a non-profit organization

Previous Program (2007)
Next Program (2009 - Phoenix)
Next Program (2009 - Minneapolis)
Return to Program Menu

Programs - 2008

Each year the IRA Literacy and Social Responsibility SIG (IRA L-SR SIG) sponsors a program at the annual national IRA convention.

This program is open to all conferees, with interests from preschool through adult education.

Those interested in greeting, meeting, and networking with program presenters and others with similar interests are especially encouraged to attend the program, business meeting, and/or informal social gathering. IRA members are also invited to become members of this SIG and to submit a program proposal for 2009 (Note: There will be two IRA conferences in 2009.
• For the Phoenix, AZ, convention in February 2009, contact Melanie Goodman (proposals are due February 15, 2008; download Phoenix program proposal form).
• For the Minneapolis, MN, convention in May 2009, contact Patricia Dean (proposals are due May 28, 2008; download Minneapolis program proposal form).

2008 IRA L-SR SIG Program
May 6, 2008, Tuesday morning, 9:00 am - 11:45 am
Georgia World Congress Center B 311
Atlanta, Georgia
Open to all conferees (with interests preschool through adult)
Welcome and Opening Comments
Melanie Cohen Goodman, Program Chair, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA
Keynote Address
Young People, New Literacies, and Civic Engagement

Our opening keynote speaker, Dixie Goswami has done much work with her Literacy and Community Service Networks and Breadloaf Online Communities, well-established community writing groups whose ideas and practices are radical, rigorous, and whose writing for the public is powerful and significant. Interestingly, the focus of her extensive work complements the IRA 2008 Convention theme, "Engaging Learners in Literacy."

Round Table Presentations:

Nurturing Conversations in Professional Learning Communities. Speakers: Dr. Henry C. Amoroso, Jr., Professor of Education, Nancy Hutton, Lecturer, and Jacqueline Grenier, Literacy Coach, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, will describe initiatives at their university to improve the professional development of literacy specialists through informal conversation, caring behavior, a strong concept of social responsibility, and critical thinking. The first deals with the Summer Reading Clinic; the second, a Critical Friends network for graduates of the program.

Letras y Arte: Literacy, Art, and Service Engage Teacher Candidates & Children Learning English. Speakers: Dr. Joan Armon and Tony Ortega, Regis University, Denver, CO. Professors Armon and Ortega demonstrate writing and print-making with teacher candidates teaching children from a Latino community in the creation of handmade books. Teacher candidates provide writing and art instruction while children improve writing skills. Print-making stimulates interest in academic learning and results in vibrant books children and teacher candidates present to families at a culminating celebration.

Waking Up Our Social Responsibility: Preservice Teachers and High School Students Collaborate on Issues Worth Fighting For. Speakers: Dr. Lori Czop Assaf, Texas State University, San Marcos, and Jessica Mickish, Kofa High School, Yuma, AZ. Jessica Mickish considers Social Responsibility in light of the experiences of preservice teachers in the high school. The presenters of this session will share insights and discoveries from a year-long online collaborative project between preservice teachers from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and high school students in Yuma, Arizona. This project is aimed at helping preservice teachers and high school students to become aware of and to take action on a particular social issue

Authors Focus on Historical Social Issues. Speakers: Dr. Ernie Bond, John McCutcheon, Philip Dray, Salisbury University/Peachtree Publishers, Salisbury, MD. Facilitator Dr. Ernie Bond hosts two authors—John McCutcheon and Philip Dray—whose recent publications focus on historical social issues. McCutcheon in Christmas in the Trenches, writes about a World War I soldier’s poignant realization about individuals in war settings. Dray’s book is entitled Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist illustrated by Stephen Alcorn.

Homegrown Heroes & Local Folks: Interviewing, Oral Histories, and Literacy Narratives. Speaker: Dr. Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Dowell will focus on how educators can guide students’ personal exploration of American Civil Rights through research, literature, oral histories, and writing about homegrown events and especially local individuals who participated in the movement. Clyde Kennard of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was one such hero whom students “discovered” through inquiry learning.

Connecting Creative Arts with Reading. Speaker: Dr. Melanie Cohen Goodman, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA. Illuminating the theme “Engaging Learners in Literacy" Goodman discusses the importance of connecting the creative arts with reading. An examination of the ease with which contemporary adolescent literature in the classroom lends itself to opportunities for creative expression is unlimited. A photographic journal of artifacts generated by future reading teachers will be shared with the audience along with reflective journals that speak to the value of such opportunity.

Stress and Urban College Students. Speakers: Virginia Howard and James Fox observe conditions of stress on the urban college student.

Critical Reading: Boosting Literacy and Learning Through Social Action. Speakers: Dr. Rebecca Kaminski, Upstate Writing Project, Clemson University, Greenville, SC, Kris Turner, HL Hanna High School, Greer, SC, Dawn Hawkins, Tigerville Elementary School, Greer, SC, and Shasta Looper, Greer, SC. Kaminski, Turner, Looper and Hawkins will illuminate critical reading and social action as they explore ways to engage students in "real world" problem-solving activities that will help them gain voice, authority, and passion in their reading and writing. The presenters will share discussion protocols and projects related to their utilization of a new text, Writing for a Change: Boosting Literacy and Learning Through Social Action.

Improving the Culture of an Inner-city Classroom Through Children's Literature. Speaker: Jason Mallonee, Antioch University, Los Angeles. Mallonee’s action research project documents the evolution in classroom culture that occurred when reading and responding to children’s literature with developmentally appropriate social and moral problems. At an inner city school in Southern California, kindergarten students connected the themes of the stories to personal experiences and applied them to classroom interactions.

Who "Owns" Social Justice. Speakers: Dr. Howard Miller, Mercy College, Long Island City, NY, and Martin Woodard. Miller and Woodard will address social justice, sharing their research and engaging participants in a discussion of the question posed in the session title: Who Owns Social Justice? Has it become the domain of the upper middle class? Is it a one-way street: giver to recipient? What are the socio-psychological and literacy learning implications?

Voices Reading: Using Engaging Literature to Teach Character Development and Literacy Acquisition. Speaker: Teresa Morrison, Tomball, TX. Morrison will demonstrate Zaner-Bloser’s new core reading and character development program, Voices Reading K-5. Participants will learn how to combine best practices in reading, comprehension, and vocabulary with social skill and character development. Read-alouds encourage active student responses to compelling social issues, building self-esteem and improving literacy.

Reading Influences Bullying Legislation. Speakers: Judith P. Pauley, Hiatt Middle School, and Carolyn E. Dallinger, J.D., M.S.W. will share their research on at-risk students who are learning to read from a variety of non-fiction and fiction texts and then using this knowledge to create presentations on the bullying legislation.

Connecting to Community: Children's Books that Inspire Awareness and Action. Speakers: Ruth Oswald, Francis Broadway, and Denise Stuart, The University of Akron, Akron, OH Oswald, Broadway, and Stuart will share insight with regard to how children's literature, engaging in its storytelling, can inspire students to think deeply about issues and act on these. Titles of books and activity ideas used to spark students’ critical thinking and action in making connections to community will be shared.


Closing Keynote

Speakers: Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Canpoy will share information about the SIG award they are creating for exemplary programs.
For many years, they encouraged teachers to give voice to their life experiences. Campoy and Ada have developed simple structures to scaffold the sharing of meaningful thoughts. In this presentation they will share the principles behind their work, the results of the process and will invite the participants to share in the joy of authorship through a creative activity.

Closing Comments
Denise H. Stuart, President, Literacy and Social Responsibility SIG, University of Akron, Akron, OH
Business Meeting

A short business meeting will follow the program.


© The Literacy and Social Responsibility SIG of the International Reading Association (IRA L-SR SIG)
Kaye West, Ph.D., Webmanager
Date Modified: October 22, 2008 - Feedback

Members of IRA L-SR SIG are grateful to California State University Long Beach for hosting our website.
IRA L-SR SIG, and not CSULB, is responsible for content.