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...all it takes is a spark!

As a parent and teacher, I am always on the look out for ways to spark the love of reading and writing in my own kids and in my students.


As parents, we can begin early...or just begin now. It is never too late to encourage reading and literacy. It doesn't take much...just a "blinklet" of an idea to make reading fun.


As teachers, we have so much content to cover, but increasing literacy in our own classes will lead to a better and deeper understanding of that content. Again, it doesn't take much...just one new strategy may make the difference to that struggling student.


Less than 40% of high school students are ready for college reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2013). Adolescents need to be better prepared for the complex reading expectations of college and the workforce; consequently, these reading strategies need to be addressed in all course content. Learning the strategies in isolation during English or Reading class alone is insufficient. The authenticity of these strategies becomes more apparent when informational text reading strategies are integrated into content courses themselves. The International Reading Association’s first position statement on adolescent literacy is that “Adolescents deserve content area teachers who provide instruction in the multiple literacy strategies needed to meet the demands of the specific discipline” (2012, pg. 5).  In order for students to reach their highest achievements in literacy, all content teachers must specifically teach students reading strategies that help them learn the content and prepare them for high-stakes assessments and the challenging reading necessary in college, the work force, and in life in general.


Whether we teach reading, art, or Calculus, we can find ways to help our students become stronger readers.


Whether we have preschoolers or teenagers at home, the little things we do now will help them become lifelong learners in the future. 

So parents and teachers alike,  we are all in this together. 


Just remember

...a spark is all you need!






2013 Mathematics and Reading: Grade 12 Assessments. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2014, from


International Reading Association. (2012). Adolescent literacy (Position statement, Rev. 2012

ed.). Newark, DE: Author.



Who am I?

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  • secondary literacy coach/specialist

  • mother of three inspiring children

  • lover of books,


                                my family,


                                                   summer vacation,

                                                               and red starbursts....

                                                                    (*not in that order)

~Joél Marie Hartline

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