The Michael W. Louis Fund for Literacy – The Reading Leadership Institute.
This fund has been dedicated to projects enhancing literacy leadership in the metropolitan Chicago Area. With support from The Michael Louis Literacy Fund (benefactor for National Louis University), the Reading Leadership Institute (RLI) provides professional development to staff developers throughout 22 Chicagoland districts. Members, who are curriculum directors, coaches, administrators and other literacy leaders, participate in networking and learning sessions led by major national speakers at least three times per year.
RLI Mission:The purpose of the Reading Leadership Institute is to assist in the development of school-based leaders in reading and language education and to support those leaders in their work. The philosophy of the project is professional empowerment through the collaborative development of knowledge and leadership skills.
RLI members meet regularly during the school year to do some or all of the following:
- Update knowledge of best practices in literacy education
- Identify school or district issues for focus
- Develop action plans to address the issues
- Design staff development materials or other approaches to address issues
- Interact with the Reading Leadership Institute directors and other participants to refine thinking
- Initiate implementation
- Evaluate learning and effort
- Share approaches with a wider audience
The Shaw Fund for Literacy
Named for the generous support of Charles and Beverly Shaw, The Shaw Fund for Literacy is a funded partnership project between The National College of Education Reading Center and the nonprofit Good News Reading Program. The Shaw Fund promotes advanced professional development for a spectrum reading professionals in the Chicago and metropolitan area schools. The Fund has four goals:
- to prepare and refer National Louis graduate students from its National College of Education to work in literacy programs throughout Chicago's public schools and other urban and at-risk settings;
- to strengthen and sustain the community literacy functioning of the Good News Reading Program;
- to support the work of literacy paraprofessionals and volunteers;
- to support program development and research related to the instruction of at risk-readers.
Teacher Renewal Seminars
These annual seminars, offered in collaboration with the Suburban Council of the International Reading Association (SCIRA), are designed to update in-service teachers on the latest issues and advances in literacy instruction. The seminars draw world class speakers such as Don Bear, Richard Allington, Peter Johnston, Jerry Johns and David Pearson who share their expertise in literacy techniques. Seminar participants are also offered quality staff development break-out sessions, where they hear from area participating teachers on their successful integration of literacy techniques in their classrooms. Often, an NLU one semester hour course is offered in conjunction with these events.
Multiphase Comprehensive Vocabulary Instruction Program
The Multiphase Comprehensive Vocabulary Instruction Program (MCVIP) is a three year grant funded by the National Center for Educational Research. The study includes sites in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and Evanston, Illinois, two districts chosen because of their multilingual and multicultural students and highly qualified teaching staffs.
Teachers are working with a team to review the research on a comprehensive approach to vocabulary in the middle elementary grades and to test out components of a comprehensive model. This model, based on the work of Michael Graves, James Baumann, Camille Blachowicz and Peter Fisher and others, has the goal to field test methodologies across curriculum in each grade, and proposes a four component approach:
- Ensuring rich language experiences
- Teaching Individual words
- Teaching word learning strategies
- Developing word awareness (interest in words and knowledge about how they work)
West Suburban Literacy Initiative
WSLI is a partnership between the Fox Valley Reading Council, the NLU Reading & Language Department and the NLU Library focusing on the differentiation of literacy instruction for a range of student needs identified as affecting teachers in the western suburbs. Some of these areas include: cultural and linguistic diversity, special needs, gifted, boys, and ELL instruction. Components of the partnership include an annual forum with nationally-known speakers, graduate-level special topics courses offered at NLU, a partnership with McAninch Arts Center, collaborations with District 200 in Wheaton-Warrenville, a WSLI leadership book study group, and the continued development of the NLU Américas collection of bilingual, Spanish and Latino themed children's and young adult books.