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Leading Literacy Change: A “Blueprint” for Reading Success

March 16, 2017 @ 8:30 am - 3:30 pm


Learn the strategies used by schools in the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative that have more than doubled the number of students meeting grade level literacy goals and more than halved the number of students at significant risk for reading failure. Click here to learn more about CK3LI.

The workshop will be presented by key leaders in the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative: Darci Burns, PhD, Executive Director, HILL for Literacy; Michael Coyne, PhD, Professor of Educational Psychology in the Special Education Program, University of Connecticut and Research Scientist, Center for Behavioral Education and Research; and Margie Gillis, Ed.D., President and Founder of Literacy How.

Attendees will leave this workshop with an understanding of the main components of the Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative that have led to sustainable improvements in the delivery of quality instruction and students’ reading skills.

Learning outcomes include:
-Building effective district and school level leadership teams
-Developing and implementing a multi-year strategic literacy plan based on needs assessment and student data
-Organizing and using assessment data to inform decision making related to professional development activities, resource allocation, and coaching
-Building multi-tiered systems of support using research-based instructional tools and approaches
-Creating master schedules that support academics as the top priority and resource allocation to deliver differentiated instruction
-Identifying the activities and routines of effective leaders that are most critical to leading successful literacy change

We hope you can join us to learn more about how these strategies could work in your school or district!

Darci Burns, Ph.D.
Executive Director, HILL for Literacy
Darci Burns, Ph.D., is the executive director of HILL for Literacy. Dr. Burns has an Education Specialist Degree (ED.S.) from Simmons College Language and Literacy program and a Ph.D. From the University of Oregon in Special Education with a specialization in English-Language learners. Dr. Burns has trained reading specialists, literacy coaches, principals, and district administrators including assistant superintendents and superintendents how to lead school-wide literacy initiatives throughout Massachusetts and the nation. Burns has consulted with national, state, and local agencies on effective reading instruction, leadership practices, and assessment. Dr. Burns also served as a Regional Professional Development Provider in six urban school systems for the Massachusetts Reading First Program. She is the author of the Intergenerational Literacy Tutoring Program (ILTP) manual and co-author of Leading Literacy Change.

Michael Coyne, Ph.D.
Professor of Educational Psychology in the Special Education Program, UCONN and Research Scientist, CBER
Michael Coyne, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Psychology in the Special Education Program at the University of Connecticut. He is also a Research Scientist at the Center for Behavioral Education and Research. Dr. Coyne has a Ph.D. in Special Education and Literacy from the University of Oregon, and a M.T. in Special & Elementary Education from the University of Virginia. He has expertise in beginning reading and early vocabulary instruction and intervention, school-based experimental research, multi-tiered or RTI systems of support, and effective practices for students with learning disabilities. Dr. Coyne has directed or co-directed five multi-year research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences focused on optimizing vocabulary and beginning reading practices for students with diverse learning needs through school-based experimental research. Dr. Coyne provides assistance and consultation to school districts and state departments of education around the country related to reading and literacy initiatives. He regularly presents at national conferences on research related to effective instructional practices, school improvement, and beginning reading and vocabulary instruction and intervention. Dr. Coyne holds certification in both elementary and special education and is a former special educator in public schools.

Margie Gillis, Ed.D
President, Literacy How
Margie Gillis is the founder of Literacy How. She received an Ed.D. in Special Education from the University of Louisville, and taught as an adjunct. Margie joined the Early Reading Success Initiative project as a reading Fellow in 2000 and later on became Project Director. She and a colleague were awarded a Teacher Quality Grant from the Institute of Education Sciences for Mastering Reading Instruction, a professional development project that studied first grade reading. Margie then led the mentor team to continue their work as Haskins Literacy Initiative. In 2009, Margie founded Literacy How to continue the work that she and her team began at Haskins. In addition to working with numerous Connecticut schools and districts, she has partnered with the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, the Connecticut Commission on Children, the Center for Behavior and Education Research at UCONN, and the Connecticut State Department of Education to promote reading legislation to close the reading achievement gap in the state. Margie collaborates with Stepping Stones Museum for Children on the development, delivery, and duplication of the Early Language and Literacy Initiative (ELLI), an evidence-based PreK lab school model. On a national level, she is a founding board member of Literate Nation, a grassroots organization working to support states in passing literacy legislation, and serves on the Science Core Group.

Handouts and tools will be provided.

$75/person. A boxed lunch, coffee, and tea will be provided along with parking validation.

PLEASE NOTE: If you prefer to pay via purchase order, contact MarcyKate Connolly at marcykate@ or 888-860-0190×7 to make arrangements.


March 16, 2017
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
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Institute of Technology & Business Development
185 Main Street
New Britain, CT 06051 United States
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HILL for Literacy, Inc.

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31 people are attending Leading Literacy Change: A “Blueprint” for Reading Success