The education community lost a leading literacy advocate in February with the passing of Susan Mandel Glazer, a past president of the International Reading Association (IRA), now the International Literacy Association (ILA). Glazer was a professor at Rider University in New Jersey for 45 years, where she founded the Center for Reading and Writing as well as the graduate program for reading specialists. A prolific author and researcher, Glazer will be greatly missed. The following is a tribute written by Linda B. Gambrell, also a past president of IRA, who served on the Board of Directors alongside Glazer.
Susan Mandel Glazer was a literacy scholar and trailblazer who was committed to serving struggling readers and was recognized for her many contributions to literacy education worldwide. We were fresh out of our doctoral programs when I met Susan, and she was already involved in establishing what would become her lifelong passion: the Center for Reading and Writing at Rider University.
Sadly, Susan, a past president of IRA, passed away in February at the age of 78. Although she will be remembered for her many publications and presentations, she will continue to be known most of all for her spearheading leadership in serving students who struggle with reading and writing.
I first met Susan at an IRA conference in the mid-1970s. She was making a presentation with one of her mentors, Morton Botel, and I was presenting with my mentor, Robert M. Wilson. The four of us crossed paths in the convention center and our mentors introduced us.
A couple of years later, my husband had a job transfer and we moved to Yardley, PA. We made a quick trip to the area to look for a house, and we booked a room in a nearby hotel. As we walked in, it was clear there was a huge IRA state conference in progress. As we were checking in, I looked up to see Susan walking out of the exhibit area.
As fate would have it, this was a very fortuitous encounter. Anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing Susan would not be surprised to learn that when she heard my husband and I were moving to the area, she immediately took us under her wing. She introduced me to literacy leaders throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, she invited us to lovely dinners, and she took us to the best restaurants in the area. Susan was gracious and giving, and she had a deep and abiding love for her profession. She was a magnificent teacher, a productive scholar, and an innovator in developing university centers to serve struggling readers and writers.
I had the pleasure of serving on the IRA Board of Directors during Susan's presidency from 1994–1995, along with Rich Vacca and Jerry Johns. Rich remembers Susan as "the consummate literacy educator. She loved her work, her students, and her colleagues. We will miss her dearly." Jerry and Susan shared an intense commitment to students who struggle with literacy learning. He remembers her "dedication to the reading and writing clinic at Rider University, along with her many professional publications that resulted in significant contributions to our field."
Susan was an exceptional literacy leader and scholar. Her enthusiasm for literacy, warm smile, and contagious laughter will be missed by all who knew her.
Linda B. Gambrell, past president of IRA, is a distinguished professor of education in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate literacy courses. She has served as a reading/literacy development consultant throughout the United States and internationally.
Ease and efficiency—educators have time for nothing less. To help you get the information you need when you need it, ILA has streamlined access to its journal content.
Get more familiar with this improved access to your journal content with these detailed instructions.
Ready to get started? If you already subscribe to a journal, access the Hub by signing in to your account on literacyworldwide.org, clicking My Account & Journals, and selecting a journal under My Journals. If you’d like to add a journal subscription to your ILA membership, please contact Customer Service.
Let us know what you think about the new Hub! E-mail your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The International Literacy Association (ILA) released the 2017 What’s Hot in Literacy survey findings today, revealing wide gaps between what educators across the globe consider important topics in literacy education and those garnering the most attention. Among the surprising results: Digital literacy, as well as assessment and standards, although widely discussed in educator circles, rank lower in importance than other issues among the more than 1,500 literacy leaders from 89 countries and territories surveyed.
“An analysis of survey findings from a cross-sector of literacy leaders from Argentina to Zambia indicates a need to redirect conversations around literacy with a focus on what is important to literacy educators,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “Identifying these gaps, and then developing solutions to narrow them, will help the global community move the needle on literacy.”
This year, respondents were asked to rate 17 topics in terms of how hot and important they are to literacy education at both their community and country levels. Hot was defined as trending—the topics related to literacy that are receiving the most attention in the classroom, in conversations with other educators, and in the media. Important was defined as topics that are most critical to advancing literacy for all learners.
Here’s a look at some of the key findings:
In addition to featuring report highlights and feedback from top literacy professionals in Literacy Today, the entire report is also available with open access on ILA’s website. On Thursday, Jan. 12, ILA’s monthly Twitter chat will feature What’s Hot results and Sam Patterson at 8:00 p.m. ET. Join the conversation on social media using #ILAchat during the chat or #ILAWhatsHot at any time.
The What’s Hot in Literacy survey was created 20 years ago by Jack Cassidy, past president of the International Reading Association (IRA), now ILA. Cassidy compiled responses from about two dozen literacy leaders on “hot” and “cold” topics each year. The results were published annually in IRA’s member newspaper, now Literacy Today magazine, and they traditionally helped foster relevant professional development, promote timely research, and shape conversations around literacy education. His last report was published in 2016.
April Hall is editor of Literacy Daily. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has specialized in education, writing and editing for newspapers, websites, and magazines.
Elizabeth Reichardt, a reading specialist and instructional coach at Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island, was named the 2016 Teacher of the Year for the Foster-Glocester Regional School District. Reichardt, who has worked in the district for four years, was surprised with the award at a faculty meeting in June, where staff praised her work, particularly her efforts with the school’s RTI team.
Anita Shaw was named Reading Teacher of the Year by the Granite State Reading Council in New Hampshire. Shaw has worked at Bow Memorial School since 1995 as a reading and writing specialist and an ELA, social studies, and math teacher. She has also volunteered for New Hampshire Literacy Day for the past nine years.
Eugene M. Gagliano was named the next Wyoming Poet Laureate. Gagliano, a retired elementary school teacher from Buffalo, WY, has written a number of award-winning children’s books and poetry about Wyoming and life in the West. As Poet Laureate, he will read at state and legislative events, as well as work with the Wyoming Arts Council to instill a love of poetry in students.
Rebecca Pitkin was named the new executive director of the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board, providing a unique opportunity to work with both K–12 and higher education professionals. Pitkin had served for the past four years as principal of Jefferson Elementary School in Dickinson, and before that was an associate professor of education at Dickinson State University.
Have news to share with your ILA colleagues? Send an announcement about an award received, book published, or other career news to email@example.com and it could appear in the next issue of Literacy Today as well as on our blog, Literacy Daily. The submission should be 200 words or less and should be accompanied by a JPG or PNG photo.
The International Literacy Association (ILA) is proud to announce its second annual 30 Under 30 list in the September/October issue of Literacy Today, ILA’s bimonthly member magazine. This list celebrates some of the best and the brightest young activists and visionaries in literacy for advocating, promoting, and improving literacy and education efforts across the globe.
This second class of honorees hails from all over the world, working in—and, in many cases, building—schools and using nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurship, publishing firms, and more to create novel ways of forwarding the cause of worldwide literacy.
Those on ILA’s inaugural 30 Under 30 list from last year have gained attention both locally and internationally. At the ILA 2016 Conference & Exhibits, they were not only recognized at the Association’s awards ceremony, but also many presented on the work that got them recognized. ILA hopes 2016’s 30 Under 30 honorees will stay engaged throughout the year, share their experiences, and continue to inspire future literacy leaders.
Find a complete list of the 2016 30 Under 30 class and information about their literacy accomplishments in the newest issue of Literacy Today.
Samantha Brant is ILA’s communications intern.