Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! I hope everyone has had a gentle start and is easing into what I hope to be an exciting year for literacy education in Manitoba.
Bringing home new ideas from the International Literacy Association conference has been a long-standing tradition within the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg. I have been reflecting on what it means to be a literacy leader after attending the annual ILA conference this summer, with colleagues from both around the world and close to home.
I heard stories of principals who “pull out all the stops” to engage students in home reading programs and family literacy nights. I learned how to return to the same picture book for multiple teaching reasons. I heard teachers and principals from all over North America profess how much they love to read and how important it was to them to support literacy education. I heard a panel of authors express their desire to connect students with characters who experience difficult life circumstances so those students see they are not alone. I heard how powerful giving students the power to share their story can be. I even heard some innovative ideas on how to find a math lesson within common picture books.
Our contributions to literacy education in our communities have given us the opportunity to share, learn, and lead. By simply sharing our passion for education and literacy, we can engage students, parents, and colleagues effortlessly. It’s not any different than a good hook at the beginning of a story.
Please help us connect with literacy leaders by sharing our updates for this year’s RCGW MTS PD Day on social media. We look forward to hosting literacy expert Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm for his day-long PD: Setting the Stage for Success: Strategies to Foster Inquiry - Based Learning & Engaging Ways to Reach Reluctant Readers and Writers (Grades 3-9). Register via MTS MemberLink at memberlink.mbteach.org.
I will leave you with this quote from Pernille Ripp, which she shared at the ILA Conference during a panel called “Using Middle Grade Fiction to Tackle Tough Topics.”