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#ILAchat: Ensuring Every Child’s Rights to Read

Wesley Ford
 | Sep 11, 2018

ILAchat_RightsToRead_300This Thursday, September 13, at 8:00 p.m. ET, #ILAchat and #globaledchat will join together for a single conversation focusing on the newly released Children’s Rights to Read, looking specifically at the role of educators in enacting and upholding these rights for students.

As ILA President of the Board Bernadette Dwyer notes in the introduction of The Case for Children’s Rights to Read, “As literacy educators, we are responsible for delivering on the promise inherent in these rights. Whether we are working in the classroom or preparing the next generation of teachers, we have a responsibility for every student entrusted to our care. We must enact these rights in classrooms and schools and work with others to ensure the same in homes, communities, governments, and societies.”

Alas, Dwyer could not be with us for this chat. Taking up the mantle in her stead, we have a few members of ILA’s Board of Directors—Juli-Anne Benjamin, Kenneth Kunz, Stephen Peters, and Jennifer Williams—and Heather Singmaster, representing #globaledchat, who are graciously letting us use their Twitter chat platform to expand the reach of this conversation.

Benjamin is a veteran educator who has dedicated her life in the service of children, both nationally and internationally, having taught in South Africa and recently in New Delhi, India, at Delhi Public Schools. Benjamin loves to read and is devoutly committed to building culturally relevant and sustainable classroom libraries. She champions read-alouds in literacy lessons and grounds instructional practice in building and curating sound relationships with teachers and students and culturally aligning books that serve as windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors into the diverse experiences and worlds of children.

Kunz began his career as an elementary school teacher in the New Jersey Public Schools after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and English from Kean University. In 2007, he received recognition as an outstanding teacher through the New Jersey Governor’s Teacher Recognition Program. Passionate about literacy instruction, he holds a master’s degree in Reading Specialization and a doctorate in Teacher Leadership from Rutgers University.

childrens-rights-to-read-posterPeters has been a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director of secondary education. Most of his experiences have been in schools that made significant growth in short periods of time, thus resulting in both National and State Blue Ribbon distinction. Currently, Peters is superintendent of schools for Laurens 55 School District and is founder of the nationally recognized Gentlemen’s & Ladies Club programs, which provide options for thousands of at-risk and honor students throughout the United States.

Williams is recognized as a transformational leader in education; she has dedicated herself for over 20 years to the field of education through her roles as a school administrator, literacy specialist, and classroom teacher. Her personal mission is to make literacy accessible for all and ultimately to bring about appreciation of shared stories and celebration of diversity of experience and perspective.

Singmaster is associate director at the Center for Global Education at the Asia Society, where her work focuses on international benchmarking and integrating global competence into Career Technical Education (CTE) programs as well as state and national policy. She leads the project, Mapping the Nation: The Case for Global Competence and is host of Education Week’s Global Learning blog. Currently, she is working on a set of online professional development modules and resources to support the CTE field.

We’re excited to hear from both the #ILAchat and #globaledchat communities jointly on Thursday, September 13, at 8:00 p.m. ET about these Rights, which resonated the most with you personally, how you plan to implement them in your classrooms and schools, and what support you think educators will need to ensure these Rights to Read for every student.

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