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Fighting for Intellectual Freedom in the Field: Marge Ford

AffiliateIntellectualFreedomAwardMargeFordAt the 2015 Annual Convention, Margaret Ford was one of two individuals nominated by an affiliate and honored for her work to promote and defend intellectual freedom.

The Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts recognized Marge for her work, her devotion to making the world a better place for her students through reading. And, she’s extended that work with NCTE, ALAN, OCTELA, the Youngstown State University English Festival,and OELMA.  In addition, Margaret Ford received an Honorable Mention for the 2015 NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award.

Marge noted:

“I realized that in teaching students in grades 7-12 for twenty-three years, I had introduced them to numerous authors. They had shared popcorn with Chris Crutcher and maybe had Annie on [Their] Mind.

Classroom teachers create safe environments that encourage students to read a variety of genres by authors both classic and contemporary. They read for pleasure, for information, and to see how characters who “look” and “think” like they do react to the world. That was one privilege I loved about teaching.

Then, my classroom circle got wider when I became the librarian for the district. Not only did I connect kids and books for the last thirteen years of my career, I supported the teachers in all the other disciplines as they exercised their intellectual freedom.

Maintaining the library collection and ensuring that everyone has free access to diverse books and materials is a task countless librarians routinely perform. But it’s an essential routine that protects a student’s right to read by establishing policies that ensure challenges to materials are dealt with fairly.”