Strange No More! Reading in Motion Embraces the Future of Literacy in “Reading Together: Now” Event Series

October 2, 2020

On Thursday, September 24th from 5:00 – 6:30pm CT, Reading In Motion hosted a community conversation about virtual learning and literacy instruction for young learners.

Education disruptions are the norm right now. In response to the widespread shift to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our webinar, Strange New Words: Early Learning in a Virtual World, explored how “the new normal” affects our youngest and most vulnerable learners, and what challenges and opportunities come with virtual learning.

Strange New Words brought together a variety of expert panelists on the topic of early literacy and virtual instruction, featuring Samina Hadi-Tabassum EdD, Clinical Associate Professor at Erikson Institute; Matt Jacobson, Online Learning Specialist for the Learning Technology Center of Illinois; Emily Quinlan, first grade teacher in Chicago Public School District; Cheyan Stander, first grade teacher in Clark County School District; and our moderator, Kristen Walter, Director of Education for Reading In Motion.

Each of the panelists contributed a unique and valuable perspective to this important conversation. Despite the many challenges of distance learning, such as attendance issues, technical difficulties, the digital divide, and more, our panelists emphasized positivity in connection, and the importance of creating open classroom spaces, even if they were limited to a screen. In the words of panelist Emily Quinlan, a first grade teacher in Chicago Public School District: “That’s been driving me every day…remembering I can still have an effect on kids through the screen, and I can expose them to things that can make them think and make them feel, and that we can still do that even when we’re not in the same space together.”

Strange New Words is the first in our new event series Reading Together: Now!. Bringing together community members, field experts, and our staff twice a year, these dialogues are centered on the topics of early learning, literacy education, and what we can do to strengthen our communities now and later.

We’re excited to share that this webinar is now available for public viewing! We encourage you to watch, share, and join us in this discussion around the challenges facing early literacy education right now, and the impact on families.

This event was made possible by our incredible sponsors, Adriana and Aaron Sanadres and GCM Grosvenor. Thank you for your support!

Read along with us all year!

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For more information about our events or supporting Reading In Motion, contact our Director of Development, Katie Daniel, at kdaniel@readinginmotion.org.