The International Literacy Association (ILA) has commenced its annual election for its Board of Directors. Eligible ILA members are encouraged to vote for three at-large candidates and one vice president candidate. You can read about the candidates here.
The ILA 2017 Board Election will be conducted entirely online this year. Voting in the election is easy: Just visit the ILA Election page and follow the directions to cast your ballot.
Individual ILA members with an active membership and a valid e-mail address will receive e-mail reminders with a link to the online ballot. Eligible ILA members who do not have valid e-mail addresses will receive instructions by mail for how they can vote online.
All members must use their ILA member account sign-in information to cast their ballot.
For assistance signing into your ILA membership account, please contact Customer Service at 800.336.7323 (U.S. and Canada) or 302.731.1600 (all other countries).
For technical assistance with voting, please contact Election-America, Inc. at 866.384.9978.
The newly elected Board members will begin their terms at the ILA 2017 Conference & Exhibits in Orlando, Florida, in July 2017.
The education community lost a leading literacy advocate in February with the passing of Susan Mandel Glazer, a past president of the International Reading Association (IRA), now the International Literacy Association (ILA). Glazer was a professor at Rider University in New Jersey for 45 years, where she founded the Center for Reading and Writing as well as the graduate program for reading specialists. A prolific author and researcher, Glazer will be greatly missed. The following is a tribute written by Linda B. Gambrell, also a past president of IRA, who served on the Board of Directors alongside Glazer.
Susan Mandel Glazer was a literacy scholar and trailblazer who was committed to serving struggling readers and was recognized for her many contributions to literacy education worldwide. We were fresh out of our doctoral programs when I met Susan, and she was already involved in establishing what would become her lifelong passion: the Center for Reading and Writing at Rider University.
Sadly, Susan, a past president of IRA, passed away in February at the age of 78. Although she will be remembered for her many publications and presentations, she will continue to be known most of all for her spearheading leadership in serving students who struggle with reading and writing.
I first met Susan at an IRA conference in the mid-1970s. She was making a presentation with one of her mentors, Morton Botel, and I was presenting with my mentor, Robert M. Wilson. The four of us crossed paths in the convention center and our mentors introduced us.
A couple of years later, my husband had a job transfer and we moved to Yardley, PA. We made a quick trip to the area to look for a house, and we booked a room in a nearby hotel. As we walked in, it was clear there was a huge IRA state conference in progress. As we were checking in, I looked up to see Susan walking out of the exhibit area.
As fate would have it, this was a very fortuitous encounter. Anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing Susan would not be surprised to learn that when she heard my husband and I were moving to the area, she immediately took us under her wing. She introduced me to literacy leaders throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, she invited us to lovely dinners, and she took us to the best restaurants in the area. Susan was gracious and giving, and she had a deep and abiding love for her profession. She was a magnificent teacher, a productive scholar, and an innovator in developing university centers to serve struggling readers and writers.
I had the pleasure of serving on the IRA Board of Directors during Susan's presidency from 1994–1995, along with Rich Vacca and Jerry Johns. Rich remembers Susan as "the consummate literacy educator. She loved her work, her students, and her colleagues. We will miss her dearly." Jerry and Susan shared an intense commitment to students who struggle with literacy learning. He remembers her "dedication to the reading and writing clinic at Rider University, along with her many professional publications that resulted in significant contributions to our field."
Susan was an exceptional literacy leader and scholar. Her enthusiasm for literacy, warm smile, and contagious laughter will be missed by all who knew her.
Linda B. Gambrell, past president of IRA, is a distinguished professor of education in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate literacy courses. She has served as a reading/literacy development consultant throughout the United States and internationally.
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The International Literacy Association (ILA) released the 2017 What’s Hot in Literacy survey findings today, revealing wide gaps between what educators across the globe consider important topics in literacy education and those garnering the most attention. Among the surprising results: Digital literacy, as well as assessment and standards, although widely discussed in educator circles, rank lower in importance than other issues among the more than 1,500 literacy leaders from 89 countries and territories surveyed.
“An analysis of survey findings from a cross-sector of literacy leaders from Argentina to Zambia indicates a need to redirect conversations around literacy with a focus on what is important to literacy educators,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “Identifying these gaps, and then developing solutions to narrow them, will help the global community move the needle on literacy.”
This year, respondents were asked to rate 17 topics in terms of how hot and important they are to literacy education at both their community and country levels. Hot was defined as trending—the topics related to literacy that are receiving the most attention in the classroom, in conversations with other educators, and in the media. Important was defined as topics that are most critical to advancing literacy for all learners.
Here’s a look at some of the key findings:
In addition to featuring report highlights and feedback from top literacy professionals in Literacy Today, the entire report is also available with open access on ILA’s website. On Thursday, Jan. 12, ILA’s monthly Twitter chat will feature What’s Hot results and Sam Patterson at 8:00 p.m. ET. Join the conversation on social media using #ILAchat during the chat or #ILAWhatsHot at any time.
The What’s Hot in Literacy survey was created 20 years ago by Jack Cassidy, past president of the International Reading Association (IRA), now ILA. Cassidy compiled responses from about two dozen literacy leaders on “hot” and “cold” topics each year. The results were published annually in IRA’s member newspaper, now Literacy Today magazine, and they traditionally helped foster relevant professional development, promote timely research, and shape conversations around literacy education. His last report was published in 2016.
April Hall is editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.
Elizabeth Reichardt, a reading specialist and instructional coach at Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island, was named the 2016 Teacher of the Year for the Foster-Glocester Regional School District. Reichardt, who has worked in the district for four years, was surprised with the award at a faculty meeting in June, where staff praised her work, particularly her efforts with the school’s RTI team.
Anita Shaw was named Reading Teacher of the Year by the Granite State Reading Council in New Hampshire. Shaw has worked at Bow Memorial School since 1995 as a reading and writing specialist and an ELA, social studies, and math teacher. She has also volunteered for New Hampshire Literacy Day for the past nine years.
Eugene M. Gagliano was named the next Wyoming Poet Laureate. Gagliano, a retired elementary school teacher from Buffalo, WY, has written a number of award-winning children’s books and poetry about Wyoming and life in the West. As Poet Laureate, he will read at state and legislative events, as well as work with the Wyoming Arts Council to instill a love of poetry in students.
Rebecca Pitkin was named the new executive director of the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board, providing a unique opportunity to work with both K–12 and higher education professionals. Pitkin had served for the past four years as principal of Jefferson Elementary School in Dickinson, and before that was an associate professor of education at Dickinson State University.
Have news to share with your ILA colleagues? Send an announcement about an award received, book published, or other career news to firstname.lastname@example.org and it could appear in the next issue of Literacy Today as well as on our blog, Literacy Daily. The submission should be 200 words or less and should be accompanied by a JPG or PNG photo.