How Handwriting Supports the Science of Reading

Laura Stewart

Educator and National Director of The Reading League


After taking a backseat in the education world for many years, handwriting is back. While assistive technology can help students with writing problems, it does not remove the importance of teaching explicit handwriting. Handwriting reinforces reading and spelling skills, and is linked to reading and spelling achievement. In this insightful podcast, you will learn how handwriting supports the science of reading and strategies educators can use immediately in the classroom to build handwriting into their daily lessons.

In this podcast, listeners will learn:

  • The connection between handwriting, reading, and writing
  • The evidence around two “great debates”
    • Printing or cursive?
    • Handwriting or keyboarding?
  • Key recommendations for handwriting instruction

 

Guest Presenter

Laura Stewart

Laura Stewart is a dynamic educator and organizational leader. Her current role as national director of The Reading League fits her perfectly, as her passion is empowering educators to positively impact ALL students and ultimately change the course of literacy achievement in this country. She has worked as a teacher, administrator, adjunct professor, and director of numerous professional development initiatives around the country. Stewart served as vice president of professional development for the Rowland Reading Foundation and chief academic officer for professional development at Highlights for Children. As a published author, she presents her work nationally and internationally.

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Transcript

Narrator:
Welcome to EDVIEW360.

Pam Austin:
I'm going to get right to it. I want to begin by asking you directly, yes or no, is handwriting an important skill to learn?

Laura Stewart:
Absolutely. No question. I think this is something that over the course of my career, there have been waves where handwriting has been de-emphasized, but I think it's really clear that this is a critical part of literacy. It's a major player in literacy.

Narrator:
You just heard Laura Stewart, national director of The Reading League. Ms. Stewart is our guest today on EDVIEW360.

PA:
This is Pam Austin. Welcome back to the EDVIEW360 podcast series. We're so excited to have you back with us. I'm conducting today's podcast from my native New Orleans, LA. Today, we are excited to welcome Laura Stewart, educator and national director of The Reading League. Ms. Stewart is our guest today for EDVIEW360. Welcome, Ms. Stewart.

LS:
Well, thank you. Hi, Pam. I'm really delighted to be with you today.

PA:
Oh, we are so excited to have you. As I said before, I love the topic we're going to dive into, but before we do that, Ms. Stewart, you have had an impact on teachers, administrators, and college students throughout your career. Before we dive into our topic today, please share your journey to your current role as an educator.

LS:
Oh, well, sure. Yeah, I've been in education for a really long time, a really long time, and it's been, I would say, a rewarding and challenging career. I started out as a classroom teacher. I've worked at the building level and district level as an administrator. I've taught at the college level, and I've worked in lots of different professional development initiatives around the country, including one in Jefferson Parish in your backyard there. Also worked in the state of Wisconsin during the Reading First years.

I've also worked in organizations. I was the VP of professional development for the Rowland Reading Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization. I was also the chief academic officer for professional development at Highlights. Highlights for Children, some of you might know the Highlights magazine. So, I've had a lot of varied and different experiences.

I have written a book. I have presented nationally, internationally, but I would say that the through line of my work has really been my passion for and my commitment to early literacy. That's what gets me up in the morning. I think we're at a really hopeful time in terms of knowing what to do to ensure literacy for all. So, I'm really excited about where I am in my career right now and the hope that we have for today's children.

PA:
Oh, my goodness. Such an eclectic background.

LS:
Yeah.

PA:
You can say you’ve done all things in the education world, just listening to the various roles that you have participated in. You honed in on early literacy, and just by you sharing that, it just makes me reflect on our topic for today. I'm going to get right to it. I want to begin by asking you directly, yes or no, is handwriting an important skill to learn?

LS:
Absolutely. No question. I think this is something that over the course of my career, there have been waves where handwriting has been de-emphasized, but I think it's really clear that this is a critical part of literacy. It's a major player in literacy.

PA:
Yes. Over the years, as you mentioned, it has taken a backseat. Why do you think that handwriting has taken a backseat in the educational world?

LS:
Yeah, I think that's a great question. I reflect back on, again, I've been around for a long time and there have been waves in my career where handwriting's been minimized. I think the first time I saw this was during the ascendancy of the whole language years when whole language was the methodology of the day. The emphasis then, I believe, was getting kids to write for expression and meaning. So, the thinking was, and I remember this clearly, the thinking was that if we emphasized handwriting, somehow that's going to get in the way of this expression.

Also I think there was the idea back then that we had to choose. We don't have time for both. So, handwriting could be relegated to a center or maybe a take-home sheet, but it really didn't get the instructional attention that it needed. So, I think that's one wave.

I think a second wave was when we really started emphasizing teaching keyboarding. Again, the thinking was...I'm not saying this was correct thinking, but the thinking was that anytime that we had devoted to handwriting now had to shift to keyboarding. So, I think in both those cases, it was really thinking about how are we prioritizing time? We can't fit everything in. Something has to go. So, handwriting was de-emphasized.

But I do think it's on the upswing for a few reasons. One is I think we're really paying attention to the value of legible handwriting. As I was preparing for this podcast, I did a little research, and I found some fun facts that I think your listeners might be interested in. Thirty-eight million illegibly addressed letters cost the U.S. postal service $4 million a year.

PA:
Wow.

LS:
I know. Here's another statistic. So, nearly 20% of hospital medicine orders are returned by pharmacies as illegible.

PA:
Oh.

LS:
Yeah. So, that's a lot of time and a lot of manpower that we really can't squander. So, that's one reason I think it's on the upswing, but also we know, and Steven Graham is a key player in this, and he stated that there's an...I'm paraphrasing him here...that there's an effect that's a little insidious, because people judge the quality of your ideas based on your handwriting. So, legibility really matters. By legibility, I mean handwriting that can be easily read by many people. It's a lifelong standard for handwriting.

PA:
Oh, most definitely.

LS:
Yeah. I mentioned Steven Graham. There's a lot of other leading voices in the area. Virginia Berninger, Beverly Wolf, Karin Harman James, Marilyn Wolf has written...Or, Marilyn Adams has written about this. Louise Spear-Swerling has written about this. Nancy Mather.

I think really the other big realization that has caused us to pay more attention to handwriting is that we recognize that it's critical to automatize handwriting as a transcription skill. So, it frees up working memory to devote that cognitive energy to composition. It's like when we think about making decoding automatic and building that storehouse of instantaneously recognized words so that our brain energy can be devoted to comprehension. There's a parallel, right?

If this transcription skill can become automatized, we devote more cognitive energy to composition. Louise Spear-Swerling even draws a parallel to math. She says if we have a lack of automatic recall, that reduces our mental resources available for advanced computational algorithms in math. So, these researchers, these leading voices, have found that automatized handwriting improves the quality and the quantity of written expression. So, back when we minimized it and we thought the expectation of legible handwriting would impede written expression, we've had it all wrong. We were completely off the mark.

PA:
Right. We thought that we have to choose one over the other. Right?

LS:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

PA:
The very specific examples you gave that were very practical in regards to the post office for one, right, and the impact of being able to write legibly, right. It's part of those literacy skills, and when you think about that end goal of automaticity, that says a lot right there, Laura. I think teachers can make that connection when we are focusing on...With phonics, we have to understand and be able to retrieve that sound symbol automatically, so we can transfer that example to handwriting as well.

LS:
Yes, exactly. This is great.

PA:
You already answered my next question on how it's making a comeback and why it's making a comeback, which is great. You even alluded to some of the connection between handwriting and reading and writing when you spoke to it improves the quantity and the quality of writing. Can you speak more to that? How does handwriting reinforce reading effectively?

LS:
Yeah. I find this incredibly exciting. I think you do too, Pam, so I think we're on the same page with this.

PA:
Yes.

LS:
OK. So, legibility counts for the reasons that I shared before. Automatized handwriting frees up that cognitive space, but there have been more advances in our understanding the importance of handwriting as it connects to reading and writing. So, I want to think about...Let's think about writing and dig into that a little bit deeper. So, when we write, we're dealing with lots of simultaneous demands. What do we want to say? How do I organize my writing? What do I need to do with each sentence? How do I spell that word? So, we're really taxing our working memory. So, to really devote that optimization to composition, handwriting, spelling, mechanics need to be fluid and internalized, right?

There was actually a study done in 2016 that looked at second-graders who had handwriting instruction and they showed advancement in language skills, alphabet writing, spelling, and composing. So, writing, there's a lot of evidence for, again, its importance in writing.

Now, thinking about this in the context of reading gets really exciting. So, alphabet knowledge, language skills, those are important to reading. I think we all would recognize that.

PA:
Yes.

LS:
Marilyn Adams, back in 1990, said that we need to know the shapes of individual letters in order to read, and that writing, handwriting, aids that recognition. Karin James and her colleagues noted that the motor act of producing a word by hand results in these tactical sensations in the brain that link letters into a simple written word unit. So, I think that, really, I would argue that handwriting's a critical piece of foundational reading.

It gets even better. So, there's research around the areas of the brain that activate during handwriting. Guess what? It's primarily in that all important left hemisphere. So, that manipulation of thumb and fingers as we hand write activates the left brain, which we know manages planning, monitoring, organizing, revising, language processing, and all these skills are critical to not just in writing but self-management and metacognition. So, I think the value of the letter formation handwriting just continues to present itself.

PA:
So, handwriting is definitely valuable?

LS:
For sure.

PA:
To reiterate, we can say that fluency and automaticity in handwriting is a foundational skill.

LS:
Absolutely. 100%.

PA:
All aspects of literacy, we can say, goes back to handwriting. Would you agree with that, Laura?

LS:
Yeah. Like I said, it's a major player. No doubt. No doubt.

PA:
Awesome. I do have another question for you. Just leading into the science of reading, how does handwriting support the science of reading? Now, you gave us some examples already. Can you expound on that?

LS:
Yeah. So, let's go back to the science of reading. We at The Reading League are working with some other like-minded organizations to produce what we're calling the science of reading, a defining guide. Any of you listening in today can find that at whatisthescienceofreading.org. That's our webpage devoted to that. We want to arrive at a simple definition for the science of reading, so I'll read to you this definition: "The science of reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing."

So, if that's our baseline definition, all of what I just shared with you fits well within that body of scientifically based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing. Handwriting really spans both, right? Reading and writing.

PA:
So, the reading and writing connection is detailed here. What was that resource again, Laura?

LS:
Yeah. So, actually it's whatisthescienceofreading.org, and it's the Science of Reading, A Defining Movement. Within that webpage, you can find our defining guide. This is really designed to...Again, we're working with other mission-driven organizations in the science of reading community to bring to bear a common definition that we can all rally behind, some rationale for that decision, what the science of reading is, what the science of reading is not. We have a lovely equity statement. We have a preamble that just sets the stage for the science of reading. So, I encourage everybody to check that out.

PA:
Yeah. I encourage you to as well. I know I will dive into this guide myself. Now, we've been talking about handwriting, but people normally think, "Well, there's print and then there's cursive." Tell us more about the two great debates, print and cursive.

LS:
Yeah. Yeah. OK. So, printing or cursive is interesting. So, Steven Graham, as I mentioned before, he found in 2009 that the research is inconclusive regarding teaching manuscript versus teaching cursive in mainstream students who do not struggle. However, we also know from the research that A, students shouldn't be taught both simultaneously, and B, it takes at least two years of instruction to automatize a handwriting process. So, we do have to choose.

What seems to be prevalent practice is manuscript K–2, cursive 2–3. So, one argument in favor of this seems to be that, most, if not all text that our K–2 students encounter or are exposed to is manuscript. So, as we're teaching letters for both reading and writing, this makes sense.

However, I also want to add I listened to a presentation by the wonderful William van Cleave, and he talked about cursive for students with language-based learning difficulties because it cuts down on reversals. All cursive lowercase letters begin at the same place. It reinforces spelling because of continuous movement, and it reinforces the idea of words and spaces, because all the letters of the word are clustered together. So, there's not one definitive answer for that, but again, I think there is prevalent practice that is supportable.

PA:
Definitely. That makes sense. Then when we're dealing with students with those language-based difficulties, then we would likely shift more to the cursive. So, there's not one size fits all, but in the general population, we've got a standard, and then we can adjust what those students who need more.

LS:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

PA:
OK. I think that's called scaffolding to the student needs. Most definitely.

LS:
Yeah.

PA:
Well, let's talk about handwriting or keyboarding.

LS:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, we have a lot of information on this now. We didn't for a while, but we have enough information now to know that keyboarding just doesn't have the same benefits as handwriting. Now, I don't want to minimize it because it does have benefits, surely, but to think that we can replace handwriting with keyboarding, I believe, is misguided. There have been studies about better understanding and retention of concepts, and that students are trying, when they're using their laptop and their keyboards, they're trying to transcript every word because of the speed at which they can type notes.

But with longhand, you have to be cognitively active in picking out key ideas and summarizing and drawing conclusions and putting things into your own words. These are higher-order skills that require a level of cognition that benefits your retention of the concepts. So, there have been studies on this. Three in particular have concluded that college students who took notes by hand performed better on assessments than their peers who typed their notes. That just makes sense, right? When you're longhand, you have to really be thinking about, what do you want to capture?

Then, there was another study. Berninger and colleagues in 2009 did a study where they found that students expressed more ideas and used more complete sentences when they wrote longhand as compared to keyboarding. There was another study in 2016 that found that printing taps into letter processing networks better than typing. There was also, I just read again in preparing for this, I read this article, Where Does Handwriting Fit In? by Susan Cahill. She's an occupational therapist. She stated that even in an era of technology, this kinesthetic process of writing letters is favorable to the act of composition.

So, to unpack that a little bit more. So, when you type, you're hitting a key, and that process, hitting a key, is the same for all letters. When you hand write, each letter has its own unique shape, its own unique formation, so we're kinesthetically imprinting that distinctive shape with each letter. So, bottom line, this study with James, Jao, & Berninger suggests, and I'm going to quote here: "The goal of writing instruction in the information age should be developing hybrid writers who are adept with multiple writing tools, including pens and keyboards."

PA:
I just love it. So, we don't have to choose one or the other? Right?

LS:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

PA:
We can choose the best of both worlds. There's a phrase you use, cognitively active. I just love that. It's all about engagement and retention, right? So, when you are writing by hand, you are practicing. You're applying those higher-order skills.

LS:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

PA:
I love it. Engagement and retention. That's what the benefit is there. Thank you. I just love the information that you're sharing. What are some recommendations for handwriting instruction?

LS:
Yeah, so I think it might be cool to look at how children develop in terms of grasping writing implements to think about where do we start, when do we start, how do we start? So, at about 1 to 11/2 years old, kids tend to have this, what is called a fisted grasp, where they just wrap all their fingers around the writing tool. They use their whole arm to make marks. At this age, kids just switch from hand to hand, so they're just experimenting. At about 2 to 3, they do this interesting grasp that I think a lot of OTs refer to as digital-pronate grasp, but this is where the child holds the writing implement in a diagonal position across the palm of the hand, and the fingers in the palm are facing down.

I have to laugh because I was with my granddaughters last week. I have a 2-, almost 3-year-old granddaughter, and that's exactly what she was doing. She's holding this pen in this diagonal position. Again, at this age, kids might switch from hand to hand. There's no hand domination. At 3 to 4, we tend to see a five-finger grasp, again, but this is not a fist. It's where all five fingers are on the pencil or pen or crayon, and they're starting to use wrist movements as opposed to the whole arm. Sometimes this is hard for kids because they're grasping it so tightly that their hands get very fatigued. But at this age, we tend to see more hand dominance.

Then we see this tripod, the typical tripod grasp, at around age 5. That's where kids hold the writing tool between their thumb and their pointer and their middle fingers, and they can keep that ring finger and that little finger curled under. This is about 5, hand dominance starts to really emerge.

I did want to mention the OT community also supports an alternative grip where the writing tool is lodged between the pointer and the middle finger. So, pencil grip is kind of an interesting thing...Just to think about a child's development is an interesting thing because it helps us to ponder instruction, because reinforcing that pencil grip is important. If kids have a cumbersome, awkward pencil grip, it can cause fatigue and discomfort, so we do really want to help our kids get this right. Even though a poor pencil grip can be changed, the older the child is, the harder it is to change. So, that early modeling, early reinforcement is really important.

PA:
So, the understanding that the developmental progress and pencil grip will help us understand that need for providing instruction on something as simple as a how to hold a pencil.

LS:
Yeah, for sure. Also, if we think about that, those developmental milestones, there's readiness skills that we can help our kids develop for this. So, let's think about our preschoolers. Fine-motor manipulation, like using fingers to pick up objects and manipulate objects, and learning basic strokes like vertical lines and horizontal lines and circles and slants. Those are things that we can do with our youngest learners in order to help them be prepared for more formal handwriting instruction.

Then when it comes to that, when actually teaching letter formation, there are key principles to keep in mind. So, we want to have kids get themselves and their paper in position. Position's really important. Sit up tall, keep your feet on the floor, keep both arms on your desk. You want your papers slanted slightly in the same direction as your dominant hand. For cursive, you want even more of a slant. We might want to do warm-up routines for our kids. For example, things like when they're learning manuscript, help them "get ready to print" by making tall and short vertical lines, making zigzags, making circles, making mountains, which is just like pointy, pointy, making waves, making dashes. So, helping kids warm up.

Proper pencil grip, proper paper position, proper seated position, and then warming up. For cursive, we can warm up using what are called windshield wiper movements. Again, mountain movements, wave movements, circles. Just warming up our arms and hands and getting ready for instruction. So, those are some instructional principles to think about.

I also think it's important when we...I mentioned paper, and I wanted to mention this too. We want to give our youngest writers wider-ruled paper when they're just starting out and then narrow the lines, the rules, the lines as they get older. So, those are some things I think that are important to remember. Then I think it's important to remember that handwriting is taught explicitly. We want to teach each letter. We want to model. We want to use clear, verbal cues. We want to make sure kids start at the right place on the line.

So, when I say clear, verbal cues, what I mean is let's say I'm teaching.

Start at the 2:00 position on the midline, circle to the baseline, come up slightly off the baseline. Now that would be lowercase C. So, just having the language around handwriting and being consistent in that language is really important. That's important for both manuscript and cursive.

There's another element to cursive that has to be taught very explicitly, and that's joining. Joining from letter to letter. So, again, teaching kids the right position, having the right kind of paper with the appropriate lines, I think having models to trace, starter dots and arrows to help them remember where to start and how to move, I think those things are very important as well.

PA:
Very good. You gave us a lot of good information, and so I'll just summarize exactly what you shared with us.

LS:
Sure.

PA:
Pencil grip, highly important. Position of the paper, warm-up routines that are specific to print or to cursive. Then that direct, explicit instruction. You mentioned there are various ways to offer that direct, explicit instruction. You talked about naming the lines and some programs. We have a program, Read Well®, where we have the hat, the belt, and the boot line.

LS:
There you go. Exactly.

PA:
Exactly.

LS:
Yep. Yep.

PA:
So, what are some common questions you get around handwriting instruction? You gave us a lot of information. What are the most common questions that you hear from people?

LS:
Yeah. So, one question I often get is, so what do we help kids look for in their own handwriting or what are we actually teaching kids that make handwriting legible? I want to refer to these what are called keys of legibility, which I learned from my friends at Zaner-Bloser, and this is their proprietary content, so I did get permission to share. So, their keys to legibility are shape, size, spacing, and slant. That's easy to remember because they begin with a letter S. Shape, size, spacing, and slant.

Shape is the most fundamental because it's the actual appearance of the strokes. Size is the height of the letter. Spacing is the consistency between letters, consistency between words, spacing between sentences. Slant is the angle of writing on the paper. So, this is what we're teaching. We're teaching these attributes of instruction.

Then we want kids to self-evaluate on these keys as they examine their own writing, because one of the aspects of instruction is the modeling and the practice, but the self-evaluation to determine if this is indeed legible. So, let me give you an example. We can have kids look at the height of their letters and ask themselves are all your tall letters the same height? Are all your short letters half the size of tall letters? Do all the descending letters go below the baseline? Are there tails the same length? That type of thing. So, helping kids become discerning and self-evaluative is a really important part of instruction.

Another question I get is how do we help kids with spacing, because spacing is difficult for young children. So, giving them props like paper clips or Popsicle sticks or just having them use their fingers, one paper clip between words, two paper clips between sentences. I know that when I was teaching, I took Popsicle sticks and I drew a little face and a little antenna on the Popsicle sticks, and we called them Spacemen. Right?

PA:
Love it.

LS:
So, giving kids those kinds of props. For slant, to help kids with slant, have them draw lines between their letters in the direction of those letters, and then check to see that the slant is consistent. That works for both manuscript and cursive. So, those are some tips and pointers, I guess, that help kids really gauge their own legibility. That's one question.

Another question I often get is which letters do I introduce when? Now, there is no hard research on this, but we can think about what makes sense, which is what we do a lot in making instructional choices. So, it makes sense to introduce manuscript letters according to their beginning stroke, or what we call their motor stroke family. So, in manuscript, we might group B, H, K, L, T because they all begin with that top-to-bottom vertical stroke.

Now D you think is a tall letter, but it would be grouped with C, O, and G because although it's tall, it's beginning stroke is identical to the strokes in lowercase C, lowercase O, lowercase G, and lowercase A. So, think about stroke families like in cursive, A, C, D, G, Q would be grouped together in the same stroke family. So, that's another question I get.

Another question is, do we introduce lowercase and uppercase simultaneously? Again, no hard research on this, but I believe yes, because handwriting should be taught alongside all the other aspects of each letter. We want kids to know letter names, letter shapes, the sound the letter represents, and its formation. So, I think teaching all those attributes makes a lot of sense.

I often get a question about reversals. When kids are first learning, reversals are fairly common, especially letters like B and D and F and Q. J is very common. Reversals are typically developmental and will improve. In the early stages, it's fairly normal. It isn't necessarily an indicator of dyslexia or another learning disability. I just wanted to throw that out there. So, those are the main questions I often get.

PA:
Wonderful questions, and you can tell they came directly from educators.

LS:
Yeah, for sure.

PA:
If these are the most common questions you have out there, then you've actually answered my next question. That was about what are some strategies that educators can use to help teach handwriting on a daily basis in the classroom? You've listed a great many of them. Are there any other resources that you'd like to share as well?

LS:
Yeah. So, in terms of strategies, yes, teaching kids what makes a letter legible, self-evaluation, doing explicit modeling. But I also think it's important to remember that this doesn't have to take a lot of time in our school day. One of those waves that we talked about of handwriting avoidance was that we thought there just wasn't enough time for handwriting in the school day. Well, again, I think we had it all wrong because we really can accomplish handwriting instruction and practice in no more than 15 minutes a day. If we think about explicit instruction, I do, we do, you do, we could have five minutes of explicit instruction, five minutes of guided practice with monitoring and coaching, and then five minutes of independent practice and self-evaluation. That can be done as seat work during independent work time, which is totally doable.

But I think more importantly, it's this great bang for our instructional block. Right? Think of all those benefits of handwriting that we mentioned earlier. It couldn't be more important and it's so worth the time. There's a huge return on investment for that. Right?

PA:
Yeah.

LS:
So, I think that's another thing just to reassure people. I also would encourage people to look at systematic programs and avoid just downloading stuff off the internet. I think a systematic approach based on the research is really good. I just don't think teachers should have to figure this out for themselves. So, we want to put good resources in teachers' hands to make teachers' lives more manageable.

PA:
Just 15 minutes a day to build that strong foundation to improve writing.

LS:
Yeah, I think so.

PA:
As you said before, not only the quantity, but the quality of writing as well.

LS:
Yeah.

PA:
All right. So, we are nearing the end of our podcast. Are there any final tips you have for educators of handwriting reading and writing?

LS:
Yeah. I don't know if this is a tip, but I want to offer some reassurance. So, Steven Graham, as I mentioned before, and his colleagues did a survey. They found that 90% of first- through third-grade teachers surveyed teach handwriting and most agreed it was important, but only 12% believed they received adequate preparation to teach handwriting in their college preparation courses. Another leading voice in the field, Jane Case-Smith, she found the same, that teachers don't necessarily feel adequately prepared to teach handwriting.

I heard the same from many teachers around reading. I didn't know about the science of reading or evidence line instruction myself, and I felt a tremendous sense of guilt about not knowing and not doing so. I don't know if this is a tip, but my advice is to give yourself grace. You didn't know what you didn't know. We learn, we move on from there. No blame, no shame.

PA:
I love it. Yes. Give yourself grace. Well, we know now we can go forward and make better.

LS:
Yeah.

PA:
So, finally, if you could wave a magic wand and change anything in the world of education, what would you change and why?

LS:
Well, oh my goodness. So, I believe all students deserve to learn to read, so I would create a world in which that is the norm. I would create a world where all teachers are fully prepared and fully supported to make that happen.

PA:
I love that. I'd have to join you in that wish as well.

LS:
For sure.

PA:
Thank you for joining us today at EDVIEW360, Ms. Stewart. It's been a pleasure visiting with you. Tell us how we can learn more about you or The Reading League and follow you on social media.

LS:
Oh, thank you so much. Well, it's been my pleasure, Pam. Yeah. So, The Reading League, if your listeners aren't familiar, we're a nonprofit. Our mission is to advance the awareness, understanding, and use of evidence-aligned reading instruction schools. We really want to increase the knowledge of these science-based approaches and demystify how people learn. We want to benefit the lives of millions of our students.

So, please check us out at www.thereadingleague.org and find out more about what we do and who we are and what we offer, because we have many ways to support educators in their work. We have a journal, which is really one of a kind. It's a research-to-practice journal. We offer live events. We offer amazing professional development, lots of free and accessible resources on our knowledge-based webpage, on our YouTube channel.

I have to give a shout out for my podcast. It's called Teaching, Reading and Learning. I have had the honor of speaking to so many of my heroes, in Louisa Moats, David Kilpatrick, Anita Archer, Parker Palmer, Linnea Ehri, Maryanne Wolf, so many along with practitioners in the field, too. So, please tune in.

We also offer, this is really exciting, a TV show for children. It's called The Reading League’s Reading Buddies, and it's pure delight. You can subscribe on YouTube and it's broadcast also on WCNY, which is in central New York. So, check that out. Again, The Reading League’s Reading Buddies. I also mentioned whatisthescienceofreading.org to find out more about our defining movement. So, those are all the ways that we're really supporting teachers in their work.

So, join us, become a member. Also check to see if your state has a Reading League chapter, and you can join your state's mission as well. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and you can reach me at laura@thereadingleague.org. Also follow me on Twitter at StewartLauraD.

PA:
Oh, thank you so much. There's so many avenues to make a connection with The Reading League and a connection with you, Ms. Stewart. Thank you so much.

LS:
My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

PA:
This is Pam Austin bringing the best thought leaders in education directly to you.

Narrator:
This has been an EDVIEW360 podcast. For additional thought-provoking discussions, sign up for our blog, webinar, and podcast series at voyagersopris.com/podcast. If you enjoyed the show, we'd love a five-star review wherever you listen to podcasts and to help other people like you find our show. Thank you.