ELA, SS, and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Other Technical Subjects February 2020

Here are some of the latest PD opportunities and resources!

52nd Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition


The Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition was started in 1968 by poet James Allen at the urging of John Hunting, the founder of the Dyer-Ives Foundation, to encourage excellence in writing and to provide recognition for local work of high quality. The annual contest is open to poets ages 5 through adult who reside in Kent County.

Submissions are accepted every February and winners are selected in the spring. Winners selected in three age categories have their poems published in Voices, receive a cash award, and participate in a reading during the Festival of the Arts in June, held at the Main Library.

  • Submission period: February 1 – 29, 2020
For more details and to submit your entry visit this website.



You won’t want to miss this learning opportunity! Through a collaborative partnership, west Michigan’s
area education service agencies are hosting the fourth annual West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership
Symposium, featuring Huda Essa and Dr. Donyall D. Dickey! We will spend the day exploring ways to be
culturally responsive in our classrooms, schools and communities through literacy.

For more details and registration please visit this link.


Community Literacy Summit 2020: Ready to Read, Ready to Succeed

The 2020 Community Literacy Summit on Friday, February 28, 2020 will focus on the development of language and literacy skills in young children from birth to age five, specifically those that lead to kindergarten readiness and grade level reading success. The Summit is designed to bring about discussion and action around literacy readiness skills for young children in West Michigan. 


The Summit will include a keynote speaker, two morning breakout sessions, facilitated networking, and a closing panel discussion during lunch. This year's keynote speaker will be Keisha Siriboe, Director of Content and Programming for the national Reading is Fundamental (RIF) organization. 

Event Schedule:

7:30 am Registration and Light Breakfast

8:30 am Welcome and Keynote

9:40 am Breakout Sessions

11:35 am Facilitated Networking

12:15 pm Panel Discussion and Lunch

2:00 pm Closing

For more information about the event, please call the Literacy Center at (616) 459-5151 or email All names will be held at the door.

SCECHs will be available at the Summit at no charge. Details will be available at registration on the day of the event. 


Other Literacy Opportunity Trainings

1. Acadience Reading Diagnostic: Phonemic Awareness and Word Reading and Decoding (PA & WRD) Training

  February 18, 2020 - Spring Hill Suites - 111 S Marketplace Boulevard Lansing, MI 48917 

Register Here - Register by January  28 - note you may have to create an account first.

2. Acadience Reading Diagnostic: Comprehension, Fluency, & Oral Language (CFOL)

  February 19, 2020 - Spring Hill Suites - 111 S Marketplace Boulevard Lansing, MI 48917 

Register Here - Register by January 28 - note you may have to create an account first.

3. Anita Archer Series (Attend 1 or all 3 - $20 each)

March 10, 2020 - Getting them All Engaged: Inclusive Active Participation. (Target Grades K-12)

March 11, 2020 - Comprehension is not a Strategy.  Comprehension is the OUTCOME! (Target Grades 4-12)

March 12, 2020 - Words, words, Words.  It is all about the WORDS! (Target Audience 4-12)

Register Here - Register for all three options here by February 20 - note you may have to create an account first.

All held at
Crowne Plaza West
925 S Creyts Rd
Lansing, MI 48917


4. Acadience Reading K-6 Mentor Training

  March 12, 2020 - Spring Hill Suites - 111 S Marketplace Boulevard Lansing, MI 48917 

Register Here - Register by February 20 - note you may have to create an account first.

5. Tier 1 Secondary Content Area Reading Strategies: Text Summarization

  March 19, 2020 - Thousand Oaks Golf Club - 4100 Thousand Oaks Dr. NE Grand Rapids, MI 

Register Here - Register by February 28 - note you may have to create an account first.

6. Teacher Directed PALS

  March 24, 2020 - Holiday Inn Kalamazoo West - 1247 Westgate Dr. Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Register Here - Register by March 3 - note you may have to create an account first.

Now accepting entries! President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge 2020

Do you know a talented student writer who could use 
$1,000 for college? 

Do you know a teacher (maybe yourself!) who could benefit from a $500 gift card for classroom supplies?  Read on to learn about the 
President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge!

Each year students are invited to reflect on an important part of Gerald R. Ford's character. High school students nationwide are invited to participate in the contest. Finalists are chosen and recognized at a special awards program at the Museum.


Students from Michigan are eligible to receive the following awards:
  • First Place: $1,000 (plus a $500 gift card for student's teacher)
  • Second Place: $750 (plus a $250 gift card for student's teacher)
  • Third Place: $500 (plus a $100  gift card for student's teacher)
  • Up to 7 Honorable Mentions: $250 each

* One $500 award will be given to a submitting student
living outside of Michigan. 


Special thanks to Meijer for providing our teacher gift awards!


Writing prompt for the 2020 President
Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge

"You never know what you can do, until you have to do it." 
~First Lady Betty Ford

Throughout their lives, President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford showed their sense of determination and grit time and time again: by overcoming adversity in childhood, facing grave danger in WWII, beating cancer, overcoming substance abuse, and leading our country through one of the greatest Constitutional
crises in its history.


We invite you to write 500-750 words sharing your thoughts on the topic of determination. Some ideas include: 
  • How do YOU define determination, grit, perseverance? 
    • Tell about a time that your own determination was tested and you prevailed. 
      • Is there someone in your life, or in history, that you admire for his or her determination?


For a complete list of rules and guidelines and  submission information, visit:

Click Here to Download a PDF of Rules and Guidelines

Essays must be received on or before March 13, 2020.
 Submit Your Entry Today !
For questions regarding the President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge, please contact:
Clare Shubert at or 616-254-0409
Mark Raffler
Kent Intermediate School District
Educational Consultant
2930 Knapp NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: (616) 447-3075
Fax: (616) 364-1489
Resource Website:
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Kent Intermediate School District · 2930 Knapp NE · Grand Rapids, MI 49525 · USA

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