The Anchored in Education conversation today is around reading. Specifically, we are going to look at the structured literacy approach to teaching reading. Our guest today is Kellyn Sirach, a literacy specialist who is passionate about the science behind teaching and learning to read. Frustrated by feeling unprepared to teach reading, Kellyn embarked on a journey to be informed not only by best practices but by the research as well. Join us as Kellyn explains in more detail why she believes the structured literacy approach to reading is exactly what is needed to reach readers at all levels.
Kellyn Sirach is a middle school reading specialist in the Champaign Unit 4 School District. Sirach has taught literacy to a variety of learners ranging from pre-kindergarten to college level. She received her undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in elementary education with a middle school endorsement and her graduate degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in reading from Eastern Illinois University. Most recently, she finished her Certified Academic Language Therapy Coursework (CALT). She is a member of Advance IL’s Educator Advisory Council, the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana and is an Illinois Teach Plus Policy fellow. In 2016, she was awarded the 30-Under-30 award from the International Literacy Association. This past summer, Sirach co-founded and co-coordinated Camp Monarch – Champaign-Urbana’s first ever summer camp for students with dyslexia. Sirach is passionate about ensuring all students, regardless of zip code or ethnicity, receive the instruction and services they need in order to learn to read.