Secondary Reading League

Leaders for Literacy in Grades 6-12

Current 2018 SRL Events

  • Twitter Chat - September 2, 2018 - 7-8pm -
  • SRL Strand at the Illinois Reading council Conference, October 4 and 5, 2018
  • 42nd Day of Reading Conference - November 30, 2018
  • Spring Book Talk, Lou Malnati’s/Anderson’s Book Store, Naperville – April 17, 2018

Letter from the President

Happy New Year, Friends and Colleagues,

At the beginning of each school year, even though I am entering my twenty-first year as an educator (how did that happen?), I like to celebrate all of my upcoming firsts. All of my scholars I will meet and work with for the first time and who will change me for the better every day. The new teachers I will join forces with for the first time in growing our students. Student-recommended books I will read for the first time. Units and exercises I will teach for the first time because what I did last year was so last year. Ideas from my students I will hear and read for the first time that widen my point of view and challenge my adult perspective. Inspiring colleagues I will meet for the first time at conferences and workshops and continue to see over the years on our learning path. And one first I am especially excited about this year is serving as Secondary Reading League President. What a time to be a part of SRL!

Secondary Reading League, a network of educators with a common goal of advancing literacy, this year celebrates 50 years of offering educational opportunities for teachers, coaches, and administrators. Annual events like the SRL strand at the IL Reading Council Conference, the Day of Reading Secondary Reading Conference, and the Spring Book Talk bring leaders in literacy together to learn and share tried-and-true methodology, innovative strategies for engaging students in the reading and learning processes, and the newest and most relevant young adult literature. The SRL Executive Board hopes you will join us at IRC in Peoria this October, where we will also host an evening social for SRL members to mingle and celebrate our 50 years. We are excited for Cris Tovani to return for the 42nd Day of Reading Conference, November 30th in Tinley Park. Anderson’s Bookshop again will provide our annual Book Talk at Lou Malnati’s in Naperville April 17th, offering a 20% discount to purchase all of those books we want to make available to our students…after reading them ourselves of course. Also, SRL Past-President Mark Levine continues to facilitate a Twitter Chat on various literacy topics, so join the conversation.

I encourage you to celebrate your firsts no matter how many years you have been teaching and to be deliberate in finding firsts—seek out new adventures in your own learning and explore opportunities for firsts by collaborating with a colleague with whom you have yet to work closely, stepping outside of your comfort zone by using a fresh contemporary text in the classroom, or building a unit around a framework different from any you have used before. Provide a first for a colleague by inviting him or her to come with you to IRC and SRL events. I often reflect on when Tammy Potts, currently the Illinois Reads Chair, encouraged me to attend and present at IRC in the spring of 2013, which inspired me to also attend the 37th Day of Reading that fall where I was in awe of Chris Tovani’s presentation—eager to get to school the next week to try something new. (Tovani returns to Day of Reading this year!) These and other IRC and SRL events increased my interest in the topic of literacy, changing what I prioritize as a high school English teacher, dramatically altering the lens through which I see how to best provide instruction that makes reading most accessible to my students to grow them into lifelong readers, and intriguing me enough to pursue a doctorate in literacy at Judson University. Now I cannot get enough of what gurus like Donalyn Miller, Penny Kittle, and Kelly Gallagher write. It was Tammy’s invitation that opened a door to a path I did not even know existed, and it made all the difference.

Not only have my learning experiences through IRC and SRL dramatically impacted my evolution as an educator over the past five years, but also the work of SRL charged me to want to take an even more active role by joining the Executive Board, and I am honored to serve as president this year. I hope that your involvement in SRL events this year will charge you in the same way and that, as a leader in literacy, you will pay it forward by encouraging others to take advantage of these two valuable organizations that could very well lead you down paths you never knew existed.

I wish all of you a fantastic school year full of firsts, a school year like no other before it!

Erik J. Borne

Last Call for Membership Drive

The membership drive for upcoming renewals and new memberships continues. This is a great time to ensure you will be connected with other literacy educators to promote and exchange ideas related to literacy issues. Members who renew their membership during the months of May, June, July and August will be entered into a drawing for signed copy of No More Telling as Teaching by Cris Tovani. Cris will be the featured speaker at the 42nd Day of Reading Workshop on November 30, 2018. Please do not miss out on this or any of our exciting 2018 – 2019 SRL events. If you have any questions regarding your membership or membership renewal, please contact Angel Kalat at Secondary Reading League is celebrating 50 years of addressing the literacy needs of middle and secondary teachers. Stay connected with other literacy professionals to promote lifelong learning.

SRL Donates School Supplies

During the ILA 2018 Conference, the East Central-Eastern Illinois University Reading Council has partnered with the Texas Association for Literacy Education (TALE) to collect school supplies for Refugee Services of Texas in Austin. Refugee children have had their education disrupted by fear, violence, and displacement. As refugee children begin school in a new country and learn a new language, Refugee Service of Texas eases the transition by ensuring schools have the necessary literacy resources and school supplies. SRL donated 5 backpacks, jammed full of supplies.

Registration is Open for Day of Reading Conference

Planning for Engagement: Systems and Structures That Keep Learners Learning

Asking students to work for long periods of time is easier said than done. Students who don’t choose to read and write for fun, need systems and structures to support their engagement. During this daylong institute, Cris Tovani will share how she intentionally plans and uses different structures to keep kids from quitting during workshop time. Participants will explore strategy instruction and long-term planning techniques that are tied to text selection and purpose. With the proper systems and structures in place, even the most recalcitrant readers and writers will “dig in” for longer periods of time ensuring growth and improvement.