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Combining Creativity, Civic Mindedness, and Belonging to Motivate Children to Read and Learn

Monday, May 20, 2024 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Students reading

Presented by Tanya Wright, Founder, Hairiette of Harlem; and Barbara Pape, Senior Director, Learner Variability Project, Digital Promise

Sponsored by Digital Promise

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On her website for Hairiette of Harlem, Tanya Wright includes a quote from Albert Einstein, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” In this edWebinar, we are going to discuss creativity, what’s needed to spark creativity in learners, and why it matters beyond school, at the workplace, and in society at large. We’re also going to showcase concepts from Tanya‘s Hairiette of Harlem, a story-driven literacy system about the misadventures of an impatient seven-year-old girl named Hairiette.

Besides creativity, a 21st-century and much-valued skill, we’ll touch on the importance of motivation and engagement in literacy development. We’ll elevate the role of belongingness, which can work against stereotype threat and “otherness” to create safe spaces where each student can meet their potential. Attendees will walk away with:

  • A sneak peek at the Hairiette of Harlem film
  • Understanding of the importance of motivation and engagement in literacy programs
  • Recognition of the role another key 21st-century skill, civic mindedness, plays in learning and literacy development
  • Understanding of how research supports these concepts and where to find strategies teachers can use
  • A feeling of fun and joy for Hairiette and her friends!

This edWebinar will be of interest to PreK-12 teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Tanya Wright

About the Presenters

Tanya Wright, Ed.M. is a two-time SAG-Award winner (Best Ensemble). Tanya received her master’s in learning design, innovation, and technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While there, Tanya won the Harvard Innovative Venture in Education (HIVE) Award and the Education Entrepreneurship Fellowship for Hairiette, her children’s educational company.

Tanya is also the creator of Goodnight, Hairiette! Goodnight, Hairiette is a 24-minute filmed puppet musical that tells the story of seven-year-old Hairiette’s sleepless night as she wanders into her grandmother’s room (Nana Grace) for a bedtime story. What unfolds is a timeless tale full of surprises about courage, community, and the power and belief in being yourself. Goodnight, Hairiette is also available in an audio-only version and comes with a picture book and reading program. Performing the stage play in your school is a fun route to fluency!

Barbara A. Pape

Barbara Pape, Senior Director for the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise, led a three-year national survey on learner variability and teacher practice, wrote the paper defining learner variability, hosts a monthly webinar series, and co-developed The IEP Project. Previously, she worked in policy analysis and communications for nonprofits and in the U.S. Senate. Barbara has written for numerous publications, including The 74, Getting Smart, and Parents Magazine, and was editor of the first electronically delivered education newsletter, the Daily Report Card. She also produced the Teaching & Learning conference for the National Board, worked in the communications office for the AFT during President Al Shanker’s tenure, and headed up government relations for the City Colleges of Chicago. As a first-generation college student, she earned an Ed.M. at Harvard in reading and literacy and is working on a Ph.D. at the University College London. She launched her career as a middle school language arts teacher.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Personalize Learning for Learner Variability community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


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