Center for Teaching Through Children's Books

Dedicated to excellence in teaching with quality literature for children and adolescents

Center for Teaching Through Children's Books


Yokota-Pic_1   Junko Yokota, Ph.D.

Dr. Yokota is the Director of the CTCB and a Professor Emeritus of Reading & Language at National Louis University. She was an elementary classroom teacher and school librarian for the first ten years of her career. In her professional roles, she has served as a consultant to numerous school districts, guiding curriculum development and providing professional development for teachers.

Dr. Yokota is frequently invited to speak at various professional conferences throughout the U.S. and internationally. Her topics center on issues of multicultural and international literature, literacy development of students of diversity, and improving literacy instruction through quality literature. her publications include a co-authored college textbook in children's literature, Children's Books in Children's Hands, two columns that review children's books, as well as journal articles and book chapters in edited books.

She is past president of the U.S. national section of the International Board on Books for Young People, and has served on numerous committees of the International reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. She has served on the Caldecott and Newbery Award committees, chaired the Batchelder Award committee, and served two terms on the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Award for Contribution to Multicultural Literature, Reading the World Award and is an active participant in the international literature community.

Toby-Rajput_1   Toby Rajput, NBCT

Toby currently teaches in the School Library strand of the Reading & Language program at National Louis University. She is also the Children's and Youth Literature Librarian for the University and for the CTCB. She has presented at conferences, in classes, and for colleagues on reading motivation, nurturing engaged readers and evaluating children's books for racism and bias. 

Ann Speltz, Ph.D.

Dr. Speltz is an educator, editor and writer with 35 years of experience developing curricula and teaching a wide variety of students. While an editor of the Great Books Foundations, Dr. Speltz co-created and co-authored the original edition of the Junior Great Books Reading, Writing and Discussion Curriculum (K-12). She had developed and taught more than 20 interdisciplinary courses for academically talented students, and is the author of the children's book, The Year My Mother Was Bald.

Katie Wooten

Ms. Wooten is the USBBY Secretary.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
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