Former International Reading Association (IRA) President Dr. Patricia A. Edwards recently accepted the prestigious Edward B. Fry Book Award from the Literacy Research Association (LRA) for Change Is Gonna Come during the association’s 2011 conference in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Edward B. Fry Book Award recognizes LRA members who author a book on literacy research and practice. The book that receives the award advances knowledge about literacy, displays inquiry into literacy, and shows responsible intellectual risk taking. The Edward B. Fry Book Award is presented at the annual conference and the author receives a plaque, a monetary award, and a hardcover copy of the award-winning book with the award seal affixed to it.
Edwards’ 2010 book, co-written with Gwendolyn Thompson McMillon and Jennifer D. Turner, Change Is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy Education for African American Students, focuses on the literacy underachievement of African American children. While many books decry the crisis in the schooling of African American children, they are often disconnected from the everyday experiences and work of classroom teachers and principals. Change Is Gonna Come is the first book of its kind, offering both an in-depth examination of critical issues and specific practices to help K–12 educators transform literacy teaching and learning for African American students. The authors offer a compelling, engaging call to action as they address the fight for access to literacy; supports and roadblocks to success; best practices, theories, and perspectives on teaching African American children; and the role of families in the literacy lives of their children. Throughout, they highlight the valuable lessons learned from the past and share real stories from their own diverse experiences as teachers, parents, and community members. This book is copublished by the International Reading Association and Teachers College Press.
Edwards was the 2010-2011 president of the International Reading Association and is a distinguished professor of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. To further promote public awareness about reading achievement gaps, Edwards recently co-wrote the article "Behind NAEP Reading Scores, an Education Debt" for NBC News’ Education Nation with Western Michigan University professor Susan Piazza.
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