I was honored to be a part of my book release celebration this week at Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School in Venice, Florida. It's exciting to be able to finally hold in my hand, a product of what so much energy has worked for. My book, America's Embarrassing Reading Crisis: What We Learned From COVID, has been more than my three years of research and writing on the subject, but a lifetime of classroom strategies, theories, and methodologies that have become this one culminating project.
I stand proud of my work and ready to use it as a call to action. After two decades in the classroom, I have grown anxious to create change. It was refreshing to speak about that idea in a room full of educator colleagues and exchange professional dialogue.
Some of the most exciting conversations were about how to use the resources we already have. That's what's so exciting about this book! It uses what we learned from teaching through COVID lockdown to our students' advantage. I am not talking about recreating the educational system or revamping brick-and-mortar schools into distance education schools. I am talking about using systems like reading diagnostics assessments, online platforms, and distance education courses that are ALREADY IN OUR SCHOOLS AND STATES to address the very concerning reading problem we have in America where over 40% of third graders are not reading on grade level and face uncertain futures of 80% high school drop out rates and 70% incarceration rates.
I was inspired by the book release celebration and look forward to having more honest dialogue about how we can start to make changes to give our students the future they deserve.