The inaugural meeting of the North Carolina Literacy Research Partnership (NCLRP) was held in the UNC Greensboro School of Education building on October 12, 2019.
This initiative, based at UNC Greensboro, brings together UNC System literacy researchers and teacher educators with K-12 educators from across the state. The purpose of the NCLRP is to build capacity for producing local, research-driven solutions and possibilities for teacher and researcher development, instructional change, and improved student outcomes in literacy in North Carolina.
The October 12th event was an opportunity for those working in literacy research and teaching across the state to exchange information about important work already occurring and to plan for future collaboration. The 48 attendees included teachers from local area schools and faculty from the following UNC System institutions: UNC Greensboro, Appalachian State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC Charlotte, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina State University, Winston Salem State University, UNC Pembroke, and Western Carolina University.
Attendees selected from a range of sessions presented by research teams from across the UNC System that focused on topics such as early reading and writing development, professional development in literacy for beginning teachers, socio-emotional and literacy learning within project-based science, the uses of technology for literacy learning, writing instruction, and the fostering of home-school relationships.
According to Dr. Gay Ivey, William E. Moran Distinguished Professor in Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, as well as director of the initiative, the long-term goal is to support and build networks around university-school partnerships in literacy research. As a way to promote this priority, the inaugural event was launched by a morning whole-group session presented by an established and productive researcher-teacher team that included Dr. Ivey, Dr. Peter Johnston of the University at Albany, along with Brian Lundstrom and Amy Kennedy, teachers from the Augusta County Schools in Virginia. Their session focused on what they and the children in Lundstrom’s and Kennedy’s classrooms learned through a long-term collaborative research project that focused on increasing students’ reading engagement and achievement.
A next step in the initiative will be to identify individuals from the UNC System participating institutions who will serve as liaisons to the NCLRP. A goal for the next gathering of this group is to expand teacher participation, with hopes of drawing not only more local area teachers, but also teachers from across the state who are partnering with literacy faculty in meaningful classroom-based studies to improve literacy learning and teaching.