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  • BahamasAlbury Sayle Primary School in Nassau, The Bahamas, celebrated International Literacy Day with a parade of students, read-alouds, and a “Foodimals Festival.”
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    Bahamas School Celebrates International Literacy Day

    by Loreen Patrick
     | Oct 14, 2013

    Albury Sayle Primary School in Nassau, The Bahamas, celebrated International Literacy Day with a parade of students, read-alouds, and a “Foodimals Festival” to coordinate with IRA’s “Invent Your Future” theme in conjunction with Sony Pictures Animation’s film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

    Bahamas

    Students of Grade 3 display their posters before leaving the school campus for the community walk.

    Bahamas 

    Grade 5 students displaying their posters during the community walk.

    Bahamas

    A Grade 2 and Grade 6 student read to the children of the Willard Paton Pre-school. Also present are the District Education Officer Mr. Lightbourne and our school’s principal, Mrs. Katherine Rose. In the background, is a supportive parent Officer Davis. 

    Bahamas 

    Miss Belizaire, a Grade 4 teacher, reads to students during the “Reading in the Park” community outreach program.

    Bahamas

    The school’s Principal, Mrs. Katherine Rose, reads Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to the Grades 4–6 students.

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    Officer Ware, from the South Street Police Station opposite our school campus, volunteered to read to our Grade 4 students during the Volunteer reading sessions.

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    Foodimals, (that won the Foodimals Festival), on display in the campus foyer, outside of the main office. The winners from each grade level were presented with free movie passes to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

    Loreen Patrick is from the Albury Sayle Primary School in Nassau, The Bahamas.

     

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  • Jack CassidyIRA Past President and "What's Hot" survey creator Dr. Jack Cassidy received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Literacy Education in Texas.
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    Cassidy Receives Award

     | Oct 02, 2013

    Jack CassidyOn Saturday, October 12, Dr. Jack Cassidy, received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Literacy Education at the annual conference of the Texas Association for Literacy Education (TALE). Also, the TALE Board voted to name the award in his honor. The award will now be called the “Jack Cassidy Lifetime Achievement in Literacy Education Award.”

    Cassidy was one of the founders and the first President of TALE in 2011-2012. Texas is the second largest state in land area, and coincidentally Cassidy is one of the founders and first elected President of the Diamond State Reading Association (DSRA) in Delaware, the nation’s second smallest state in land area.

    In the almost forty years between his first and second state presidencies, Cassidy was elected president of the International Reading Association and the Association for Literacy Education and Research (ALER - formerly the College Reading Association). In 1994, he received the IRA Special Service Award, which is given, from time to time, for unusual and distinguished service to the International Reading Association recognizing admirable service to the organization in some specific capacity or capacities, requiring special skills, knowledge, and creative effort. In 2007, ALER gave him the A.B. Herr Award for distinguished service in reading. It recognizes a professional educator who has made outstanding contributions to the field of reading. In 2010, Cassidy was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame, considered one of the most prestigious awards granted to those in literacy education.

    Cassidy has over 100 national publications including over 50 nationally refereed journal articles, books, and book chapters. In addition, he has been an author, editor  or consultant on over a dozen series of texts and materials for children and youth. For 18 years, with various co-authors, he has written a column, “What’s Hot What’s Not in Literacy." The most recent column appears in the August/September 2013 issue of Reading Today. Longer discussions of literacy trends and issues (also with various co-authors) appear in a number of refereed journals, the most recent of which is the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (“What Was Hot–and Not–in Literacy: What We Can Learn”). He has worked as a consultant for Educational Testing Service and was part of the Verbal Advisory Panel for the Scholastic Aptitude Test. In addition to hundreds of presentations in the United States, Cassidy has also presented papers in Australia (two times), Belgium, Canada (five times), Czech Republic, Croatia, France, Hungary (two times), Ireland (three times), New Zealand (two times), Philippines (two times), Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

    In 2011, Cassidy retired as associate dean in the College of Education at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He is also Professor Emeritus at Millersville University (PA). Cassidy has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in reading from Temple University in Philadelphia.

     

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  • PhilippinesA Philippines city celebrated ILD with Book Characters on Parade, a Slogan Contest, Reader’s Theater, and Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas reading to children.
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    International Literacy Day in the Philippines

    by Sally Labanda
     | Sep 30, 2013

    The City of Sta. Rosa in Laguna, Philippines, celebrated International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 9 with Book Characters on Parade, a Slogan Contest, and Reader’s Theater. The event was highlighted by Honorable Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas reading to over 150 children in the People's Hall of the City of Sta. Rosa. The pages of the children's books she read were projected on a screen so that all attendees could read along. The Mayor also raffled off 20 bicycles to highlight one of the books she read in Filipino, “Ang Bisikleta ni Monmon.”

    The Mayor has sustained her support for this annual literacy event in the city for the past seven years. The reading with the Mayor has always ended with each child having a book in his/her hand. Her advocacy models a significant adult in the community who values love for books and reading.

    This activity is very much in line with the 2013 ILD theme adopted by International Reading Association, “Invent Your Future,” which was celebrated throughout the month of September. 

    The City of Sta. Rosa’s ILD celebration was participated in by both public and private schools elementary pupils, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, government and non-government officials, the Dep. Ed. City Division, the Private Schools Administrators Association, Rotary Clubs of Sta. Rosa, the Reading Association of the Philippines, and parents. The President of International Reading Association, Dr. Maureen McLaughlin sent her greetings and message to the city stakeholders in education for all the things that they do to spread the good news of literacy and helping the children invent their future!

    Furthermore the Reading Association of the Philippines under the leadership of the President, Melissa Orencia, a partner of the City in this yearly event, has scheduled a Kwentuhan sa Daycare and a Training of Daycare teachers before the end of
    September. Likewise, Adarna House will donate books for the children who will participate in the kwentuhan.

    For more information about the Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP), visit http://rap.org.ph.

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    Sally (Rizalina) Labanda is a Past President of the Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP) and a former International Reading Association board member.


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  • NMIRANMIRA's activities include an international literacy project in Palomas, Mexico, the New Mexico Journal of Reading, an annual conference, and more.
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    New Mexico Reading Association Actively Engaged with Literacy Educators

    by Kristy Hays
     | Aug 19, 2013

    NMIRA ProjectThe New Mexico Reading Association (NMIRA) is a professional organization of literacy professionals who volunteer their time and efforts to promote literacy. The organization provides current news about literacy, leadership, professional development, and many great services to students and communities around the state.

    New Mexico Journal of Reading

    The New Mexico Journal of Reading provides not only information about the professional organization, but engaging articles relating to literacy and the teaching profession. Dr. Jose Montelongo and his wife, Dr. Anita Hernandez, the journal’s new co-editors, are both literacy professionals who inspire others through their passion for learning and teaching.

    Dr. Montelongo is currently working as a librarian at an elementary school library in Canantuillo, TX. Dr. Anita Hernandez, a published Heinemann author, is a professor of bilingual education for pre-service teachers at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM where she and her husband currently reside.

    The journal is mailed out to members of the New Mexico State Reading Association as well as subscribing members in New Mexico and surrounding states. Literacy professionals are encouraged to submit articles for review and publication.

    Leadership

    Every summer, NMIRA provides a Leadership Workshop for its members. Last July, we met at Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces, NM. The topic was, “Why? Why are we committed to NMIRA and promoting literacy?” The inspiration for this workshop was the book by Simon Sinek, Start With Why. Sinek introduced the book this past year at the International Reading Association Annual Convention in Chicago. The workshop was a powerful experience that allowed us to reassess and recommit to important professional goals as literacy educators.

    Our guest speaker, Dr. Toni Hull, an instructional leader and member of a Washington Fellowship, also addressed the topic. She continued with the theme of asking why and then presented several strategies to build upon why we are members of NMIRA and where we want to go in our future efforts. The summer leadership workshop brought us closer as an organization and strengthened our commitment as advocates for literacy promotion.

    The International Literacy Project

    NMIRA ProjectTwice every year the International Literacy Project Committee collects donations and supplies for the small town of Palomas, Mexico. The town sits just across the United States border. Although the students in Palomas live in poverty, they are fortunate enough to have one elementary school, a middle school, and high school. These schools appreciate the donations of paper, pencils, crayons, scissors, and general cleaning supplies that NMIRA is able to provide.

    Nancy Bellegamba, Ginger Berry, Estrella Becerra, and Carlos and Virginia Cuellar are the leaders of the International Project Committee and travel to Palomas each Labor Day and Memorial Day. Over the past few years, this has been a dangerous effort because of the violence that has been occurring in Palomas and along the entire United States and Mexican border.

    NMIRA Project

    Land of Enchantment

    Land of Enchantment is a committee that serves schools across the state of New Mexico. We have partnered with the New Mexico Librarian’s Association to share this committee. It provides book lists to students who read the reviewed books and vote on their favorites to win the Land of Enchantment Award. The author is recognized and awarded at the state conference.

    NMIRA is a strong organization of dedicated professionals who truly care about the promotion of literacy. We hope to continue to provide professional development for teachers and also support parents and community members in their endeavors to promote literacy for all.

    Kristy Hays

    Kristy Hays is a teacher at Deming High School in Deming, NM, and is president of NMIRA, kristy.hays@demingps.org.

    Added note: The 2014 NMIRA conference will be held January 31-February 1 in Albuquerque.

    This article is was published in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Reading Today. IRA members can read the interactive digital version of the magazine here. Nonmembers: join today!

     

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  • BermudaEducators in the Caribbean can look forward to a conference in Bermuda in September, one in Jamaica in November, and one in Dominica in December.
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    Professional Development for Literacy Leaders in the Caribbean

     | Aug 15, 2013

    The International Reading Association has strong and growing affiliates in the Caribbean region, including three hosting conferences this fall.

    Bermuda

    The Bermuda Reading Association will host its annual conference on Sunday, September 7 at the Fairmont Southhampton Hotel in Southhampton. Featured speakers include International Reading Association (IRA) Board Member Rona Flippo presenting “Opportunities for Professional Membership: A Path to Professional Growth” and “Assessing Readers: Formative, Qualitative, and Meaningful Assessments for Classroom Teachers.” Flippo has taught public schools and is now a professor of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

    Michele Dufresne, author of Word Solvers: Making Sense of Letters and Sounds and other texts, will present “Making It Easy to Learn” and “Maximizing Learning Opportunities” at the conference. Now a literacy staff developer for Pioneer Valley Books, Dufresne has been a classroom teacher, language arts specialist, and a consultant in school districts.

    Literacy Consultant Pat Johnson will present “Catching Readers Before They Fall: Shifting Our Thinking to Better Support Readers Who Struggle” and “Supporting Classroom Teachers With Ongoing Assessment” in Bermuda. After a career spent in schools with diverse populations, Johnson provides staff development for school districts nationwide. She also is the author of One Child at a Time: Making the Most of Your Time With Struggling Readers, K-6.

    The Bermuda Reading Association Conference will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the $50 registration tickets can be purchased from www.bdatix.com. The conference is eligible for Bermuda Educator’s Council (BEC) endorsed professional development hours. Click here to view the flyer.

    In addition, the Caribbean community of literacy educators is planning a conference in Jamaica on November 7 and 8, and the Dominica Reading Association will hold their conference on December 11 to 13.

    View more conference opportunities on IRA’s online calendar, or contact the IRA Global Operations Unit to ask about literacy projects around the globe.

     

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