By Gillian Schneider, a teacher at Neuqua Valley High School and the recipient of the 2016 Penguin Random House Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry.

maya angelouSitting at the NCTE secondary luncheon in November 2015, I found an application for the Penguin Random House Literacy Awards, including the Maya Angelou Poetry Award. I did not have a concrete idea of what I might propose, but by spring, I decided that I would make every effort to come up with something to support poetry awareness. I asked colleagues to read my application and suggest changes, and I asked students to help me with letters of support and haiku. The grant idea for “So You Want Me to Love Poetry? YES!” began as an appeal to students to stop saying “No” to poetry and start saying “Yes!” Once I submitted all of the required elements, I distracted myself. (more…)

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Ward Melville High School Teacher, Dr. Elizabeth Kelso, first-place recipient of the 2013 Penguin Random House Teacher Awards for Literacy, has penned a holiday letter to Academic Marketing Director Michael Gentile to express her gratitude for Penguin Random House’s support of educational innovation:

Dear Michael,

Being recognized by Random House was amazing.  Seeing the room where I would speak had a similar effect.  Thank you for grounding me and getting me to feel my message more than the space.

I am grateful to you and your team for creating an award program that supports educational invention.  At this time it feels like education and schools are moving away from creative experiments that draw people together in the most basic and human ways.  Recognizing The Living Book Project reiterates the importance of people coming together around story, experience and dialogue.

I am excited that our paths will continue to meet through this work.

Happy holidays.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Kelso (Liz)

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Click here to view pictures from the 2013 NCTE Conference First-Timers Breakfast, where Dr. Kelso was presented the award.

Click here to apply for the 2014 Penguin Random House Teacher Award for Literacy.