American Reading Company Hosts First Annual District Coordinators Summit, October 28, 2014

On October 28th, literacy leaders from 15 districts across the country gathered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, to share notes on their progress with Next Generation Literacy Systems designed to transform their districts. The day-long summit was organized to provide those in attendance with opportunities to tackle some essential questions and identify solutions for advancing their learning organizations. American Reading Company convened these leaders in order to promote a rapid, effective, and coherent effort to re-engineer existing systems so that zip code DOES NOT continue to equal life chances. Members of this professional learning community, spanning schools and districts from across the nation, shared their experiences with a set of practices embedded within a literacy-centered continuous improvement framework designed to develop people, systems, and processes in order to ensure both adult and student success. Some of the key priorities being pursued by these districts include promoting access, equity, and student agency; tracking and monitoring student reading levels in real time; establishing a schoolwide and home reading culture; designing rigorous and engaging curriculum aligned to college and career ready standards; utilizing data to drive decisions; and ensuring the provision of differentiated, strategic interventions.

The day was made even more memorable through the contributions of some of today’s most preeminent educational thinkers:

  • Dr. Kylene Beers

    , Author, Speaker, Senior Reading Advisor to the Reading and Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University

  • Jane Hileman

    , Founder and CEO, American Reading Company

  • Dr. Stephen Peters

    , Motivational Speaker, Educational Leader, and Author

  • Dr. Robert Probst

    , Educator, Speaker, and Author

15 Partner Districts participated in the Summit:

  • Baltimore City Public Schools, MD

  • Camden City School District, NJ

  • Caroline County Public Schools, MD

  • Egg Harbor Township School District, NJ

  • Global Leadership Academy Charter School, Philadelphia, PA

  • Hillsborough Township, NJ

  • Houston Independent School District, Houston, TX

  • Kent, WA

  • Mt. Morris School District, NY

  • New Brunswick Public Schools, NJ

  • Pasco County, FL

  • Reynolds School District, OR

  • Rochester Public Schools, MN

  • St. Mary’s County Public Schools, MD

  • Somerville School District, NJ

The literacy leaders in attendance shared inspiring and provocative messages throughout the event. This commentary speaks to the power in the ARC District Coordinator professional learning community. Their hard work represents the potential to impact the state of literacy in schools and districts across the country.

"Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side."—Victor Webster

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