The Missouri Reader Vol. 43, Issue 2 - Page 5


As I write this message, the news reports that the COVID-19 deaths now exceed the deaths in the Vietnam war. As a Vietnam era veteran, I thought that war would be my generation’s greatest challenge. I was wrong. The current pandemic is the greatest challenge my generation and all subsequent generations have faced. Social distancing, closing of whole states and regions, and sheltering in place have become the new normal. Heroes have emerged -- folks on the frontlines who care for our health needs, stock our shelves, transport our food, and protect us from harm, and educate our children. We owe them thanks and a debt of gratitude.

As educators, we quickly turned to books, to read alouds, to finding ways to talk about reading. Test practice? Out the window. Teaching kids about decoding? Fit the instruction to the child. As I continue to tutor students one-on-one using Zoom, we have used language experience as students dictated the books, I published them, then they read them and reread them. We performed the books they read and made recordings for them to share with family. Tim Rasinski’s word ladders (daily, free on Facebook) gave them insights into how words work and how to problem-solve their words. I’ve stayed in contact with and gotten advice from many of my teacher friends. I’m truly getting by with a little help from my friends.

As Chairman of the Missouri Literacy Association, I want to make sure that MLA is that place where you can come for a little help from your friends. Our Facebook team has done a fantastic job of posting daily inspirational messages, practical ideas, and daily links to materials, including materials for distance learning Starting this summer, we will have our first book club which will feature book discussion as well as a culminating Zoom meeting with the author. Check out our webpage for information about this and much more. LINK TO WEB PAGE

We are holding board elections right now and the people coming aboard are looking for ways they can help you. You need us, and we need you. Please consider joining MLA. Join us in trying to help teachers through the current difficulties. Help us to usher in the new era of educational improvement that I hope will come from this current test of fire.

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito

Chairman of the Missouri Literacy Association

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito

Chairmen of the Missouri Literacy Association

CHAIRMAN's Message

Ways to Connect - Look for information about upcoming events, new book releases, and links to interesting literacy information

Please join Dr. Bommarito as he talks about articles in this issue on twitter! @doctorsam7 #MoRdr

Visit our website


Find a local council and join!

Dates to Remember

Write to Learn Conference

International Literacy Association Conference

Dates to Remember

(Click on each date's link to get more information about that event)

MO Write to Learn Conference

Feb 25-7 2021, Registration opens in Nov

Margaritaville Tan-tar-a, Lake Ozark

ILA Conference

October 15–18, 2020

Columbus, OH

Editors' Expressions

Steve Baybo