By Nancy J. Johnson
We're excited to invite our CLA member-leaders who are
to apply for the 2023 Bonnie Campbell Hill National Literacy Leader Award.
Without a doubt, the past few years have tested your teaching in ways that defy imagination. CLA salutes your knowledge, creativity, innovative pedagogy, including how you've re-imagined resources that keep literacy learning at the heart of your students' lives. Now it's time to channel your hopes and dreams as a teacher of readers and writers by applying for the 2023 Bonnie Campbell Hill National Literacy Leader Award.
Who is Bonnie Campbell Hill and what is this award?
Bonnie Campbell Hill was a teacher, literacy leader, reader and writer, and a good friend of CLA. Bonnie worked extensively in elementary and middle schools, mentoring teachers around the world, and collaborating with them at state, national, and international conferences. Her teaching and writing (including nine books and numerous articles) centered around literature circles, writing instruction, classroom-based assessment, developmental continuums, portfolios, and student-led conferences. Following a cancer diagnosis 13 years ago, Bonnie dreamed of opportunities to continue her fierce advocacy for teachers as literacy leaders. In fall 2010, her family, friends, and colleagues launched Bonnie's Big Idea, a project to honor and maintain her literacy legacy. The Bonnie Campbell Hill National Literacy Leader Award is an outgrowth of Bonnie's Big Idea. It recognizes two literacy leaders annually, and is generously funded by Dr. Hill's family. CLA is honored to serve as the home for this national award.
What does this award mean for you?
This award recognizes your role as a literacy leader and provides funding ($2,500 plus $150 in professional materials published by Heinemann) to support your own big literacy-related ideas. We recognize the role you play as a literacy leader, whether in your classroom, your school, or even your greater educational community. Now it's time to dream about -- and create -- opportunities that turn your challenges, your questions, your professional needs, even your hopes and dreams into reality. You can do that through a Bonnie Campbell Hill National Literacy Leader Award.
What goes into your application? How do you apply?
Start with your own big ideas about literacy learning/teaching and professional development. If you were granted $2,500, how could you use that money to support your work as a literacy leader for grades K-8? Your application must include a proposed plan, a budget, your resume or vita, and a letter of support from an administrator/supervisor. Your proposed plan could focus on attending a workshop, class, or conference with colleagues. OR you could design classes, workshops, or literacy-focused events to support your work as a literacy leader. OR You could sponsor a professional book study for a team of colleagues. OR ...
You're welcome to be creative as you plan your proposal, but remember to use the award requirements as you prepare your application. These include: membership in both NCTE and CLA and submission of all application materials no later than August 10, 2023. To learn how to apply, access the 2023 BCH National Literacy Leader Award Application Call (PDF, Word Document). Further Information about the award is available on the award page on the CLA Website.
If you're unsure whether you and your ideas are award-worthy, you might find it valuable to "meet" some of the prior BCH Award recipients and learn about their proposals.
Nancy J. Johnson is the co-chair BCH National Literacy Award Committee and professor emerita, Western Washington University.