ncteWe are excited to announce that we are partnering with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) to launch a new grant program for high school teachers nationwide.

Two teachers who use their creativity to inspire and successfully instill a lifelong love of reading in students will be awarded $10,000 grants to help make their innovative reading programs possible. In addition, honorable mentions will receive book donations for their classrooms from Penguin Random House. The National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers will honor a teacher who inspires their students to read all genres of writing while the Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry will honor Dr. Angelou’s legacy by recognizing a teacher who inspires their students to love poetry.

If this sounds like you, or a teacher you know, we invite you to apply or nominate someone. More information, including the application and program guidelines, can be found here. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2019, and the grant recipients will be announced at NCTE’s Annual Convention on November 21, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland.

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by Ken Ludwig, author of How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare (Broadway Books, July 2014)

Since my early teens, I’ve felt strongly about the value of Shakespeare, but it wasn’t until I became a father that I figured out how to share my passion with the people I love. One day, my daughter came home from first grade spouting a line of Shakespeare—“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream—and at that moment, a light bulb went off in my head.

Starting that weekend, I set up a routine. My daughter and I would spend two hours each week memorizing speeches from Shakespeare’s plays. We started with short passages from the comedies and, gradually, increased the length and complexity of the passages we studied. To my delight, my daughter took to it immediately, and the hours we spent learning Shakespeare together were some of the best family times of our lives. (more…)