There are many professional organizations that can help literacy experts stay involved in the profession beyond their classroom or school assignment. Students in the spring semester of READ 6325 explored various professional organizations and are sharing what they learned through this blog series.
By Maryela Garcia
The official name of the professional organization that promotes literacy instruction is International Reading Association or IRA. They proudly state that their mission is to promote reading by “advancing the quality of literacy instruction and research worldwide.” You can visit their website is www.reading.org to find membership information. If you apply online, your price is $29 dollars. Basic membership is $39 dollars, and students can get a better rate at $24 dollars. If you are from a developing economy, discounted subscriptions are available. There is a list of countries that qualify as a discounted country on the website. They also offer special rates for institutional subscriptions for schools, school districts, colleges and universities, libraries, and other institutions. All institutional journal subscriptions include six issues of IRA’s Reading Today newspaper. Online subscription access, which is sold separately from print, is based on authentication via Internet protocol address or range, and is renewable annually.
The goal of the organization is to improve the professional growth of reading educators worldwide. They promote research, policy and practices that support and benefit learners and reading professionals. They are a part of a network of national and international organizations that improve literacy. Also, they advocate for research that promotes up to date decision making about reading practice and guiding principles. Lastly, the website declares they lead the world on literacy issues.
The resources that are available to build a professional library include journal publications that are informative and can be useful to apply in the classroom, a network of contributors that are in the education field, lesson plans for practice ideas, videos, podcasts and webinars. Their bimonthly newspaper Reading Today, covers information about the association and education. Their annual conference is a humongous event that joins literacy professionals. This year will be their 56th annual convention. This year’s event will be held in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida on May 8-11. Members of the association will receive a discounted price of $280 dollars, while a non-member will pay $390 dollars. This price does not include airfare or accommodations. Among the many presenters significant in the literacy field, they will be featuring many known authors, among them, Lois Lowry and Pam Munoz Ryan. It is offered to anyone who is interested in learning about the latest approaches to teaching literacy.
They have award-winning journals that show evidence-based practices for the classroom, reports of the latest research, ideas and reflections on education from around the world and other relevant information for educators.
They have a journal that matches everyone’s interest whether based in the classroom or the research community. The journals are edited by distinguished educators and rigorously peer-reviewed by the field’s leaders. They also assert they are high-quality resources that can be relied on. The Reading Teacher is a journal for those working with children up to age 12. The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy is for teachers of older students, and Reading Research Quarterly is for those committed to scholarship in literacy.
The Reading Teacher has been a journal that I am most familiar with. I am very pleased to state that I have used their articles for the latest information in educational practices. I can also claim that they have great classroom activities and technology usage ideas that I have successfully implemented in my classroom.