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    Important Announcement: Change in ILA Next Registration Rates

    Stephen G. Peters & Marcie Craig Post
     | Sep 14, 2020

    ILANext_680wTo our valued members, and to the vibrant community of literacy educators around the world, we extend our sincerest gratitude for your service.

    We know the toll the current global crisis has had on you and our profession, and we know that you are being asked to perform Herculean feats daily. So many of you have shared the need and desire for professional development that addresses the challenges you’ve been facing. And because of the economic devastation COVID-19 has wrought, you have been clear that this professional development must be affordable.

    Please know that we hear you—and that we are taking action.

    The registration rate for ILA Next, our upcoming multiweek professional learning event for literacy educators, has been reduced by half for ILA members.

    This means that all members can gain access to the high-quality, evidence-based professional learning that ILA Next provides for just $99. Nonmember pricing remains the same, but those who join ILA before registering will still see savings of more than $100 total.

    Registration to ILA Next includes:

    • Programming offered in 90-minute segments, spread out over four weeks
    • Convenient Saturday sessions with established and emerging speakers representing a diverse range of roles, experiences, and areas of expertise
    • Weeknight workshops and informal discussion groups designed for live interaction with speakers and fellow attendees
    • Closed-captioned recordings available for on-demand viewing within five business days of live presentations
    • 24/7 access to an Exhibitor Showcase, plus additional Learning Lab sessions each week
    • Unlimited access to recordings through January 31, 2021, which equals nearly four months for the first week’s programming
    • Letter of attendance awarding clock hours for participation

    Members who registered for ILA Next previously will receive a refund for the price difference. Please look for an email later this week confirming that the refund has been processed.

    Our goal for ILA Next has always been to provide you with a program that is responsive to your ever-evolving needs--one that not only acknowledges the unique circumstances that educators currently face but also provides practical solutions that can be implemented immediately.

    Stephen G. Peters
    President, ILA Board of Directors

    Marcie Craig Post
    Executive Director, ILA

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    Reflecting on the ILA Webinar “Literacy Teaching in Turbulent Times”

    By Kristin Bond
     | Aug 20, 2020

    ReflectingontheWebinar_680wI am on a major professional development binge. There are just so many free and appropriately priced online conferences, webinars, and events happening right now! It is a petri dish of opportunities. I feel as though something new pops up in my Twitter feed every day.
    Webinar promo Tweet

    ILA’s free webinar “Literacy Teaching in Turbulent Times” did not disappoint.


    Soul searching

    During this one-hour conversation between Ernest Morrell and Nell K. Duke, they not only spoke their truths but also invited the viewers to do their own soul searching. I was confronted with my own inherent beliefs about literacy and the individuals who sit in the seats before me each year. I was confronted with my own understanding of equity in my context. And I was confronted with my passive role in being better for every single student. 

    At the end of the hour, Ernest stated:

    “We don’t want to go back, we want to go forward. Turbulence can disrupt…and there are some things that need to be disrupted…. This is a time to forge a new narrative; a narrative of excellence that is widely distributed. An ethic of love where we mention the word love as much as we mention the word science when we’re talking about reading pedagogy and achievement…. There is an opportunity to form a transformative vision for literacy education that will lead society…. We want literate human beings, but we want humane ones. Some of the most literate societies in human history have been responsible for some of the most atrocious acts. Literacy doesn’t make you a better person; humanizing education does. It’s reading and writing in the interest of self-love and social transformation is what we want.”

    (I could end this blog post here with this mic-drop moment. Such powerful words!)

    We need to remember that the current context we are in not only is happening to everyone in the world but also is no one’s fault. There is no one to blame. And as such, we need to take this opportunity to come together as a collective and see the possibilities afforded to us, to focus on the little (and big) humans who come to our classes everyday (whether digitally or face to face).

    One concept that was reinforced for me in this webinar was that of connection. Building relationships and creating a trusting environment must be at the forefront of all classes as schools reopen this fall.

    Connecting to Tricia Ebarvia’s work

    This webinar made me think about the work done by Disrupt Texts.

    Numerous times I have been lucky to hear Tricia Ebarvia speak. She says that teaching is a political act and that teaching literacy is teaching for freedom. She asks the questions “How many times do we have students cross off parts of who they are (gender, race, religion, etc.) when they walk into our schools and our classrooms? How do we show up as teachers?”

    We have an opportunity to nurture the self-love and social transformation that Ernest espouses through the literature that we bring into students’ lives. As Tricia says, we are “stewards of stories,”  and we have the power to transform our classrooms into beautiful spaces where students can read stories of themselves and those of others. We have an opportunity to diversify our curriculum and to help create those literate and humane individuals that society desperately needs.

    Nell mentioned the historical link between racism and literacy, how White people and White systems worked actively to suppress people of color from learning how to read and write. This, too, made me consider Tricia’s point about the literary canon (brought to you by a bunch of White men), which, just like race and religion, was socially constructed, and therefore it can be torn down and rebuilt.

    The narratives within these stories don’t need to be placed on a pedestal. Especially now, during these turbulent times, we need to disrupt the status quo of inequity. Educators are in a powerful position to do just that.

    Breaking the cycle

    In a recent Hidden Brain podcast on NPR, the host speaks to author and behavioral economist Sam Bowles about his book Moral Economy. Sam explains how he believes we have moved from the species Homo sapiens (wise human) to “Homo economicus.” This new species, he says, “cares only about himself or herself and therefore evaluates actions that may be taken simply in terms of what’s in it for me.”

    This shift in human behavior is affecting our ability to cope with and gain perspective on the current COVID-19 and racism pandemics. Educators have an opportunity to disrupt this me-me-me mind-set and nurture a more collective mentality.

    And literature can help. Literature creates bridges to empathy. Literature can connect people from different races, classes, cultures, and generations. Literature can heal.

    But we, as educators, need to step up and learn how to do it better.

    Kristin Bond is currently exploring new avenues in education after 15 years of teaching high school English abroad in China, Brunei, and the UAE. She is passionate about the benefits of workshop models in the classroom and believes that at the core of student learning is first establishing a connection and community of trust. Follow her on Twitter @readwritemore.

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    Resource Roundup From “Literacy Teaching in Turbulent Times”

    By Wesley Ford
     | Aug 14, 2020

    TurbulentTimesResources_w680Last week, we hosted a free event during which Stand for Children's Jonah Edelman facilitated a frank conversation with Ernest Morrell and Nell K. Duke about the challenges and opportunities of teaching during an unsettling and uncertain time. If you were able to join the live event, you know that Ernest and Nell offered not only powerful inspiration and uplifting motivation but also quite a few practical resources and book recommendations.

    If you weren’t able to join us during the live event, don’t worry: The video is available on demand and for free through Facebook Live or on our YouTube channel.

    Rather than have you go through and write down all the resources they shared, we did it for you!

    Note that although I list a time stamp for when the resource was mentioned, it might not be entirely accurate depending on which of the recordings you watch. Each has been edited a little differently. But it should be close enough that you match the resource to what is being mentioned.

    The resource

    12:55: Nell mentions Catherine M. BohnAlysia D. Roehrig, and Michael Pressley’s study “The First Days of School in the Classrooms of Two More Effective and Four Less Effective Primary-Grades Teachers

    14:24: Nell mentions two videos on her YouTube channel:

    Small-Group Literacy Instruction at a Distance and Word Work at a Distance.

    25:23: Ernest mentions Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning 

    37:31: Nell mentions her study from January 2000: For the Rich It's Richer: Print Experiences and Environments Offered to Children in Very Low- and Very High-Socioeconomic Status First-Grade Classrooms

    46:45: Jonah recommends Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist

    49:21: Nell mentions the Anti-Racism Educational Consultants Network

    And there you have it! If there any resources we missed, you can email us to let us know. Be sure to check out our Digital Events page or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay apprised of what’s coming next from ILA.

    Wesley Ford is the senior social media strategist for ILA.

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    New From ILA: “Workinar” on Planning for SEL in Literacy Instruction

    By Wesley Ford
     | Aug 11, 2020

    CASELWorkinar_680x357I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has been a strange year for everyone. Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have been widespread and ongoing, especially in the educator field. Back in March, as schools shut their doors for extended spring breaks and shifted over to distance learning, we at ILA immediately started looking for ways to support educators.

    We leveraged digital platforms like Zoom and Facebook Live to provide new professional learning experiences. We canceled our annual in-person conference, ILA 2020, and created ILA Next, an entirely new program built from the ground up for the digital space. Much like educators who very suddenly shifted to teaching remotely, we’re learning as we go, and we’re continuing to design new profession development models to provide the best learning experience for educators.

    ILA Workinar

    Which brings me to our next professional development event, our webinar/workshop hybrid, the ILA Workinar (see what we did there?). For our inaugural workinar, Planning for Social-Emotional Learning in Literacy Instruction (August 16, 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m. ET), we teamed up with CASEL to create a robust learning experience that focuses on helping educators understand the social-emotional needs of their students.

    During the first half of this 90-minute event, participants will learn how to apply the four SEL Critical Practices outlined in CASEL’s Roadmap for Reopening School to literacy teaching and learning from our keynote speakers, Justina Schlund from CASEL and Christine M.T. Pitts from NWEA.

    The workshops

    But this event goes beyond listening to a presentation. Following the keynote, attendees will be asked to select one of four smaller discussion groups, three of which are organized around the age of the learner, with the fourth focusing on the needs of principals, literacy coaches, and administrators. Each workshop will be guided by literacy educators immersed in social-emotional learning (SEL) work.

    We’ve broken these workshops into four categories:

    • Primary/elementary students (grades K–3), led by Rhonda M. Sutton and Tamera Slaughter
    • Intermediate/middle school students (grades 4–8), led by Sara K. Ahmed and Chad Everett
    • Secondary/high school students (grades 9–12), led by Gerald Dessus and Kimberly Eckert
    • Principals and staff developers, led by Arlène Elizabeth Casimir

    These facilitators will prompt discussion and reflection as well as providing additional resources to workshop participants. Participants will also have the chance to connect with colleagues and deepen their understanding of their students’ SEL needs.

    Video archives

    We understand how busy educators are. Professional development needs to flexible and accessible to fit educators’ schedules. That’s why our digital events are recorded. The main keynote and all four workshops will be recorded and available to all registrants. That’s right: You get access not only to the workshop you attended but also the other three. That’s a total of 135 additional minutes of professional to watch and learn from at your leisure.

    Confirm your membership or join ILA before you register

    Registration for this ILA Workinar is just $25 for members ($75 for nonmembers). You can become a member of ILA for just $44. Plus, membership gives you access to a suite of resources free for members.

    That includes our ILA at Home webinars, such as “Making a Case for Reading Joy” (featuring Donalyn Miller) on August 30, as well as archives of previous webinars featuring educators such as Timothy Shanahan, Marjorie Y. Lipson, Jeanne R. Paratore, and Victoria J. Risko.

    Be sure to join us for this new professional development event!

    Wesley Ford is the senior social media strategist for ILA.
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    Overcoming Racial Injustice: A Call to Action

    By ILA Staff
     | Jun 19, 2020

    We Stand for Racial JusticeIn response to the tragic murder of George Floyd on May 25, there have been widespread demonstrations around the world calling for systemic changes to end racial injustices. The editorial teams from our three academic journals Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and The Reading Teacher composed a joint statement about how to counter the racism within the academic setting. Below are the four steps identified by the ILA academic editorial teams, why each is important, and how ILA’s journals will rise to these challenges.

    1. Acknowledge, value, and support BIPOC colleagues and students.

    This work involves learning about histories of oppression, practicing anti-racist behaviors, and participating in just causes. It also involves looking beyond traditional research positions to see value in challenges to hegemonic positions and expansion of research methods. Last, it involves mentoring as well as actively promoting and collaborating with BIPOC scholars.

    ILA’s journals will activate this by promoting and supporting BIPOC scholars, including authors and editorial board members. We will do this by disseminating the work of BIPOC scholars through social media and other distribution outlets, as well as by providing more mentoring support to BIPOC scholars who hope to publish in ILA’s journals.

    2. Find ways to encourage and initiate more literacy research submissions that focus on supporting BIPOC communities.

    As journal editors, we are calling for manuscripts that provide deeper and better understandings of literacy and its role vis-à-vis BIPOC communities. We specifically ask researchers to submit manuscripts that highlight the voices and experiences of marginalized students, teachers, and underrepresented communities, as well as take a strength-based view.

    We have worked to make ILA journals a place where all methods and perspectives can find a home, but we are not receiving the volume of submissions needed in this vein. Recruiting and serving as reviewers allows us to fast-track submissions and adjudicate work with as much speed as we are capable.

    3. Get involved in efforts to fund more literacy research that addresses inequities across racial groups.

    All funding agencies depend on us as literacy researchers to tell them what work is worthy of recognition and support. We can and should make this a priority. ILA journals will support this by publishing more work by BIPOC scholars that attends to experiences of marginalized communities, which we hope will fuel interest and support of scholars applying for such grants.

    4. Increase the quality of literacy instruction grounded in representative curricular materials supported by research that addresses the specific needs of BIPOC teachers and students.

    Right now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional literacy instruction for students from nondominant communities has to a large extent ceased or slackened. Unless we can figure out ways to better provide this instruction (through digital devices, access to the internet, curriculum that meets the needs of BIPOC students), the literacy learning needs of BIPOC students will suffer. Again, we believe that our community of literacy researchers is uniquely well-positioned to address this need.

    Robert T. Jiménez and Amanda Goodwin
    Editors, Reading Research Quarterly

    Kelly Chandler-Olcott and Kathleen A. Hinchman
    Editors, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy

    Robin Griffith and Jan Lacina
    Editors, The Reading Teacher

    Marcie Craig Post
    ILA Executive Director

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