P. O. BOX 2120

August 25, 2000


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Virginia Reads - Virginia’s Second Reading Research Forum

It is my pleasure to announce Virginia Reads, Virginia’s Second Reading Research Forum. I hope that you and the leaders of reading in your division will join us as we continue to examine the recent research concerning effective reading programs and practices.

If Virginia’s students are to meet the rigorous expectations of the Standards of Learning, they must be able to examine, construct meaning, and learn from a wide range of texts and other print materials. To that end the forum will provide divisions with information to enable their schools to offer effective interventions and reading programs to implement the Governor’s Early Intervention Reading Initiative and to continue the statewide focus on enabling all children, kindergarten through grade 12, to become high-achieving, independent readers.

This K-12 forum will give teams of key instructional leaders the opportunity to learn directly from some of the top researchers in the country about the latest research findings regarding effective reading program design, staff development, teaching methods, materials, and strategies. The general session speakers include: Sally E. Shaywitz from Yale University and a member of the National Reading Panel; Louisa Moats, author of Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science; Marcia Invernizzi from the University of Virginia and project director for PALS; Judy Richardson from Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Reading to Learnin the Content Areas and Read It Aloud! Using Literature in the Secondary Content Classroom; and Michael Pressley from the University of Notre Dame and author of Reading Instruction That Works. See Attachment A for biography of presenters. Also included in the program will be seminars by educators from Virginia schools, colleges, and universities.

The forum will be held at the Hotel Roanoke on Tuesday, September 26, and Wednesday, September 27. There will be no registration fee. The Department of Education will cover the expenses of the forum program and meals. Divisions will be responsible for travel and lodging for their participants. Each division may send up to six participants. Colleges or universities may send up to three participants.

The deadline for registering for the forum is September 20. Please complete the attached registration form (see Attachment B) and fax or mail it to:

    Registrar, Division of Continuing Education
    Virginia Tech, Mail Code 0271
    810 University City Blvd., Suite D
    Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
    Fax 540-231-3306

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hotel Roanoke at the prevailing state rate. Participants need to call the hotel at 540-985-5900 and arrange for their own room reservations. See Attachment C for a list of other hotels in the area that will also honor state rates.

For additional information, please contact Linda Poorbaugh, associate director of reading and language arts, Office of Elementary and Middle School Instructional Services at (804) 786-3925 or