Literacy Daily

News & Events
    • ILA News
    • News & Events

    ILA Announces 2019 Board Election Results

    By Alina O'Donnell
     | May 14, 2019

    The International Literacy Association is pleased to announce the newly elected members of the ILA Board of Directors.

    stephen-peters-2-vp-thStephen Peters, Superintendent, Laurens County School District 55, Laurens, South Carolina, will serve as vice president for 2019-2020 and assume the role of president on July 1, 2020.

     


    Three new Board members-at-large for 2019–2022 were also elected:

    Photo_Kia Brown-DudleyKia Brown-Dudley, Director of Literacy and Development, The Education Partners, New York





    Photo_Rachael GabrielRachael Gabriel
    , Associate Professor of Literacy Education, University of Connecticut, Storrs

     

     

    Photo_Laurie SharpLaurie Sharp
    ,
    Endowed Professor/Dr. John G. O'Brien Distinguished Chair in Education, West Texas A&M University, Canyon

     


    Please join us in congratulating them.

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

    Read More
    • News & Events
    • Conferences & Events

    Five Things We Love About Cornelius Minor: Shining a Spotlight on the ILA Intensive Keynote’s Dedication to Equity in Literacy

    By Bailee Formon
     | May 08, 2019
    lt366_minor_ldEducator and author Cornelius Minor, an ILA 2018 General Session speaker, returns
    to the ILA stage again this year—this time as a keynote speaker at ILA Intensive:
    Nevada. A well-known advocate for equity in literacy education, Minor works with
    teachers and school leaders across the globe to help them reflect on their practices
    and grow alongside their students.

    Minor, a lead staff developer for Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, uses his many professional platforms—social media, podcasts, workshops, and conference presentations—to encourage improvements in the classroom from the point of view of both an educator and a parent. One such platform is his new book, We Got This: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be (Heinemann), which describes his teaching experiences and the ways those experiences have shaped his current ideologies and practices.

    Minor is a perennial favorite at ILA events. His insights and bold actions make him an admirable and sincere role model, and his unique way of helping teachers lean into discomfort and feel confident discussing difficult topics has impacted educators around the world—and inspired us as well.

    Here are just five of the many things we love about Cornelius Minor and his passionate work for equity in education.

    He gets the conversation started.

    By facilitating an impromptu space for discussion at the ILA 2016 Conference, Minor was able to initiate conversation on subjects that educators might be hesitant to acknowledge in the classroom. Minor put together this last-minute session as a response to the police-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and the shooting of Dallas, Texas, police officers that killed five and injured nine, both of which had occurred the week before the conference. Minor modeled for educators how to not shy away from having critical conversations with students about tragic events, and he stressed that discussing difficult topics with students is an educator’s responsibility. “If we can’t use literacy to build understanding, then we’ve got nothing,” he said.

    His family sets an example.
     
    Minor and his wife, Kass—advocates who together form The Minor Collective—use their social media platforms to set positive examples as both educators and parents, showing how they live as inclusive, affirming educators and individuals. Whether sharing calls to action for disrupting the education status quo or posting new favorite readalouds with their young daughters, their online presence overflows with inspiration and ideas for incorporating literacy practices into classrooms and homes alike. If they aren’t already part of your professional learning network, you need to add them. They’re a literacy power couple.

    He challenges our thinking.


    In his presentation at the Sparks Lunch at the ILA 2017 Conference, Minor asked educators to reflect on their teaching methods and ask themselves how their lessons relate to students’ communities outside of the classroom. “If something that I teach a kid works only in the classroom, then it’s not worth teaching,” he said. “It has to work in the real world.” In addition, he discussed literacy as a social and political tool, stressing the importance of applied knowledge. His presentation prompted many attendees to take a closer look at their curriculum and the way they engage their students.

    He’s all about empowerment.

    Between The Minor Collective and Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Minor puts his powerful rhetoric into action through hands-on professional development offerings rooted in improving equity and access. No matter what the topic, be it digital literacy or writing workshops, inclusive classrooms or design thinking, Minor aims to empower educators to be the change agents their students need them to be. During his ILA 2018 General Session keynote, Minor urged attendees to practice “disruptive kindness” as a form of advocacy work that all can participate in: “Being nice in the face of oppression is not enough. Nice does not create change—kindness does,” he said. “Kindness means I care enough about you to call you out and help you learn and change.” He continued by saying that, although educators might not be able to dismantle the discriminatory systems in government, they can—and should—change the discriminatory systems that govern classrooms, districts, and schools.

    He’s “got this.”

    Minor’s new book, We Got This, highlights the importance of listening to students and acknowledging that their education should be relevant to their reality. Minor draws on his experiences and conversations with students to show that there is more to education than the standard math and English curriculum, and there are steps all educators can take to play a role in equity work by confronting the issues of racism, sexism, ableism, and classism that students live with each day. He shows readers that the responsibility to be present, to improve access, and to make education authentic and relevant to students’ lives is critical, referring to the closest thing to a superpower that educators have today—the ability to truly listen to their students.

    Bailee Formon is a communications intern at ILA. She is a senior psychology and cognitive science major, with a writing minor, at the University of Delaware.

    Cornelius Minor will be a keynote speaker at ILA Intensive: Nevada, a special two-day event focusing on equity and access to literacy taking place June 21–22, 2019, in Las Vegas, NV. For more information, visit literacyworldwide.org/nevada.

    This article originally appeared in the May/June issue of
    Literacy Today, ILA’s member magazine.
    Read More
    • ILA News
    • News & Events

    ILA's 2019 Choices Reading Lists Highlight "Own Voices" Texts

    By Alina O'Donnell
     | May 02, 2019

    choices-2019ILA released yesterday the 2019 Choices Reading Lists, an annual best-of selection of children’s and young adults’ books, handpicked by students and educators themselves.

    Each year, Choices empowers 25,000 children and young adults across the United States to enjoy newly published children’s and young adults’ trade books and vote for the ones they like best and that had an impact on them as readers. Teachers, in turn, identify high-quality books that enrich the curriculum and, most important, excite and interest students.

    This year’s lists exemplify the project’s continued commitment to diversity and representation in children’s literature. Books such as Finding Langston, Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice, and Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag offer powerful launch points for discussion around the social justice issues of racial bias, police violence, and the LGBTQ rights movement.

    The 2019 lists also include “own voices” texts—those in which the author shares the marginalized identity of a book’s protagonist. Authors such as Lesa Cline-Ransome, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Aisha Saeed challenge dominant media narratives and provide more authentic perspectives.

    Educators can use the Choices lists to conscientiously expand their libraries, supporting children’s rights to choose what they read and to access window, mirror and sliding glass door texts.  

    “No one better understands the tastes and preferences of children than students themselves and the teachers who observe their responses firsthand,” says ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post.

    “These lists help educators connect students with books they can’t put down, books in which they can see themselves represented, and books that instill in them a lifelong hunger for reading and learning.”

    The Choices projects are run by ILA members who volunteer as team leaders to recruit participants, distribute books, and oversee the reviewing and voting process. The number of book submissions continues to grow annually across the three Choices projects.

    Download the annotated 2019 Choices reading lists and find more information on these projects at literacyworldwide.org/choices.

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

    Read More
    • News & Events
    • Professional Development
    • Literacy Leadership
    • Research
    • Topics

    ILA Offers Guidelines for Integrating Digital Technologies Into Early Literacy Education

    By Alina O'Donnell
     | Apr 23, 2019
    april-llb

    Although digital technologies are widely per­vasive in homes, schools, and communities, there remains little consensus about how they should be used in early childhood literacy education. A new brief released by the International Literacy Association (ILA), Digital Resources in Early Childhood Literacy Development, seeks to create a set of common guidelines for evaluating screen time.

    As the meaning of reading and writing continues to evolve, there is an urgent need to “link play and literacy to the multimodal opportunities offered by new digital media,” says ILA.

    “The wealth of often conflicting information around the use of digital tools in literacy instruction has only led to more confusion and has stirred valid concerns regarding quality, safety, and overconsumption,” says ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “Drawing on the latest research and with these concerns in mind, we created a formula for balanced technology integration.”

    The brief highlights the social and academic benefits of high-quality digital technologies, such as stronger pathways for language learning, multimodal meaning making, and home–school connections. ILA maintains that—when judiciously selected and intentionally used—digital texts and tools can build children’s literacy and communication skills while preparing them for long-term academic success.

    ILA offers four guidelines for making decisions about how best to integrate digital technologies into early childhood contexts, including blending the use of digital and nondigital resources and building home–school connections, with concrete steps for accomplishing each, such as acting as media mentors for caregivers who may not be aware of quality interactive media resources.

    Access the full brief here.

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

    Read More
    • ILA Network
    • News & Events

    Finding Family in the Community

    By Allister Chang
     | Apr 18, 2019
    chang-LTIn an episode of the This American Life public radio program called "What's Going On In There?," Ira Glass shares the story of a Chinese-American son who can't speak to his father. The father never taught his son Chinese, but the father also never learned English. This almost happened to me! My parents, aunts, and uncles had learned Chinese as children, and they thought their kids would pick up the language naturally on their own—­as they themselves had—and they spoke to me in broken English. I was developing a Chinese accent when I spoke English, and I also wasn't learning any Chinese ­until a librarian intervened. 

    After speaking with this librarian, my parents spoke to me only in Chinese, providing me an opportunity to grow up bilingual. Thinking back on my childhood, I remember many specific interventions like this one, where a kind, thoughtful, and brave educator stepped up to make an intervention that changed the course of my life. 

    I think that these kinds of transformative interventions—the ones that determine whether you'll share a common language with your own father—are possible coming only from people that you trust. As recent immigrants to the United States with limited English fluency, and an even more limited social network, knowing who to trust wasn't easy for my parents. Ads left and right promised scams. Who could we trust besides family? 

    My mother is the one who brought our local library into the family (and vice versa). As a kid, she escaped boredom by hiding in wealthier families' gardens to listen in on TV sets. When they chased her away, she read books. We would fill a bag of books for her at our local library in Maryland every week. When she finished reading every available Chinese language book in our local library system, the librarians ordered new Chinese titles. 

    We began to build trusting relationships with our local librarians, and the world opened up to us in new ways. They alerted us to scams and referred us to relevant resources that we would otherwise have never looked for. 

    We had found people who we trusted, and I am deeply grateful that we put our trust in kind people who just happened to be experts at guiding the wandering and the lost. 

    Allister Chang is a 2019 ILA 30 Under 30 honoree. Chang, the former executive director of Libraries Without Borders. is an affiliate with Harvard University's Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society, and a fellow with Voqal. a philanthropic organization that uses technology and media to advance social equity. 

    This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of
    Literacy Today, ILA’s member magazine.
    Read More
Back to Top

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives