor at University of the Incarnate Word in Texas, first met Cassidy early on in her career as his graduate assistant at Texas A&M. That was when he introduced her to his former graduate assistant, Robert—who is now her husband of 14 years. Cassidy, known to many for his love of celebrating friends’ and family’s milestones, even hosted their wedding reception at his home.

    “[He] remained one of my strongest supporters and influencers,” said Grote-Garcia, who cofounded TALE with him and received the organization’s Jack Cassidy Distinguished Service Award the year after it was founded and awarded to Cassidy himself. “We coauthored What’s Hot, copresented research, planned multiple conferences, and cofounded the Texas Association for Literacy Education….Dr. Cassidy’s legacy will live on through TALE, SLP, and all those who knew him. I am truly grateful to have had him as a friend and mentor.”

    “His fingerprints are everywhere”

    Though his name is most closely associated with Texas A&M and TALE, Cassidy began his career in Pennsylvania after earning an undergraduate degree in educational psychology and graduate degrees in secondary and English education, all from Temple University. He served as a classroom teacher at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and also as a school reading specialist and a K–12 reading supervisor.

    He taught at Lehigh University, University of Delaware, and Millersville University before joining Texas A&M in 1998, where his many roles included associate dean of the College of Education and director of the Center for Educational Development, Evaluation and Research.

    Among Cassidy’s many awards: IRA’s Special Service Award, the A.B. Herr Award from the College Reading Association, and the Association for Literacy Educators and Researchers Laureate Award. He was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 2010.

    Cassidy was also a prolific writer and editor, most recently publishing What’s Hot in Literacy: Exemplar Models of Effective Practice (Emerald Publishing), which he coedited with Evan Ortlieb, a longtime coauthor alongside Grote-Garcia on the What’s Hot, What’s Not survey.

    “Jack’s fingerprints can be found everywhere in the field of literacy education,” said Ortlieb, dean of the Zucker Family School of Education at The Citadel. “His influence and impact on my career are substantial; my trajectory was heavily influenced by incredible opportunities bestowed to me by Jack Cassidy.”

    Ortlieb referred to Cassidy’s presence as infectious, describing how he thrived in social spaces, which made him a popular draw at conferences and meetings. “He could command a room effortlessly. His communicative approach married information dissemination with playful banter. If his name was in the program, you could rest assured it would be the most highly attended event at that time. That’s the Jack we all knew, and the one we loved.”

    “His legacy remains far beyond hot topics in literacy,” Ortlieb added. “His mentorship and selfless creation of opportunities for others serves as a foundation for all.”

    The “conscience” of the profession: Tributes from the field for Jack Cassidy

    “I don’t know of anyone in the field who cared more about and spent more time and energy tending to the welfare and integrity of the reading profession….Many of us try to be a conscience for the profession, but we pale in serving that role when we compare ourselves to Jack and the legacy he left for us. He has been our mariner in the voyage to sustain the profession. Sail on, Jack!” —P. David Pearson, University of California, Berkeley

    “His passing is a profound loss to the literacy profession. From early in my career in higher education, Jack was a mentor, a friend, and a trusted colleague. We were colleagues through our years of service for IRA/ILA. I believe he was the youngest IRA president in history. And our collegial association went well beyond our IRA/ILA service, as his writings and scholarship continued to propel me to give back to the profession in ways that he did….Jack wore many hats as a mentor, a scholar, a professional leader, and a caring and trusted colleague, but perhaps his greatest hat for me was his friendship and support, and his never-ending belief that we can all do better with others at our side.” —Victoria J. Risko, Vanderbilt University

    “In 1998, when I was elected to the IRA Board of Directors, I was told to not be surprised if one our past presidents came to our Board meetings. Well, that visionary mentor, a great literacy leader, was Jack Cassidy. During my presidential year (2010–2011), Jack was a member of the IRA Standards 2010 Committee and played a critical role in the development of these standards. Another fond memory that I have about Jack is his development of the What’s Hot, What’s Not survey, in which I had the opportunity to serve as one of the participants over the years….I appreciate and treasure everything that Jack taught me and educators throughout world.” —Patricia Edwards, Michigan State University

    “What is the importance of our professional associations? Do you have to think about that query for a moment? Jack Cassidy would have responded in a flash. Jack knew that our professional associations provided the glue that held together virtually all of our efforts from providing quality praxis to learners across the lifespan, to undertaking impactful research whether of a more basic or the applied nature, to maintaining important relations with a world of literacy stakeholders, and to successfully training new generations of teachers and reading specialists. Jack would always be at the forefront, urging our associations to be strong advocates for all of us in our field. Indeed, we as professionals are better for all of Jack Cassidy’s efforts.” —Norman Stahl, Northern Illinois University

    “Jack was known for many contributions to our field but especially his passionate commitment to our organization, his many talented doctoral students, and his innovative survey of trends in reading, the annual What’s Hot, What’s Not study. He was a friend to everyone in the literacy community and will be missed by us all. I will always remember his wide, welcoming smile each and every time we met.” —Donald J. Leu, University of Connecticut 

    “Jack was my role model for many years. We met at least 50 years ago and I was immediately taken with his sense of humor and what seemed like a desire to mentor nearly every new member of what was then the International Reading Association. That included me. Sometimes we’d do a ‘Jack and Jill show,’ mostly talking about advocacy. Despite Jack’s breadth of knowledge, he would insist that I take the lead. When he suggested I run for IRA president, it was his confidence in me that convinced me to accept the challenge….I think he was most proud of the landmark What’s Hot, What’s Not survey he had begun for IRA/ILA, that stimulated many important conversations and that offered a vehicle for Jack to provide shared authorship and recognition to many up-and-coming graduate students. Jack will be missed in his professional capacity, but even more so in his selflessness and lifelong commitment to literacy.” —Jill Lewis-Spector, New Jersey City University

    “Jack was a towering man, someone who filled the room. He had a wonderful laugh and his eyes were so expressive. I knew him primarily through his column, What’s Hot, and enjoyed being one who helped each year define and redefine his initial list [of topics], followed by his survey of whether something was hot or not….His column was popular because he knew how to speak to teachers and teacher educators. It became a trusted resource, something to look forward to each year. He was an inclusive colleague, and he will be missed by many for his magnanimity and humanity.” –Susan B. Neuman, New York University Steinhardt

    “I met Jack Cassidy 45 years ago while in graduate school at the University of Delaware. Jack was director of reading for the local school district, and later became a professor at Millersville State College in Pennsylvania. Jack was elected to the IRA Board of Directors at the time, which necessitated missing classes some nights. He pressed me into service as a substitute, and we wrote together, too. Although only a student, he always treated me with great dignity and respect and, over the years, I saw that as his normal modus operandi; status just didn’t matter to Jack. What did matter were his commitments to his wife, Drew, their family, and to our profession. No member ever attended more ILA Board meetings than Jack (sometimes to the chagrin of the Board members), nor did anyone nominate as many ILA Board and officer candidates as Jack. One of his valuable contributions was his work with ILA’s LEADER-SIG, which became a kind of proving ground for future association leadership. Most people got to know of Jack through his What’s Hot, What’s Not poll. I loved Jack dearly, but each year when he’d buttonhole me to take that poll, it would drive me nuts. It required that you judge something ‘hot or not’ without a lot of quibbling, explanation, and Hamlet-like gnashing of teeth. The poll was straightforward, just like Jack. His passing is a great loss.” —Timothy Shanahan, University of Illinois at Chicago

    “Jack Cassidy will be sorely missed. He was an almost bigger-than-life force in IRA! He was a great role model for so many of us: his enthusiastic energy and vision for improving IRA and our leadership in literacy; his critical sense of not just accepting what was but of applying his efforts to improve our services to members; his interest in each of us and desire to help us grow; and most of all, his warm smile and his inviting spirit.” —Donna Ogle, National Louis University

    “Jack Cassidy has had a monumental influence on reading/literacy for over 50 years, manifested through a range of initiatives from publications to service to an extraordinary legacy of nurturing and mentoring. His influence extended from his own writings to a host of service commitments including presidency of both IRA and the College Reading Association to a willingness to go the extra mile for others, especially his students. He had a vision for what can be and an energy and compassion that was tirelessly committed to ensuring the well-being of the field and those of us engaged in trying to make a positive difference. As one of my colleagues suggested, he was the field’s conscience. He made sure that we held all of our professional organizations as well as those credentialing and accreditation bodies that control entry to the teaching profession to the highest of standards when it came to serving the interests of students, their families, and their teachers.” —Rob Tierney, University of British Columbia

    If you would like to share a tribute for Jack Cassidy, please email social@reading.org.


    Colleen Patrice Clark
    is the managing editor of
    Literacy Today, ILA’s member magazine.

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    ILA 2021 Board Election Results

    By ILA Staff
     | May 21, 2021

    The International Literacy Association (ILA) is pleased to announce the newly elected members of the ILA Board of Directors.

    150x150-Kunz
    Kenneth Kunz, Assistant Professor, Monmouth University, New Jersey; Director, For the Love of Literacy, was elected vice president. His term on the ILA Board of Directors will begin July 1, 2021. He will then assume the presidency of the Board on July 1, 2022.

    Three new Board members-at-large have also been elected for the 2021–2024 term:

    • Carol Jago, Associate Director, California Reading and Literature Project, University of California at Los Angeles
    • Molly Ness, Associate Professor, Fordham University, New York
    • Dana A. Robertson, Associate Professor, University of Wyoming; Executive Director, Literacy Research Center and Clinic

    The entire ILA community congratulates the newly elected Vice President and Board members. You can follow these Board members on Twitter at @DrKennethKunz, @CarolJago, @DrMollyNess, and @drober36, respectively.

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    University of North Georgia Receives ILA National Recognition With Distinction for Excellence in Literacy Professional Preparation

    By ILA Staff
     | May 19, 2021
    National Recognition

    The International Literacy Association (ILA) today announced that the University of North Georgia is the latest recipient of ILA National Recognition With Distinction—the highest institutional honor awarded by ILA.

    ILA National Recognition for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals recognizes outstanding literacy preparation programs in the United States with ILA National Recognition or ILA National Recognition With Distinction. By receiving ILA National Recognition With Distinction, University of North Georgia’s Elementary Education program demonstrated that it adheres to a rigorous set of standards for preparing literacy professionals and exceeds ILA’s benchmarks.

    “Our review team was particularly impressed with University of North Georgia and their clear emphasis on continuous improvement in teaching across all areas of literacy,” said Diane Kern, ILA National Recognition program coordinator. “The teacher candidates, all of whom graduate with a reading endorsement, are provided with multiple opportunities to observe, teach, reflect, and improve as they progress through the rigorous and robust program. We are honored to award their program ILA National Recognition With Distinction.”

    University of North Georgia joins just two institutions that have received the distinction level of honor: The University of Texas at San Antonio and West Virginia University. In addition, Loyola University Maryland has earned ILA National Recognition.

    The ILA National Recognition and ILA National Recognition With Distinction honor outstanding licensure, certificate and endorsement programs that prepare reading/literacy specialists and elementary/intermediate classroom teachers. To learn more about the program, visit the ILA website.

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    International Literacy Association Announces 2021 Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards Winners

    By ILA Staff
     | May 12, 2021
    Kids reading

    The International Literacy Association (ILA) announced the 2021 winners of its Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards this week, highlighting both fiction and nonfiction works that exemplify the very best from rising stars in the literary field.

    The winning authors and titles were unveiled during the ILA Children’s Literature Intensive: Creating a Culturally Responsive Classroom Through Books on May 11.

    ILA’s annual book awards program recognizes newly published authors who exhibit exceptional promise in the children’s and young adults’ book fields; eligible titles must be the author’s first or second. In its history, the awards have featured the early works of now prominent literary figures including Juana Martinez-Neal, Patricia Polacco, and Lois Lowry.

    This year’s honorees offer a range of topics—from overcoming adversity and trauma to celebrating the skin we’re in, from the beginning of the universe to a seahorse’s anatomy, and more.

    “Authors such as this year’s winners provide a gateway to our students to learn both about the world in which we live—past and present—and worlds imagined,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “With all of the uncertainties of the past year, these book creators are providing the constant we need: the ability to find refuge in and to grow through books.”

    Awards are presented for fiction and nonfiction in each of three categories: primary, intermediate, and young adult.

    The 2021 award winners are:

    Primary Fiction

    Winner: Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration. Samara Cole Doyon. Tilbury House.

    Honor: I Talk Like a River. Jordan Scott. Neal Porter Books.

    Primary Nonfiction

    Winner: This Is a Seahorse. Cassandra Federman. Albert Whitman & Company.

    Honor: The Big Bang Book. Asa Stahl. Creston Books.

    Intermediate Fiction

    Winner: Brother’s Keeper. Julie Lee. Holiday House.

    Honor: When You Know What I Know. Sonja K. Solter. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

    Intermediate Nonfiction

    Winner: The Suffragist Playbook: Your Guide to Changing the World. Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts. Candlewick Press.

    Honor: Lizzie Demands a Seat! Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights. Beth Anderson. Boyds Mills & Kane.

    Young Adult Fiction

    Winner: The Magic Fish. Trung Le Nguyen. Random House Children’s Books.

    Honor: The Lucky Ones. Liz Lawson. Random House Children’s Books.

    Young Adult Nonfiction

    Winner: The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person. Frederick Joseph. Candlewick Press.

    Additional information on the ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards can be found here. Information on the ILA Children’s Literature Intensive, which will be available to view on demand, can be found here.

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