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    Planning for the Day After: Talking to Students About Traumatic Events

    ILA Staff
     | Jan 15, 2021
    WhatWillWeSay_680w

    “What were some of your day afters?” asked Matthew R. Kay, author of Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom, at the beginning of ILA’s free digital event on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

    Kay’s session, “‘What Will We Say to Them Tomorrow?’: Tackling Tough Conversations in the Classroom” is available on demand for free on ILA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

    Answers from the nearly 1,000 educators participating in Tuesday’s webinar came pouring in: Columbine. 9/11. Sandy Hook. The Boston Marathon bombing. The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

    In the days after the violent insurrection that occurred in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, educators grappled with how to address the attack in their classrooms—or if they even should. Students ask questions, of course. How would educators answer them?

    Kay took to Twitter the day after, giving advice and reminding fellow educators that students need engagement and substance, not quick fixes.

    MattKay_Twitter1

     

    Those looking for with additional resources from Kay may be interested in the following:

    Follow Kay on Twitter, where he regularly shares valuable resources from others.

    MattKay_Twitter2

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    ILA’s 30 Under 30 List Honors Emerging Leaders in 12 Countries

    By ILA Staff
     | Jan 11, 2021
    30 Under 30 collage

    ILA released its biennial 30 Under 30 list today, an initiative that shines a spotlight on the next generation of leaders who are working to create positive change in the global literacy landscape.

    The 2021 list of honorees includes educators, nonprofit leaders, authors, volunteers, researchers, and social entrepreneurs. Though their roles may differ, they all belong to a growing cohort of young innovators, disrupters, and visionaries in the field.

    “The start of 2021 is filled with much promise thanks to the work of this year’s class of honorees,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “Their work—whether it’s research on multicultural literacy, helping young students find the power of their voice, or dismantling systems of oppression in education—is impacting the lives of countless individuals and communities. Not only do these emerging leaders share in our mission of literacy for all, but also they are helping to ensure that the post-COVID era, when we get there, will be grounded in equity for all.”

    Representing 12 countries, this year’s list celebrates emerging leaders such as

    • Patrick Harris, 27, founder of Good Trouble Media and humanities teacher at The Roeper School in Michigan, U.S., who helped transform his middle school English department into a humanities program geared toward preparing students to tackle social justice issues. Through his media company, he also creates education-focused podcasts, most notably The Common Sense Podcast, in which he and his cohost showcased the highs and lows of being Black teachers.
    • Ondřej Kania, 28, CEO/cofounder of JK Education in the Czech Republic, which began as an advisory organization for students in Central Europe by assisting them with obtaining scholarships and financial aid to attend schools in the United States. Now, the organization is working to transform the education system in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with the founding of four schools grounded in personalized, project-based learning.
    • Havana Chapman-Edwards, 10, founder/executive director of Girls Have Rights in Frankfurt, Germany, whose youth-powered nonprofit aims to eliminate barriers to girls’ education. Chapman-Edwards, the youngest honoree on this year’s list, has raised more than $40,000 for girls around the globe for items such as books, school supplies, toiletries, and transportation.

    ILA’s 2021 30 Under 30 list also includes the following individuals: 

    • Saurabh Anand, 28, Graduate Student Research Assistantship Fellow, University of Georgia, Georgia, U.S.
    • Anna Bjork, 28, English Language Learner Teacher, Minnetonka Public Schools, Minnesota, U.S.
    • Ryan Brady, 18, Founder, Hippkids, Ohio, U.S.
    • Candace Chambers, 27, CEO, Educational Writing Services; PhD Student, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
    • Jimmie Chengo, 23, Founder/Executive Director, Afribuk Society, Kajiado, Kenya
    • Cedric Christian Ngnaoussi Elongué, 27, Founder/Executive Director, Muna Kalati, Accra, Ghana
    • Enwongo-Abasi Francis, 24, Ambassador, World Literacy Foundation, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria
    • Seth French, 29, English Language Arts Teacher, Bentonville High School, Arkansas, U.S.
    • Shayla Glass-Thompson, 28, Literacy and Language Equity Specialist, Badger Ridge Middle School, Wisconsin, U.S.
    • Tiyana Herring, 23, Fifth-Grade Teacher, Kate Sullivan Elementary School; Graduate Student, Florida State University, Florida, U.S.
    • Tori Hill, 27, Executive Director, Writers and Artists Across the Country, California, U.S.
    • Mahdi Housaini, 25, Founder, Parande Library, Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan
    • Jigyasa Labroo, 28, Founder/CEO, Slam Out Loud, Dharamshala, India
    • Roman Lay, 28, English/Drama Teacher, Alcoa High School, Tennessee, U.S.
    • Andrea Liao, 18, Founder/President, Book the Future, Washington, U.S.
    • Josephine Lichaha, 28, Teacher, Go Ye Therefore, Livingstone, Zambia
    • Austin Martin, 25, Creator/Director, Rhymes With Reason, California, U.S.
    • Simpson Muhwezi, 29, Founder/Creative Director, Wandiika Literacy Initiative, Kampala, Uganda
    • Erin O'Neil, 26, Founder, Fishtail Publishing, Ohio, U.S.
    • Akash Patel, 28, Spanish Teacher, Ignite Middle School; Founder, Happy World Foundation, Texas, U.S.
    • Rebecca Quiñones, 28, Second-Grade Spanish Dual Language Teacher, P.S. 139, New York, U.S.
    • Zachery Ramos, 21, President/Founder, Traveling Library, California, U.S.
    • Dwayne Reed, 29, Fourth-/Fifth-Grade English Language Arts Teacher, Chicago Public Schools; CEO, Teach Mr. Reed, Illinois, U.S.
    • Kelsey Reynolds, 25, Literacy and Education Advocate, California, U.S.
    • Mari Sawa, 29, Literacy Specialist, Earth8ight School, Okayama, Japan
    • Olivia Van Ledtje, 12, Founder, LivBits, New Hampshire, U.S.
    • Tien-Hao Yen, 29, Founder, LIS Education, New Taipei City, Taiwan

    ILA’s 30 Under 30 honorees are featured in the January/February 2021 issue of Literacy Today, ILA’s bimonthly magazine, which published today. To view the Literacy Today feature and read more about the honorees’ accomplishments, visit literacyworldwide.org/30under30.

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    ILA 2021 Conference Canceled; In-Person Conferences Remain Paused

    By ILA Staff
     | Jan 04, 2021

    ILA2021Cancelled_680The International Literacy Association (ILA) announced last week that it is cancelling the 2021 Conference, scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, IN, October 12–17.

    The move came just as the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the United Kingdom. With the possibility of mass distribution to the general population as early as June 2021, some may see the call to cancel premature.

    Not so, says ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post.

    “At this time, there’s no way to ensure the health and safety of conference participants, including our exhibitors, vendors, and staff,” she says. “It’s a gamble we did not feel comfortable taking.”

    Early response to the decision has been positive, with many expressing gratitude for the proactive approach.

    ILA plans to expand its robust slate of digital events in 2021. It’s also exploring new ways for educators to present outside of the conventional conference setting and to share their work with a wider global audience.

    The pandemic forced us to rethink how we teach, learning, and engage,” Post says. “Now we need to make sure we embrace what worked and not simply return to the old way of doing things.”

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    Top 10 Most Read Literacy Now Blog Posts of 2020

    Paige Savitt
     | Dec 30, 2020
    2020RoundUp_680

    As 2020 comes to an end, let’s reflect on the year behind us—a year full of new experiences, of meeting and overcoming new challenges. Throughout the year, we published a variety of Literacy Now blog posts to help educators through these tough times.

    Here is a list of the top 10 most read Literacy Now blog posts of 2020:

    • Observing Young Readers and Writers: A Tool for Informing Instruction” by Alessandra E. Ward, Nell K. Duke, and Rachel Klingelhofer examines the LTR-WWWP, or The Listening to Reading-Watching White Writing Protocol, a new tool educators can use to assess students’ reading and writing skills when listening to students read aloud and watching them write. The LTR-WWWP is thoroughly explained for readers in this post, along with access to the tool and resources on how to use the tool and what it looks like in action.
    • Reading Rescue: Preventing the COVID-19 Slide With Lessons for Comprehension and Fluency at Home” by Lori Oczkus provides tips for helping students succeed in a virtual learning environment. Oczkus introduces the Fab Four comprehension strategies to improve literacy achievement: predict, question, clarify, and summarize. These strategies can be easily adapted for distance learning and show quick results.
    • Reading On: Free Resources for Virtual Learning” by Morgan Ratner compiled a list of digital resources for enhancing distance learning. Ratner provides resources to books and literacy instruction, community and library programs, and open access published content.
    • Encouraging Independent Reading Remotely in the COVID-19 Era” by Marie Havran suggests multiple ways to encourage students to read independently in a virtual classroom. Hosting a book show-and-tell, inviting guest readers, and encouraging book talks are just a few of the many suggestions that Havran makes.
    • Together Apart: Fostering Collaboration in Remote Learning Environment” by Katy Tarasi addresses collaboration challenges caused by COVID-19 and the need to remove students from the classroom and shift teaching and learning to an online format. Tarasi has come up with novel ways to bring collaboration between students into a virtual work space. By having routines, purposeful learning, modifications, and more, educators can effectively allow students to collaborate from a distance.
    • Meaningful Remote Learning and Literacy Practices During COVID-19” by Katie (Stover) Kelly examines the ways educators around the world have adjusted to teaching virtually, or at least from a distance. Along with this, Kelly provides tips for effective remote learning and meaningful resources for educators to share with their students.
    • Engaging Learning Through Disruptions” is a roundup of a variety of resources compiled at the beginning of sudden move to remote learning earlier this year. In response to having to adapt quickly to online learning because of COVID-19, educators, publishers, and other businesses rushed to provide resources for those who need them.
    • This Is Your Class on Zoom: Videoconference Literacies During COVID Quarantine” by Christy Wessel-Powell and Julie Rust evaluates the different forms of literacies faced when moving to digital learning. Students continued to learn social, digital, and artificial literacies through the obstacles of online and distance learning, and Wessel-Powell and Rust take a deeper dive into what these literacies mean for students and educators in a virtual world.
    • ILA Partners With #KidLit4BlackLives Community” introduces the Facebook Live event “How to Raise and Teach Anti-Racist Kids.” In response to nationwide protests in the United States calling for social action, children’s book author Kwame Alexander set to work organizing virtual town hall discussions. This free digital event, intended for educators and families alike, serves as an important teaching movement in the pursuit for equity in education for all learns.
    • The Importance of a Diverse Classroom Library” by Jerie Blintt examines how, now more than ever, addressing the diversity in our classrooms and how students could be affected by different events is vital. Blintt emphasizes the importance of having diverse classroom materials and introducing kids to learning about empathy.
    Paige Savitt is the communications intern at ILA. 
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    Celebrating the Literacy Champions We Lost in 2020

    ILA Staff
     | Dec 23, 2020

    As the year comes to a close, reflecting back on the last 12 months is natural. For many people, 2020 was a particularly challenging year. As we at ILA look to a brighter future in 2021, we want to recognize and honor the literacy champions to whom we said goodbye this year. These teachers, researchers, and literacy leaders dedicated their lives to the advancement of the field of literacy, and we are grateful for their service and commitment to transforming lives through literacy.

    ConnerCarol McDonald Connor, chancellor's professor of education at the University of California Irvine School of Education, whose life’s work centered on studying language and literacy development

     

    DurkinMary Dolores Durkin, professor emerita of Education in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and a recipient of ILA’s William S. Gray Citation of Merit Award, which honors ILA members who have made outstanding contributions to multiple facets of literacy development

     

    EdwardsWilliam L. Edwards, professor of Teacher Education at Missouri Southern State University, and a longtime member of ILA who traveled to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mauritius, and Malawi in his efforts to extend the mission of the International Literacy Association

    KennethGoodman_w140Kenneth S. Goodman, professor emeritus at the University of Arizona and a past president of the International Reading Association (now International Literacy Association), who has been referred to as “the founding father of the whole language approach to reading”

     


    Indrisano_w140Roselmina “Lee” Indrisano, professor emerita at Boston University’s Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and a past president of the International Reading Association, whose work around issues related to early literacy development and enhancement of struggling readers and their families was widely recognized

    MacGinitieWalter H. MacGinitie, a noted educator recognized for his groundbreaking research in reading comprehension, who not only received the Reading Teachers’ Award for contributions to the field of reading from the New York State Reading Association but also served as a president of the International Reading Association.

    Redman

    Judy Redman, educator, administrator, and matriarch of the Palmetto State Literacy Association, who has been honored with the creation of the Judy Redman Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented for outstanding literacy service





    SamuelsS. Jay Samuels, whose may accomplishments and contributions to the field of literacy include coauthoring alongside Alan E. Farstrup the International Reading Association’s What Research Has to Say About… series of book

     

    SchmeltzBonnie Schmeltz, reading teacher, principal, and former president of State of Maryland Literacy Association (SoMLA), and a dedicated advocate for literacy instruction who ensured all children had access to books

     

    Strickland_w140Dorothy S. Strickland, state of New Jersey professor of reading, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor professor of education, emerita, at Rutgers University, a past president of the International Reading Association, and a renowned advocate of equitable literacy instruction and of improving the quality of teacher education programs and professional development

    Thelen

    Judith Thelen, professor, literacy advocate, and a past president of the International Reading Association, whose work in reading received national and international recognition

     


    WellsGordon Wells, educator emeritus at University of California Santa Cruz, whose work focused on sociocultural theories of learning

     




    We know this is far from a comprehensive list of the great many literacy leaders who have passed away this year. Our hearts go out to the friends, families, and communities affected by their passing. The world is a better place for their efforts, and their example serves as an inspiration to us in our own work.

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