Literacy professional associations offer members a wide range of support and services and historically play important roles in literacy teachers’ ongoing professional learning. Despite many benefits, membership in professional associations, including literacy groups, has declined. This article explores possible factors for decreases (changes to PL, technology, & generational mix of teaching force), before adding others: two emergent themes (awareness and access) from related survey research with K-12 literacy teachers in a midwestern state. Suggestions are offered to stakeholders for ways to raise awareness and improve access to associations for literacy teachers – an important tool for ongoing literacy professional learning.

Author Bio

Kathleen S. Howe, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Park University in Parkville, Missouri, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Education. She is the program coordinator for a Master’s in Language and Literacy that has pathways leading to certification in reading and ELL. She worked in K-12 public education for over 25 years in roles ranging from reading specialist to deputy superintendent in a large, diverse, urban district in the Atlanta Metro area. Her research interests include literacy teacher education, professional learning, and education policy issues. She can be reached at kathleen.howe@park.edu.

Suzanne Tiemann, Ph.D. has had the opportunity to work with teachers, leaders, students, and the community in Texas, Missouri, Delaware, and Québec, Canada. She has served in the role of teacher, K-12 administration, leader of the Center of Educational Excellence, and is currently the Chair of the School of Education and an Assistant Professor at Park University in Parkville, Missouri. Her research interests include literacy, Project Lead the Way preservice teacher training, and college students’ first-year experiences. She can be reached at suzanne.tiemann@park.edu.



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