Literacy by the Lakes - UW-Madison

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​Literacy by the Lakes

A yearlong partnership with University of Wisconsin-Madison literacy education faculty members

3-Day ​Institute

August ​8-10, 2019

Madison, WI

What is Literacy by the Lakes?

Literacy by the Lakes is an initiative from the faculty in Literacy Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  It is built on the premise that we must direct our attention to supporting children and youth in developing and sustaining literate lives. Ensuring that children of all ages learn the skills and strategies associated with literacy is unquestionably a shared goal of families, teachers, school administrators, teacher educators, and policy makers.  However, limiting the goals of instruction to the technical, testable dimensions of literacy not only reduces the likelihood of student engagement, but also lessens the possibility that children will experience literacy as a tool for building fulfilling lives.

A guiding principle of Literacy by the Lakes is that making literacy education meaningful increases the possibility of raising conventional forms of achievement.  More importantly, meaningful literacy instruction can help children understand that, through literacy, they can expand their intellectual lives and relationships and experience a sense of agency in determining their futures.   

Who should apply?

PreK-12 school-based teams of educators (approximately 4-8 per team), including at least one administrator or instructional leader.

How do we apply?

Applications will open in Spring 2019.

What is the cost of participation?

Exact cost of participating will be posted in Spring 2019.

This includes registration for the 2-day workshop in August, meals, lodging, professional books, select children's/young adult books, and other supporting materials across the 2019-20 school year.

Participants will stay at a hotel on campus​. 

What does participation involve?

  • Attending August ​8th-10th institute on the UW-Madison campus
  • Choosing literacy emphasis area(s)/goals for your team by close of Institute
  • Collaborating with the UW-Madison literacy faculty and other participating teams across the 2019-20school year toward meeting and expanding literacy goals

What should I expect at the 3-day institute in August?

In addition to a attending a keynote address, participants will choose from a series of intensive workshops taught by literacy education faculty members (Professors Mary Louise Gomez and Dawnene Hassett) and others. 

Participants can expect sessions to center on the following:

  • Equitable literacy practices as essential to building a just society
  • Reading and writing that are engaging to students
  • Dialogic classrooms as fertile spaces for literacy learning and intellectual and relational growth
  • Writing and drawing interactively from complex texts
  • Innovation, imagination, and play as essential to literacy success and literate practice

Ample time will be provided for conversations across and within teams for reflection, planning, and curricular design. Following the 3-day workshop, each school team will be expected to identify an area of focus for the 2019-2020 school year. Teams will receive the professional books and children's/young adult books needed to carry out their goals. Support across the school year will be provided in the form of additional instructional materials, as needed, ongoing consultation from UW-Madison literacy faculty and graduate students, and across-school networking.


Contact Matthew Freid at or (716) 553-2654.

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