After many years of inactivity, the British Columbia Literacy Council of the International Literacy Association was reinvigorated with new energy and revitalization last fall. We took off running. The executive council organized and facilitated three successful events and had a lot of fun doing it. You can read more about it on our website readingbc.ca. We also actively participated in social media @BCLiteracyCoun1. Then … COVID-19. It took the wind out of our sails during spring and summer, but we are back.
The BCLCILA hosted it’s AGM this past week. Thanks to the interested members that attended the AGM and congratulations to our 2020-2021 Executive:
Past President – Mike Bowden
- Also, a newly named director of the British Columbia Superintendent’s Association (BCSSA)
- Recently published his 4th book – distributed by Strong Nations Publisher
- Indigenous Leader and District Principal in Kamloops
President – Carrie Froese
- Lifelong literacy and social justice advocate
- Principal of David Livingstone Elementary in Vancouver
- Blogger – Inquire2Empower; Tweeter @CarrieFroese @BCLiteracyCoun1
Vice President – Linda Klassen
- Principal of Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School in Langley
- Champion of the arts and Indigenous ways of knowing
Treasurer – Garth Brooks
- Lifelong International Literacy Association member and executive member Canadian National Special Interest Group of the ILA
- Past National Coordinator of Project Love Letter Writing Project
Membership Secretary – Kelly Patrick
- Librarian at Point Grey Secondary School in Vancouver
- Author of The Kelman Sisters’ Cookbook
Secretary – Kathryn Self Ransdell
- Orton Gillingham trained tutor and active PAC member of General Gordon Elementary in Vancouver
Our Provincial Coordinator – Karen Addie
- Literacy Consultant with PhD in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology
- Experienced teacher in public and private system, Vice principal in the public education system
We are ready to pivot and explore other ways to involve and support literacy advocates in British Columbia in a COVID-19 world. I have found Twitter to be an excellent source of professional development. It has also been a way to develop relationships with people who have common interests. One of my teachers at David Livingstone Elementary School, Karen Lirenman, wrote her book, Innovate with iPad – Lessons to Transform Learning, with a colleague, Karen Wideen, who she met and collaborated with online. I recommend you follow @BCLiteracyCoun1 and executive members who are active on Twitter @CarrieFroese @k_addie @KlassenLinda @TheDuke_247 @tlslovebooks Our ILA Provincial Coordinator, Karen Addie, is also exploring ways for us to engage and collaborate in virtual spaces. We are planning to do some Twitter Chats this year to invite participation in the creation of our British Columbia Literacy Association Annotated Booklist 2020-2021 to support social emotional learning in schools. This will be publicized through twitter so be sure to follow.
The COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter Movement has focused attention on social emotional learning like never before. We would be negligent as educators if we failed to acknowledge the need to carefully consider and implement supports for our students. Our ultimate goal is to empower our learners with a sense that they are cared for and valued as a springboard for engaging in their learning journey. As a bunch of book lovers in the British Columbia Literacy Council, we of course came to the conclusion that books are a perfect way to provide supports for our students at school and a home.
There are many booklists that have been collated for a variety of purposes. Our goal is to create a booklist that addressed the following:
- Anecdotal Reference by educators to specify the appropriate audience and possible uses of the text in terms of social emotional learning and BC core competencies.
- Representation – In order to feel valued and included in our school communities, our students need to see themselves as part of the community. This includes students who identify, live or learn in ways outside on the dominant group in the school community. This also includes our Indigenous, Black, and people of colour.
- Stress and Coping – Books that help students to understand stress in our lives and possible coping strategies.
- Working for Social Justice – Books to help students explore what makes us human, our basic rights, freedoms, and our responsibilities as anti-racists in our school, our community, and our world.
This is a large task and will require that we engage not only our current membership but also capture the imagination of other literacy educators and parents in British Columbia. We are inviting mass participation online. Participants are asked to become International Literacy Association members. All people who join the International Literacy Association in British Columbia are automatically members of the British Columbia Literacy Council of the International Literacy Association. There are numerous membership options, and a hardcopy or online newspaper is included. There is also the opportunity to add popular International Literacy Association publications, such as The Reading Teacher and Reading Research Quarterly to your membership.
BCLCILA members who contribute to the British Columbia Literacy Association Annotated Booklist 2020-2021 will receive one of the titles from our booklist to use with children. Widespread participation in this project is encouraged. You are invited to submit as many entries as you wish. Please complete one form per book. Please note one book will be sent to each BCLCILA member participating in this project to celebrate our collaborative online project. All submissions must be made via THIS LINK. The information submissions can be displayed in an excel spreadsheet and organized for publication.
In March, my big risk-taking venture was connecting with my Livingstone students via Video Tweets. I have upped my game and I’m reading an SEL books weekly – Ms. Froese Reads on my own YouTube Channel. It’s still a big risk but I’ve come a long way from my initial Video Tweets. This is being published on my school wide Office 365 TEAM and tweeted on the school twitter account and @BCLiteracyCounc1 You are welcome to use it with your students. I’m feeling very grateful to have a team of people still engaged in doing the work of supporting our teachers and students. We hope you’ll enjoy us in this positive and proactive engagement. We’re always open to new ideas. We hope to hear from you.