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    • ILA News

    Revisiting What’s Hot 2018

     | Dec 17, 2019

    For more than 20 years, ILA has published the What’s Hot in Literacy report. With the 2020 What’s Hot results launching January 22, Literacy Daily takes a look back at what survey respondents prioritized as the top issues in education just two years ago.

    • Early Literacy was both hot and important. It took the No. 1 spot as the most important topic for the second year in a row.
    • Equity in Literacy Education was a critical global issue. It was the No. 2 most important topic in developing countries and the U.S. and No. 1 in other developed countries. The survey defined equity as “ensuring all children get what they need not only in situations of poverty and limited resources but also regardless of academic proficiency, geographic remoteness, and any other barrier to school success.”

      Survey comments suggested that these factors unlevel the playing field, and that governments do not provide supports necessary to overcome the disparities.
    • Family Engagement and Community Partnerships were more important than they were hot. Both topics should be getting more attention.
    • More focus was needed on Teacher Preparation. It was the topic with the highest gap between attention it currently receives and how important it is to advancing literacy. According to 85% of respondents, Teacher Preparation is extremely or very important. Survey comments revealed that respondents felt that new teachers often enter the classroom without the skills needed to foster literacy success.
    • Digital Literacy was the No. 1 hot topic but was not nearly as important to our respondents as other topics (including Disciplinary Literacy). “Fake news” was an increasingly popular topic in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which could explain why people are paying more attention to digital literacy.
    • Formative Assessments was valued much more than Summative Assessments—which falls last at No. 17 in importance.

    Keep a look out for the 2020 What’s Hot in Literacy Report coming January 22. In the meantime, share with us on Twitter how you think education has changed over the past two years by tweeting us at @ILAToday.

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  • In Memoriam 2019
    • News & Events

    Celebrating the Literacy Champions We Lost in 2019

    ILA Staff
     | Dec 16, 2019

    This year was filled with powerful moments at ILA. As we look to the next decade, we take a moment to remember beloved ILA members we lost in 2019. Although they are no longer with us, the legacies these literacy champions leave will live on through their work and the changes that have come about as a result of their enduring commitment to transforming lives through literacy.

    Poet Lee Bennett Hopkins passed away on August 8 in Cape Coral, FL. Hopkins dedicated his career to writing numerous children’s books, which earned him the Guinness World Record for “most prolific anthologist of poetry for children,” with 113 titles to his name when the record was declared in 2011. As a former teacher and ILA member, he was known for his community service and dedication to providing resources to educators. His legacy lives on through pieces such as Wonderful Words: Poems About Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening, Been to Yesterdays: Poems of Life, and many more.

    Alan Crawford, emeritus professor of education at California State University, Los Angeles, passed away this summer. Crawford leaves behind a long legacy of championing best practices in literacy instruction, especially for English learners. A longtime member of ILA, he served as president of the California Reading Association from 1986 to 1987 and as a representative of the International Reading Association (IRA) to UNESCO for many years. In 2018, Crawford and his colleague, Charles Temple, were awarded the ILA Constance McCullough International Research Grant. With the funds, the two launched the Reading-Krio project, an effort to promote native language literacy instruction in Sierra Leone.

    An early pioneer of ILA, Elizabeth Hunter-Grundin passed away on June 19. She and her husband, Hans, were dedicated to improving literacy throughout European schools, where they were based. Not only was she an ILA (formerly IRA) Board member in the 1980s, but she was also a past president of the United Kingdom Reading Association. As a researcher, teacher, and consultant in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada, she focused on child-centered and holistic approaches to early literacy learning.

    Professor of Reading Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Linda Dorn passed away September 18. As a former Arkansas Literacy Association and ILA member, she presented at over 300 state, national, and international conferences, including keynote addresses and featured sessions. Dorn was Reading Recovery Trainer and was past president of the Board of Directors for the Reading Recovery Council of North America. At the state level, she had testified to legislative and state agencies on literacy instruction, and her work continues to be influential in shaping educational initiatives in the state.  

    Past president of the Salt Lake Reading Council and former ILA Board member Ethna Reid passed away July 13. She was known to many as a teacher, principal, supervisor, and director of the Reading Clinic in Granite, Ogden, and Salt Lake School Districts. Reid also was the founder and principal of Reid School, located in Salt Lake City, UT. As developer of the reading language arts program, Exemplary Center for Reading Instruction, she worked to train teachers in eight critical teaching behaviors that lead to student success. Because of the high scores the program received, Reid was awarded "Distinguished Professional Award" for her outstanding contributions toward the education of  children in the United States.

    Past president of ILA Roger Farr passed away in September. Farr served as emeritus chancellor's professor of education and director of the Center for Innovation and Assessment at Indiana University and wrote numerous assessments, including both standardized tests and performance assessments. From 1968 to 1980 he was coeditor of Reading Research Quarterly. In 1984, ILA honored Farr with the William S. Gray Citation of Merit for outstanding lifetime contributions to the teaching of reading. That same year, he was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame.

    Although these champions in literacy are no longer with us, their combined efforts have changed the way we teach and understand literacy. We celebrate their lives and the lessons these leaders leave behind as we continue to promote literacy around the world.

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    • ILA News

    ILA Responds to Reports of Misconduct at Recent Event

    Marcie Craig Post
     | Dec 10, 2019

    We have received messages from a number of you regarding inflammatory and inappropriate comments made at a recent conference hosted by a state chapter.

    We want to make it clear that ILA does not tolerate speech that is harassing, threatening, or violent in nature.

    In 2018, ILA implemented a Code of Conduct for Participants of ILA Meetings and Events to ensure that the ILA conferences and other ILA meetings and events are safe spaces for all involved.

    Leaders of our state chapters, which host their own state conferences, are encouraged to adopt or adapt this Code of Conduct for their meetings and events as well.

    Furthermore, ILA’s Member Code of Conduct sets forth an expectation for all members to “follow the ethical standards and best practices evidenced by this Code of Conduct at all times, including, but not limited to: behaving with common courtesy and civility; conducting themselves in a businesslike, ethical and appropriate manner; and not engaging in or facilitating any discriminatory or harassing behavior.”

    ILA takes reports of misconduct very seriously. While our organization does not comment on active investigations or disciplinary procedures, we want to assure our members, conference attendees, and other stakeholders that we are taking the appropriate steps to address this situation and are looking at other safeguards we can put in place to avoid a similar incident in the future.

    Lastly, we want to encourage those who have experienced or observed violations of either Code of Conduct to contact us by emailing

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  • ILA_Board_of_Directors_Nomination_Insta_1080x1080_140x140
    • ILA News

    Make a Difference: Join the ILA Board of Directors

     | Dec 10, 2019

    The ILA Board of Directors exemplify the best in literacy leadership. Through commitment, thought leadership, and expertise, each member is dedicated to ILA’s mission: to empower educators, inspire students, and encourage leaders with the resources they need to make literacy accessible for all.

    The Nominating Committee seeks committed and capable candidates from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, experiences, professions, perspectives, and areas of expertise to serve on the ILA Board of Directors. Vital to the organization’s long-term success and financial health, nominees should be individuals who are dedicated to achieving ILA objectives, which include actively promoting ILA’s mission, ensuring effective organization planning, participating in all Board activities, and maintaining adequate resources.

    Kia Brown-Dudley, current ILA Board Member and director of Literacy and Development at The Education Partners, was elected in 2019.

    “ILA has been a trusted resource since day one of my career in literacy education, over 20 years ago,” Brown-Dudley said. “Joining the Board is my way of paying it forward—helping to advance equity, transforming literacy for future generations.”

    Board members are asked to serve a three-year term (2019–2022) and should plan to spend at least 50 hours a year on ILA activities, excluding travel. Meetings are conducted face to face and virtually. Each Board member is expected to serve on one or more committees or task forces.

    For Brown-Dudley, meetings are one of the best parts of the job.

    “My favorite part of being a Member-at-Large is meeting, collaborating, and serving our dynamic, dedicated membership, as they work assiduously to make the transformative power of literacy accessible for all,” she said.

    Wondering if you should apply? Brown-Dudley says to just do it! Whether you are an advocate, educator, researcher, or work in the public or private sector, you have a unique set of skills and experiences that will add value to the organization's leadership team.

    Learn more about serving on ILA's Board of Directors, as well as how to nominate yourself or a colleague for one of the open positions, by downloading this guide. You can submit a nomination for yourself or a colleague through January 10, 2020.

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    • ILA Network

    #ILAchat: How Early Childhood Writing Instruction Can Help Improve Literacy

     | Nov 12, 2019

    Thousands of educators and researchers converged on New Orleans, LA, last month for the ILA 2019 Conference. Interactive panels, casual conversations, and thought-provoking sessions led to new themes emerging from the conference that sparked fresh ideas. 
    NovemberILAChat _Graphics

    For our next #ILAchat, we will be discussing a theme that continues to generate

    Our special guests include conversation: how early childhood writing instruction can help improve literacy. Join us on Thursday, November 14, at 8 p.m. ET to chat with experts about how early writing instruction and practice impacts the future of literacy. 

    • Sonia Cabell, an assistant professor in the College of Education and the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University. Cabell previously worked as a second-grade teacher and literacy coach. Her research focuses on early language and literacy intervention, with a particular interest in preventing reading difficulties among children living in poverty. Cabell has authored more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals, numerous publications for practitioners including articles on the topic of early writing, the book Emergent Literacy: Lessons for Success (Plural Publishing), a multitiered preschool language and literacy curriculum with classroom and home components, and a kindergarten writing curriculum. She currently serves as associate editor for the scholarly journal Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Cabell has served as principal investigator or coprincipal investigator on grant projects totaling approximately $6 million. She recently gave a TEDx Talk, “Writing Into Literacy,” on fostering early writing development in preschool.
    • Jennifer Albro, an ELA lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Education and Lead Clinical Faculty for Literacy in the Urban Teachers DC program. She earned a PhD in literacy education from the University of Maryland and is a former reading interventionist for upper elementary grades and classroom teacher for early elementary grades. In her current position, she has the opportunity to work with colleagues who develop and prepare teachers in Washington, DC, to make changes starting in the classroom through rigorous coursework and supportive coaching. In collaboration with her former doctoral advisor, Jennifer D. Turner, she worked on a research project with novice teachers in the Urban Teachers program and published findings from their summer 2017 project. (Albro, J. & Turner, J.D. [2019]. Six key principles: Bridging students’ career dreams and literacy standards. The Reading Teacher, 73(2), 161–)

    Follow #ILAchat and @ILAToday at 8 p.m. ET this Thursday, November 14, to join the conversation with Cabell, Albro, and ILA as we discuss early writing instructing and connecting research and practice.


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