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ILA Member Spotlight: Pi Chapter

ILA Staff
 | Jul 17, 2023

Pi Chapter of ILA’s Alpha Upsilon Alpha (AUA) Honor Society
Location: Loyola University Chicago (Illinois)
Established: Recently reactivated in 2022

What they do: We are a new chapter and are just getting started in our plans for our organization. We have already started our work by forming a very close-knit community of learners who have become a support system for everyone involved. Our goals are to extend our literacy leadership work as well as service projects within our local Chicagoland communities.

Top row, L to R: Stephanie Coan, Colleen Whittingham (faculty), Aimee Ellis (faculty/chapter advisor), Leah Romaine (faculty), Olivia Whalen, and Kelly Peterson

Bottom row, L to R: Madison Staszcuk, Maddy Keuten, Michele Helmer, Grace Dechant, and Anna Rivera

Why they do it: The student members are currently all also reading teacher minors, so literacy is a huge passion for everyone involved. Every member believes in the huge power of literacy, ensuring children have access to inclusive texts that center children’s diverse identities, and using the funds of knowledge children bring from home to bridge school and home literacy practices.

Who can join: Teacher candidates who have completed at least five semesters of their teacher preparation program, are ranked in the top 25% of their class in scholarship, and are recommended by a faculty member. The Pi Chapter at Loyola University Chicago has their new group of 10 qualifying undergraduate members.

How to join: Potential candidates are invited to join based on their scholarship and recommendations. From there, they ensure their membership to ILA is current and complete the appropriate documentation through Alpha Upsilon Alpha. An initiation ceremony is held in the beginning of the spring semester each academic year.

Highlights from a recent event: Our activities are still in planning mode. However, we have started to do a monthly newsletter for members that highlights literacy events in the news, new children’s texts that are out that month, and a featured member section. Our future planned projects include book drives for free libraries throughout the city and nearby suburbs, attending the state literacy conference, social events, and creating literacy-focused activities in the community.

How is the AUA honor society motto (Lege sapere aude/Read, dare to be wise) embodied by your members? Our chapter members are currently all undergraduate education teacher candidates who also are taking extra courses to get their reading teacher minor and endorsement. This requires a true commitment to literacy leadership, as the program is already demanding before adding the extra classes. Their desire to read and be wise extends into all they do!

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed in blog posts on this website are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of ILA. We have taken reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in blog posts but do not warrant the accuracy or completeness of such information.


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