The online bios of CTL staff members feature quotes that reflect each person’s passion or special interest within education. For Educational Programs Specialist Ashley Perkins, the quote actually includes the word “passion”: “Adolescent literacy is my joy and passion,” she says.
Indeed, Ashley is National Board Certified in Adolescence and Young Adulthood/English Language Arts, and a former high school classroom teacher, writing cluster leader and literacy coach. She brings a literacy focus to all of her work at CTL, training teachers and administrators to teach literacy across disciplines using CTL’s Adolescent Literacy Model (ALM). Through CTL’s partnership in a federal Promise Neighborhoods initiative in eastern Kentucky, Ashley created the Owsley Summer Reading Project, designed to stop “summer slide” by providing each of more than 100 middle school students with books to read over the summer that were geared to individual interests and skill levels. Research later demonstrated that the program had a statistically significant positive impact on the students’ reading test scores.
It’s exciting and appropriate, then, that the National Adolescent Literacy Coalition (NALC) recently announced that Ashley has been named to serve on its steering committee, a select group of adolescent literacy experts from across the country, who help guide the organization’s focus and activities.
According to its website, “The National Adolescent Literacy Coalition offers a collective voice for national leadership and a national perspective to all issues related to adolescent literacy. NALC provides the necessary vision, communication, and coordination to advance literacy for all adolescents, empowering them to full participation in a democratic society.”
Formed in 2004, the organization serves as forum for the exchange of ideas and research on improving classroom instruction, with a focus on adolescent literacy. Founding organizations included the Education Development Center, WestEd, the International Reading Association, the College Board, the National Writing Project, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Representatives from the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor also participate in NALC.
To learn more about Ashley’s work visit her library of blog posts.