The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg (RCGW) has been dedicated to promoting literacy and developing lifelong readers since 1956. We have a proud history of being a literacy leader in Winnipeg and its surrounding area. We are a Special Area Group of Educators (SAGE) of the Manitoba Teachers' Society and a local council of the International Literacy Association.
RCGW provides professional development for educators, shares resources and ideas on our website, celebrates I Love to Read month, promotes literacy in the community, honours literacy leaders and up-and-coming teacher candidates, and supports literacy projects. Join RCGW today!
Congratulations, educators! Summer is here. The RCGW Board of Directors hopes your summer is filled with rest and relaxation. Here's what we are reading this summer to unwind. Enjoy!
Thanks to Andrew Crawford, Donna Copsey Haydey, Donna Hardman, Jackie Parsons, and Jon Sorokowski for their recommendations.
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg is proud to announce Karen Filewych as our MTS PD Day 2021 speaker! We look forward to Karen leading us through a full day of virtual learning on Friday, October 22, 2021.
Karen is an Alberta-based educator and has twenty-five years of experience in the classroom and as a school leader. During her full-day virtual session, How Do I Get Them to Write?, Karen will offer K-8 teacher many practical strategies to empower all our students to improve their written expression. Together, we can collaborate to enhance the teaching of the writing processes K-8 in Manitoba.
Download Karen's free study guides for her books on writing: Freewriting with Purpose (2019) and How Do I Get Them to Write? (2017), both available from our Canadian colleagues at Pembroke Publishers. Karen's Instagram features excellent book recommendations, and her frequently updated blog offers helpful and timely suggestions.
Mark your calendars and prepare to register after September 1 through MTS My Profile. More information about registration fees and logistics will follow in August.
Written by Carol Hryniuk-Adamov, RCGW Member-at-Large
Here are some book suggestions for Summer Reading that explore Indigenous perspectives written by Indigenous authors. Support your local public library and bookseller!
Sandra Janzen, a reading clinician and Manitoba Council of Reading Clinicians (MCRC) representative to our provincial Manitoba Reading Association (MRA), and I have been previewing these for an MRA project in inner-city schools. Sandra made the original selection at our local bookstore. As I quickly previewed the books, I became so excited. I wanted to read and share each book with other readers and educators. So this summer, I hope to do a more in-depth reading of these picture books and graphic novels with my grandsons and their cousins at the cabin.
As I quickly previewed the books, I was so tempted to think about ways the books could be used in classrooms, at various levels. Some may be great choices for future read alouds or literature circles in your classrooms, at different levels. Older students can do an in-depth genre study of some of these picture books and graphic novels. Some readers could also practise these books to build confidence and fluency so they can share the books in performance reading, as guest readers/volunteers for a practicum or simple prearranged visit to a nearby elementary school in the future. This could become a collaborative, I Love to Read month project February.
Most of these books are also beautifully illustrated and provide thought-provoking images. They evoke a range of emotions, thoughts, and discussions. These illustrations deserve further study, as we look more in-depth at the powerful representation by the artists. Some of the illustrators are also award-winning Indigenous artists.
These books are informal reading suggestions for your consideration this summer and are not in any preferential order.
Enjoy your summer reading with your family!
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg and the Manitoba Reading Association joined together to honour literacy leaders from around Manitoba at their annual awards evening, held virtually at the end of May 2021.
Holly Cumming was awarded the International Literacy Association's Celebrate Literacy Award in recognition of her passion, dedication, and commitment to literacy. Holly recently retired from her role as a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader. Over her 40-plus-year career, she facilitated, coordinated, and presented and numerous conferences locally, nationally, and internationally. Congratulations, Holly!
The Certificate of Merit was awarded to Talia Paetsch, a first-year teacher at the New Directions Inc. School, which supports sexually exploited girls and women. She centres strategic literacy in her teaching and finds creative ways to make learning relevant to her students. Her approach engages her students and keeps them coming to school, reducing their safety risks and increasing their opportunities for graduation. Congratulations, Talia!
RCGW Scholarships were awarded to Jessica Neudorf and Carrie Miller, students at the University of Manitoba. Jessica's scholarship citation described how she sees literacy's role in empowering students to express their voice and advocacy. Carrie's explored the importance of language, student needs, and supports for refugee and newcomer students. Read more about these exemplary new teachers. Congratulations, Jessica and Carrie!
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg welcomes award nominations each year. The nominations package for next school year's awards will be available in the fall.
The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg is holding its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, May 18th at 4:30 via Zoom. As a valued member of our literacy community, we invite you to attend this meeting to hear about the good work our Council is doing to promote literacy in Manitoba and to also hear about ways you may be able to get involved and make a difference for Manitoba students and educators.
Our Board has also worked hard to revise our Constitution, so we invite you to view the proposed changes so that you are aware of what is being presented, and voted upon by membership, at the AGM. Thank you for taking the time to be active in your RCGW membership. We hope to see you at the AGM!
Please RSVP if you plan on attending by contacting Leslie Dickson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jackie Parsons at email@example.com.
Notice was also provided to all members by email on April 14, 2021.
One of the silver linings of professional learning moving almost exclusively online is that there are numerous webinars available, most of which can be accessed for several weeks or months after the fact. We have been continually impressed by how well the International Literacy Association (ILA) has shifted their conferences and seminars online.
Check out ILA's series of FREE webinars available to members and non-members. There is something for everyone: equity, book access, Science of Reading, anti-racism, empowering students, tough conversations, and early literacy instruction.
There are also several ILA Webinars and ILA Intensives available for purchase for educators interested in a deeper dive into some of these topics.
Winnipeg author and teacher Colleen Nelson will be doing a virtual book launch on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 7 p.m. for her new book The Life and Deaths of Frankie D., a story about a fantastical circus and a girl with no past. For more information and to register, please visit McNally Robinson's website.
Here are some upcoming professional learning opportunities you may find interesting.
Pembroke Publishers will present Supporting Student Mental Health, a free webinar, on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 6 p.m. Central with Kathy Lundy, author of Teaching Fairly in an Unfair World and Creating Caring Classrooms, and Joey Mandel, author of Stop the Stress in Schools and Moment to Moment. Both Kathy and Joey are from Ontario. (In addition to amplifying the voices of Canadian educators, Pembroke Publishers also distributes Stenhouse Publishers in Canada.)
Today’s students are dealing with unprecedented changes, issues, and demands. Author-educators Joey Mandel and Kathy Lundy have the tips and tools you need to respond to kids’ feelings, questions, and challenges in proactive and positive ways.
The International Literacy Association (ILA) will present Culturally Relevant and Responsive: Literacy Instruction in 2021 and Beyond, on Tuesday, March 9, 1–4 p.m. Eastern. The event will feature keynote speaker Gloria Ladson-Billings, host Pamela Mason, and panelists Lucía Cárdenas Curiel, Matthew R. Kay, and Guofang Li. ILA writes that the event will address "how educators can identify the effects their own backgrounds and implicit biases have on teaching and learning; how to question pedagogy and policies that negatively impact learner outcomes; and proactive steps literacy and school leaders can take to dismantle oppressive systems." The cost to register is $99 USD.
Also, if you missed ILA Next this fall, you can now purchase learning packages as part of ILA Next On Demand. The packages feature the main stage sessions, learning labs, and pathway workshops. These webinars are available until August 15, 2021 and vary in price. Many RCGW board members participated in ILA Next this fall – and they loved the experience! Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from inspiring educators.
September 2021 – Stay tuned!
Board meetings are open to all members. Please consider attending!
We welcome book reviews, articles about teaching strategies, and other submissions. Please contact the Editor.