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    ILA 2020: Submissions for Proposals Now Open

    By ILA Staff
     | Oct 22, 2019

    With ILA 2019 in the rearview mirror, the International Literacy Association invites educators and researchers to keep the critical conversations going by submitting proposals for ILA 2020 in Columbus, OH, October 15–18, 2020.

    ILA 2020 is an ideal forum for literacy professionals to share their knowledge, research, and best practices. The selected educational programming is integral to the event’s success.

    “We’re very excited to open submissions for ILA 2020, especially after the conversations and ideas that came to life at ILA 2019,” says Becky Fetterolf, director of program content and engagement. “This is a fantastic opportunity to share ideas among the literacy community and we look forward to building the program.”

    Thinking about submitting your proposal? Here are some tips to consider:

    • As you begin writing your proposal, read carefully the Proposal Submission Guidelines and the scoring rubric. Reviewers use this rubric for scoring, so be aware of expectations before you submit.
    • Ground your proposal in research and connect it to practice with clear takeaways. Research is the core of ILA’s work, and attendees expect evidence-based information that they can apply in their work.
    • Give your proposals a creative—but concise—title. If accepted, your title will be what attendees see first; give them something that catches their attention.
    • If you’re new to presenting, consider submitting a poster session. Poster sessions give you a chance to share the work you’re doing through a poster display. Your poster display will give you the opportunity to connect with attendees through more intimate conversations.
    • Consider a nontraditional presentation option: Open space sessions will be held in salons along the main hallway that can accommodate innovative content and presentation formats. These sessions are organized around six categories that embody the theme for ILA 2020—Shaping the Future of Literacy: 2020 Vision.
    • Ask a peer or colleague to review your proposal before you finalize your submission to answer these questions: Is your proposed title engaging and attractive to your prospective audience? Does your cited research have substantial connection to your presentation? Is it clear what an attendee will learn from your session? Is your proposal free of typos and grammatical errors?
    • Be on time. Plan to complete and finalize your proposal at least a week early (you can still go back and edit up to the deadline date). If your proposal is not finalized by the deadline, it will not be reviewed.

    Submissions for reviewed proposals are open through Monday, December 9, 2019. All reviewed proposals must be submitted electronically via the ILA 2020 proposal submission site. For questions about submitting a proposal, please email

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    #ILA19, as Told in 40 Tweets

    BY ILA Staff
     | Oct 15, 2019

    The International Literacy Association (ILA) held the ILA 2019 Conference in New Orleans, LA, from October 10–13, 2019. Thousands of educators, teachers, and researchers descended on The Big Easy to hear from notable speakers, engage in important conversations, and mingle with their fellow colleagues from around the world.

    Throughout the three-day conference, attendees, both in person and virtually, flooded Twitter with conference quotes, photos, and discussion of literacy education using the hashtags #ILA19, #ILAequity, and #ILAresearch. Check out 40 tweets that captured the essence of this year’s conference.



    On October 10, ILA 2019 held Institute Day, which offered interactive, full-day courses that allowed educators to take a deep dive into literacy topics with leaders in the field.



    The Welcome to ILA 2019 Event on Thursday night gave attendees the opportunity to enjoy pre-Core Conference festivities with countless exhibitors, treats, activities, and even a live New Orleans band to kick off the conference.



    The excitement continued into Day 2 as Core Conference attendees arrived at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center bright and early to hear keynotes Chelsea Clinton, Hamish Brewer, Pedro A. Noguera, and Renèe Watson.






    After his post-General Session book signing, Dr. Noguera led The Intersection of Literacy, Equity, and Social-Emotional Learning, offered as part of this year’s Equity in Education Program. Joining him was Jovanni Ramos, Justina Schlund, Kathleen Theodore, and Stephanie K. Siddens, all of whom drew on data and research to illustrate the role social-emotional learning plays in the literacy classroom.



    The first day of the Core Conference also welcomed Featured Speakers Dave Stuart and David Kirkland.



    On Saturday, October 12, roughly 250 educators showed up ready to learn at 7:00 a.m. sharp. Why? To see P. David Pearson lead a critical conversation about evidence-based instruction.

    What Research Really Says About Teaching Reading—and Why That Still Matters also featured Nell K. Duke, Sonia Cabell, and Gwendolyn Thompson McMillon and attracted hundreds of additional viewers via livestream. It also generated request after request for additional programming and resources on the topic.




    Later that morning, the Equity in Education Program continued with Integrating Social-Emotional Learning in the Literacy Classroom featuring Kimberly Eckert,  Gerald Dessus, Shawna Coppola, Tiana Silvas, and Tamera Slaughter.




    Tricia Ebarvia and Donalyn Miller were Saturday’s Featured Speakers.



    Children’s Literature Day took place on Sunday, October 13. The full-day event for educators, librarians, and children's literature enthusiasts featured keynote addresses by celebrated authors, interactive break-out sessions, presentation of the ILA 2019 Children's and Young Adults' Book Awards, and the opportunity mingle with featured authors.




    While thousands of educators joined ILA in New Orleans, hundreds of people across the world attended #LA19 virtually.




    Throughout the conference, a new theme emerged that resonated with thousands of attendees: Tell and write stories so you can be heard.




    The conference even gave rise to a new hashtag, “#ILATweachers,” which grew out of a workshop that took place Saturday morning.




    While sessions and panels sparked creativity, ideas, and thought-provoking conversations among attendees, many memorable moments were captured outside of the meeting rooms.






    #ILA19 may be over, but it’s never too early to start thinking about next year! Join us for ILA 2020, October 15-18, 2020 in Columbus, OH.

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    International Literacy Association Declares High-Quality Literacy Instruction a Human Right

    By ILA Staff
     | Sep 09, 2019

    CREL_680wThe International Literacy Association (ILA) released a new position statement today declaring that access to excellent literacy instruction is the right of every child, everywhere.

    The new statement, Children’s Rights to Excellent Literacy Instruction, is released in honor of International Literacy Day (ILD), which UNESCO founded in 1966 to highlight the importance of literacy in creating prosperous societies. The statement marks the next phase in ILA’s Children’s Rights to Read initiative, which launched one year ago, also on ILD.

    “We know that literacy is the foundation of all learning, and yet much work remains to ensure it is given the attention it deserves,” says Marcie Craig Post, ILA executive director. “This next phase of our Children’s Rights campaign draws the connection between literacy and equitable, high-quality instruction—we cannot have one without the other.”

    The new position statement was crafted by a global team of educators, researchers, and advocates. The statement focuses on four tenets: the right to knowledgeable and qualified literacy educators, the right to integrated support systems, the right to supportive learning environments and high-quality resources, and the right to policies that ensure equitable literacy instruction.

    In addition to the statement, ILA will release four new research briefs, with each expanding upon the critical tenets. The first, which focuses on the preparation and professional development of literacy educators, publishes later this month.

    “We know that the most critical component of equitable instruction is the teacher,” says Diane Kern, one of the statement’s principal authors. “For high-quality, excellent literacy instruction to become a reality, we need to ensure our educators are getting the preparation both they and their future students deserve.

    “Once they are in the field, that support must continue through both ongoing, high-quality professional development and collaboration among other knowledgeable, highly qualified literacy partners including administrative leaders, reading/literacy specialists, literacy coaches, and literacy coordinators,” continues Kern, who also served as cochair of ILA’s Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017 Revision Committee.

    ILA’s Children’s Rights to Read campaign has already garnered the support of thousands of individuals from more than a dozen countries. Sign the pledge in support of both the original 10 rights and the newly released Children’s Rights to Excellent Literacy Instruction.

    Download the Children’s Rights to Excellent Literacy Instruction position statement here.

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    ILA Announces 2019 Children's and Young Adults' Book Awards Winners

    By Alina O'Donnell
     | Aug 28, 2019

    The International Literacy Association (ILA) today announced the winners of the ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards, which recognize newly published authors who show exceptional promise in the children’s and young adult book fields.

    These titles, ranging from children’s books about a young girl who learns the origins of her very long and meaningful name and a gender-questioning child who finds acceptance from his grandmother to a YA novel about a high school girl navigating school politics and life in the wake of her brother's death, delve into issues of love, loss, family, identity, gender, race and politics.

    “In today’s vibrant world, teachers must design their classroom libraries consciously to show they value all students’ lives and identities,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “We’re excited to shine a spotlight on these titles, which draw readers into the worlds of characters who may be different from themselves and that celebrate empathy, kindness and acceptance.”

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

    The 2019 award winners are:

    Primary Fiction

    Winner: Julián Is a Mermaid. Jessica Love. 2018. Candlewick Press.

    Honor: Alma and How She Got Her Name. Juana Martinez-Neal. 2018. Candlewick Press.

    Primary Nonfiction

    Winner: Let the Children March. Monica Clark-Robinson. 2018. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

    Honor: Prickly Hedgehogs! Jane McGuinness. 2018. Candlewick Press.

    Intermediate Fiction

    Winner: Hope in the Holler. Lisa Lewis Tyre. 2018. Nancy Paulsen Books.

    Intermediate Nonfiction

    Winner: Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle. Erica Fyvie. 2018. Kids Can Press.

    Young Adult Fiction

    Winner: Dear Rachel Maddow: A Novel. Adrienne Kisner. 2018. Feiwel & Friends.
    Honor: The Beauty That Remains. Ashley Woodfolk. 2018. Delacorte Press.

    Young Adult Nonfiction

    Winner: I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope. Chessy Prout with Jenn Abelson. 2018. Margaret K. McElderry Books.

    Additional information on the ILA Children's and Young Adults' Book Awards can be found here.

    Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily.

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    ILA Announces Winners of William S. Gray Citation of Merit, Other Awards

    By Alina O'Donnell
     | Aug 28, 2019

    The International Literacy Association (ILA) today presented the William S. Gray Citation of Merit to D. Ray Reutzel, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Wyoming. ILA's most prestigious award, the William S. Gray Citation of Merit honors a nationally or internationally known individual for his or her outstanding contributions to the field of reading/literacy.

    An ILA member since 1982, Reutzel is a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association (now the International Literacy Association) 2007–2010, past president (2017–2019) of the Reading Hall of Fame, former coeditor of The Reading Teacher and a current member of ILA’s Literacy Research Panel.

    “Reutzel has been a consistent and influential voice for teacher preparation reform, evidence-based reading instruction and educational equity. His work has been vital in protecting the rights of all children to learn—and love—to read and write proficiently,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “We’re thrilled to recognize his important contributions to ILA and to the literacy community at large.”

    Before joining the University of Wyoming, Reutzel was the Emma Eccles Jones Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Early Literacy Education at Utah State University for 14 years. He has authored more than 230 research reports published in leading psychology and education research and professional journals, articles, books, book chapters and monographs as well as the best-selling textbook, Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference (Pearson Education). To date, he has received more than $17 million in research and program development grant funding.

    In addition, the Timothy & Cynthia Shanahan Outstanding Dissertation Award, given annually for a dissertation completed in reading or literacy, was presented to Courtney Hattan, assistant professor of Elementary Literacy at Illinois State University. Her dissertation for the University of Maryland, College Park, Prompting Rural Students’ Use of Background Knowledge and Experience to Support Comprehension of Unfamiliar Content, investigated the effectiveness of traditional (mobilization) and novel (relational reasoning) techniques for activating students’ background knowledge.

    Other award highlights include:

    • The Corwin Literacy Leader Award, presented by ILA to Stacia Lewis, director of Elementary Education for Sevier County, Tennessee
    • The Erwin Zolt Digital Literacy Game Changer Award, presented to Margaret Hawkins, professor at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
    • The Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award, presented to Amy McClure, Rodefer Professor of Education, chair of the Education Department and director of the University Honors Program at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio
    • The Leaders Inspiring Readers Award, sponsored by Achieve 3000, presented to Jan Wasowicz, founder, president and chief learning officer of Learning by Design, Evanston, Illinois
    • The Maryann Manning Special Service Award, presented to Tilka Jamnik, head and national coordinator of activities at the Centre for Youth Literature and Librarianship, Slovenia
    • The Regie Routman Teacher Recognition Grant, awarded to Kelly Palomeque, teacher at Riverside Elementary School, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

    The full list of awards/grants and recipients can be found here.

    Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily.

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