June 2019
You made this school year amazing!
Now it's time for summer !
A Letter from NJLA's President
On behalf of the Board, I would like to congratulate everyone on a successful school year that now comes to a close. I hope that you take some time to catch up on something that you would actually like to read for fun or for professional learning while reflecting on what went really well this year. Also, choose one area where you hope to improve. For example, if you haven't already pledged your support for Children's Rights to Read , that's an easy place to start! Get your colleagues on board too, because our kids so desperately need and deserve it. Another great way to advocate for kids is to connect with Garden State Equality's Educators for Equality group.

At NJLA we work to improve literacy for all, and part of that journey also includes improving ourselves. I'm excited to announce that our website now communicates seamlessly with our email account, leaving no emails ignored, so as you plan programs and activities for the 19-20 school year, perhaps through ESEA funding, keep the NJLA community in mind, as we would love to help make your dreams become a reality for readers and writers.

Between Unlock Learning, the NJ Student Writing Contest, numerous presentations connecting with our affiliates across the state, and countless hours planning new programs, I could not be more proud of what NJLA stands for and where this work will take us.

I wish everyone a healthy, restful, and relaxing summer and look forward to seeing you in the coming year!

Dr. Ken Kunz
Connect with NJLA at NJAMLE and Learn Over the Summer!

NJLA Announces
New Board Members

Please join us in congratulating our new NJLA Board Members!

Eugenia Cooley

Eugenia "Gena" Cooley is currently a 5th grade Language Arts teacher in Hillside Public Schools. She began her career as a substitute teacher in 2004 and after shortly thereafter became a 3rd grade teacher in the same district in 2006. She has taught kindergarten and 6th grade. Gena studied Biology at North Carolina A&T State University, received her bachelor's degree in Marketing at Kean University, and her master's degree at Saint Peter's University, where she also received her Supervisor Certification.

A few of Gena's passions within education are Social Emotional Learning (SEL), student led activities, supporting novice teachers, Restorative Justice and Practices, and attending EdCamps. She enjoys traveling, Zumba, crocheting, spending time with family and friends, and connecting with her favorite PLN on Twitter @theteachernme

It is an honor an a privilege to join the NJLA community and I anxiously look forward to serve alongside these esteemed educators.

Kathyrn Diskin

Kathryn "Kate" Diskin @KateDiskin was recently appointed to the NJLA Board. Check out her feature article below, as Kate will be joining the Millburn School District in just a few short weeks.
Ambassador of PD and Special Projects

NJLA loves connecting with new and inspiring individuals. At the Juna Board meeting, Nicole Mancini, otherwise known as @MissNikkiIn5th, was voted to be co-chair of the committees for professional development and special projects.

Nicole Mancini teaches fifth grade English Language Arts at Bedminster Township School District. She graduated Washington College in 2002 as a triple major in English, education, and gender studies. She earned a Master's of Science in Education from Monmouth University and has a Reading Specialist certification. Nicole has served as a member of Bedminster Township School's Gifted & Talented Advisory Council, Technology Committee, Teacher of the Year Committee, and English & Language Arts Literacy Curriculum Committee; she also led the faculty's professional book club. 

Nicole has presented various workshops both in and out of New Jersey on technology, building students' passion for reading, motivating reluctant readers, battling mental health stigmas through books, and engagement. She has been an advocate for using diverse and neurodiverse books in the classroom for several years and has worked with authors from around the country to help educators learn more about this topic. In addition, Nicole is a freelance writer, a member of the International Literacy Association and National Council of Teachers of English, and an ambassador for Flipgrid. She has been published on the Nerdy Book Club blog and Teaching Channel, appeared on the Books Between Podcast and My Disney Class Podcast, and was featured on the Educator Spotlight column for MG Book Village. Nicole also organizes and appears on author panels for both children and adults in local bookstores. 

Literacy Feature Articles
What Makes NJLA Member Shalonda Archibald Passionate About Literacy?

By Shalonda Archibald

Hello everyone! I am Shalonda Archibald, the 2019 NJ Literacy Teacher of the Year. I love children, reading, and learning. Pretty great reasons to be a literacy teacher, right? Yes! Indeed, the joy in what I do comes from my much-loved ”ingredients” for an exciting classroom: children, reading, learning. It is so rewarding watching kids who’ve labeled themselves as non-readers rekindle their inner reader after reading a book perfectly matched to their reading identity. Click here to READ MORE!

#BookSnaps! Engaging Technology that Provides Student Feedback and Reflection

By Jenna Maxman

Want to get your students authentically engaged with what they read? Want to be the cool social media savvy teacher in your building? Then read on to learn more about using #Booksnaps with today’s students.
The creator of #Booksnaps is Tara Martin, a teacher and a mom of a tween engrossed in Snapchat 24/7. Tara decided rather than forbid the beloved social media platform, she would find a way to harness its power and apply it to her student’s in the classroom. That’s when she came up with "Booksnaps" a digital form of capturing student feedback of text. Click here to READ MORE!

Deerfield School in Linden, NJ Hosts the "Snow Much Fun" Literacy Event

By Lindsay Bernero

This past winter, Deerfield School #9 in Linden, New Jersey hosted a Family Literacy Night called Snow Much Fun . Students from all grade levels gathered for differentiated literacy activities based on reading, comprehension, and writing skills. Students listened to multiple read alouds including The Mitten and The Snowy Day . Pre-K to second graders worked on multi-sensory activities that matched key comprehension concepts of the stories read aloud. Third through fifth grade students worked on a plethora of narrative writing tasks and grammar skills that focused around the theme of winter. The students were engaged and showed great enthusiasm for this fun filled event. Promoting literacy and cross curriculum subjects helps each student in Linden Public Schools achieve their maximum potential. Click here to READ MORE!

Congratulations to Our Student Writing Contest Winners!
Click here to visit our website and to learn more about the 2019 Student Writing Contest!

Would you like to write for us? Email njliteracy@gmail.com and share your ideas and literacy best practices!
Happy P r i d e Month!

Would you like to write or share an LGBTQ+ inclusive ELA lesson to be shared with NJ teachers? Submit your lesson plan here and visit the Make It Better 4 Youth organization!
Do You Dare to Ditch Those Reading Logs?
Social Justice and Equity is the Focus at ILA's Upcoming Intensive!
Click here to learn more!
ILA Moves to New Orleans this October!
We'd love to connect with our NJ friends at ILA's Annual Conference in October. Click here to learn more about New Orleans!
Did you miss what happened at Unlock Learning this past year?

Watch the video below to find out!
Rights to Read

Has your local Board of Education adopted ILA's Children's Rights to Read? If so, NJLA would like to know so we can feature you on our website! Send an email with your district's name and adoption date to njliteracy@gmail.com. Click here to learn more about the rights!