MID-State Reading Council

An affiliate of the Illinois Reading Council

Spring 2019- Volume 7, Issue 4

President's Message

Hello, Spring! Hello, the last weeks of school! These last two months always seem to fly by. As you think about the year, you undoubtedly think about how much your students have grown. There might have been a few missteps as the routines were learned in the beginning of the year. The middle of the year probably contained the ups and downs that come with reading, learning, and growing. There may have even been a few surprises! And now, your students are ready to stretch their wings and fly to the next grade.


As you think back on the year, I hope you also think about your professional growth. What did you learn this year that has made you an even better educator? The MID-State Board hopes our events aided in your professional growth. In the spirit of reflection, we would love your feedback. Fill out this quick survey- it is less than 10 questions, I promise- and be entered for a free MID-State and IRC membership renewal. Enjoy these last few weeks of school!

---Claire Michaels

Illinois Reads, 2019 Waukegan, IL

The 2019 Northeastern Illinois Reads Book Festival was held on Saturday, March 16, from 10 to 2 p.m. at Waukegan High School.

It was a fun and exciting literacy event where participants got to meet, talk with, and interact with 23 authors—all with ties to our state of Illinois. Games and activities related to some of the authors’ books were part of the Festival. All of the authors present were those whose books were selected for this year’s Illinois Reads book list.


Saturday afternoon at exactly 4:51 p.m., the Waukegan Park District dedicated the Ray Bradbury Park as a National Literary Landmark. Mr. Bradbury, one of our most notable Illinois authors, was from Waukegan and spent his childhood just a few blocks from his newly dedicated park.


Thanks to Tammy Potts, IL Reads Program Director and Terry McHugh, Local Host Chair, for organizing a wonderful literacy event. Your local MID-State Reading Council supports the Book Festival and has made a financial donation each year to help put on the Festival as a free event for all families in our State. We truly are trying to be a Reading State of Mind!!


Next year’s Book Festival will be held at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, IL on March 14, 2020. Mark your calendars and plan to attend this event, just an hour’s drive from Bloomington/Normal. You will treat yourself and your family and students to an exciting literacy experience!!

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MID-State Reading Council and Our International Literacy Projects

---Carol Owles, MID-State Treasurer & IRC International Projects Chairperson


Our MID-State Reading Council works to affect the literacy lives of children and teachers in our immediate community of Bloomington-Normal and the surrounding communities, as well as internationally.


Our association with the Illinois Reading Council and the International Literacy Association provides opportunities to help teachers and students in many part of our world. The following projects are a few examples of those that our Council has made a contribution.


This past year, MID-State donated $100 to the Guatemalan Teacher to Teacher Fund to help teachers attend their bi-annual conference this past February. One of our members, as well as our IRC President, attended and presented a workshop at the Guatemalan Reading Conference in Mixco, Guatemala. They also delivered a check for $780 to the Consejo de Lectura (Guatemalan Reading Council) to support teachers by paying their conference registration fees. Because teachers in Guatemala make a very small income, having to pay their registration fees would prohibit them from taking part in the conference. Several other Councils in our State donated to this fund also and allowed us to support over 50 teachers to attend their conference.


Our MID-State Council has also donated YA books to a library in Tanzania so that middle school students can conduct book clubs after reading a novel. Our Council, along with several other Councils throughout our State, donated over 70 books to the Killimahewa Library. While some of these may seem like small projects, for the students who get books and the teachers who get to participate in professional development opportunities, these projects can make a big difference.


We hope that you will consider joining our local MID-State Reading Council and learn more about projects that you can help with and make that difference! Your membership fees, participation in projects, and your ideas can help promote literacy here and in other parts of our world!

Carol Berry Memorial Grant-

MID-State Reading Council would love to make your literacy programming dreams come true! Tell us about a literacy program you are currently implementing or would like to implement at your school. The Carol Berry Memorial Grant provides $300 for a program promoting literacy in the classroom. For your convenience you can submit the grant three ways:


· Mail the printed form to Janel Sebeny at Kingsley Junior High School, 303 Kingsley Street, Normal, IL 61761


· Email a digital form to Janel Sebeny at sebenyj@unit5.org


· Submit the Google Form at bit.ly.com/cbmgrant or filling out the form below


Applications are due April 20th and winners will be notified on April 26th. Good Luck!