St. Louis Area Literacy Leader Promotes Cooperation and Collaboration Among the Region’s Literacy Organizations. By Dr. Sam Bommarito
This week, I talked to Lisa Greening, head of the newly formed organization- Turn the Page- St. Louis. I first met Lisa when she was the head of Ready Readers, another St. Louis literacy organization. She invited several area literacy leaders to get together and talk about what was going on in the region. In those days, these were face to face meetings. Magical things began to happen because this group did more than just talk. They began bouncing ideas off each other and thinking of ways to help each other. It was an eclectic group that included professors, ILA organizations, the YMCA, book distribution organizations, regional libraries, area school districts and Julius Anthony’s St. Louis Black Authors (remember him from last week?). In this interview, Lisa talks about how seeing what was happening in this group inspired her to create Turn the Page- St. Louis, which she modeled after Turn the Page- Kansas City. In the interview, she talks about the path she has followed and the things the new group she spearheads has already done. One of these things is getting Playtime Pads to thousands of area preschoolers with no or limited access to the internet (see timestamp 13:50). Please listen to the interview to find out about what has happened already and what is coming. I hope it inspires readers to organize similar efforts in their own regions or become aware of and support such efforts.
Here is a link to the interview:
The timestamps below will allow you to skip to particular topics that interest you the most:
0.00 Lisa explains her background in education, which includes becoming certified as a teacher and becoming an administrator in various non-profit groups that support literacy causes. As indicated earlier, she is currently the head of Turn the Page-St. Louis.
4:20 Lisa talks about creating Turn the Page- St. Louis and how she modeled it after Turn the Page- Kansas City. It was designed to overcome the fragmentation and lack of communication that characterized the local literacy scene before Turn the Page was created.
9:46 Lisa talks about the organizations and individuals involved in Turn the Page- St. Louis and creating a 5-point literacy initiative. Readers should expect an update of this interview in late summer or fall to report on the results of the implementation of her 5-point literacy initiative.
13:50- Lisa talks about how this group’s efforts resulted in well over 2000 St. Louis area preschoolers getting PBS Playtime Pads. The Playtime Pads have over 80 educational apps that can be used with or without the internet, meaning these children could access literacy apps even when wi-fi was not available. Dr. Shea Kerkhoff of the University of Missouri-St. Louis was instrumental in getting the funding for the project and the local PBS station allowed us to purchase the pads at cost.
17:17- Lisa talks about another thing Dr. Shea Kerkhoff from UMSL has done, which is to get an 18 million dollar grant for the state of Missouri. The grant awards were just announced, and several area schools will be getting extensive P.D. for teachers.
20:37- Lisa talks about another P.D. initiative created through Julius B. Anthony’s work. It is called “Racially Relevant Literacy in Pre-K through the Third-Grade classroom.
23:05 Final Remarks
I am in awe of the work Lisa and her group has already done and look forward to reporting on how that work progresses over the summer. I am proud that my Missouri Literacy Association and St. Louis Regional Literacy members have been an important part of this work. I am grateful that all the literacy organizations/non-profits in the St. Louis region seek to cooperate and collaborate. BTW- I would love to hear about things that might be happening in your region.
Next week I’m excited to announce that I will be sharing an interview with a Master Teacher from Australia. That interview has already been completed. I also plan to interview the head of the Thrass Institute in Australia. So, please stay tuned. Exciting things are coming up over the next few weeks.
Happy Reading & Writing.
Dr. Sam Bommarito (Ready to Read-St. Louis groupie!)
Copyright 2021 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the author’s view and do not necessarily reflect any other person or organization’s views.
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