“It is a teacher’s privilege and responsibility to help students discover the joy of reading, while they also teach students how to internalize the skills and strategies of fluent reading. This occurs through teacher modeling, reading aloud quality literature to the class, recommending books to children based on their individual interests, and through incorporating literature into teaching lessons and learning activities across the curriculum.”
CLA makes choosing books for kids easy. Under CLA’s auspices, every year since 1985 or earlier, the Notable Children’s Books for Language Arts committee members select the 30 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts. The committee reads, reviews, and jointly decides on the list—for the 2015 awards they reviewed over 620 books! THE LIST is published on the CLA website and Facebook page and in NCTE’s Language Arts Journal. in the late summer/fall. Then the Notables Committee presents the books during a session at the NCTE Annual Convention.
CLA publishes one of the outstanding journals in the field, the Journal of Children’s Literature. This article from the Spring 2014 issue, “ Building on Windows and Mirrors: Encouraging the Disruption of ‘Single Stories’ Through Children’s Literature,” speaks to the important theme in literacy teaching and learning—teaching diverse books.
In 2004, CLA established its own endowment fund “to support research in the field of children’s literature and to ensure the influence of quality books for children in every classroom.” They are very close to their $50,000 goal.
In the meantime, at the 2015 Convention as at many conventions before then, CLA awarded Children’s Literature Assembly Research Awards to recipients who will pursue a research study involving children’s literature.
CLA hosts many events during the NCTE Annual Convention. This year’s events include a workshop, a master class, a roundtable, a presentation of the 2016 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts, and the CLA Breakfast. Join them at one or more of these if you’re onsite in Atlanta.
Last year marked the 40th Anniversary of this NCTE assembly and they celebrated! Balloons and confetti, bookmarks and stickers, awards and a limited issue book bag with an illustration by Jon Klassen abounded at their 2015 CLA Breakfast in Minneapolis with Klassen as speaker.
If you teach young children and want to bring them joy in reading, you’ll want to join this “organization dedicated to bringing children’s literature and advocates of children’s literature together.”