Bookshare’s Mentor Teacher program supports the world’s top teachers and assistive technology specialists. The program provides training and tools to support educators, parents, and students in the effective use of Bookshare’s online accessible library and reading technologies. Currently, over 700 educators and specialists have joined the network, and it is because of their efforts that students with print disabilities across the U.S. are getting books in accessible formats that they can read.
As we honor this network, we also want to acknowledge the 2015 Bookshare Mentor Teacher winners. This annual competition is open to all Bookshare Mentor Teachers and requires participants to demonstrate that they conducted teacher, parent, and student trainings throughout the school year.
Our 2015 competition was fierce. Many mentors wrote to us about their extraordinary and inspiring efforts to promote Bookshare and lifelong learning. As you can read in the words of our grand prize winner, Tanna Gallaher, our Mentor Teachers have a passion for engaging students in the joy of reading.
2015 Grand Prize Winner
Tanna Gallaher, Dyslexia Specialist
Raymond E. Curtis Elementary School, Weatherford, TX
Tanna’s motto is READ, READ, READ! This dyslexia specialist helps students reach and exceed their academic goals and encourages good reading habits to support lifelong learning.
Tanna loves to collaborate with parents, teachers, and administrators to share instructional practices that meet every student’s specific reading needs. She advocates for independent reading at home on reading level and says, “It is important that students are able to choose what they are interested in to read—whether it is fiction, nonfiction, magazines, websites, or other reading materials. I also encourage parents to discuss with their child what he or she is reading and to ask questions often.”
Tanna’s school, Raymond E. Curtis Elementary, is the largest elementary school in Weatherford, Texas, with just over 700 students. She meets with students throughout the school year and talks with their parents before and after annual 504 meetings to help them learn more about Bookshare. She informs new students about the online library and encourages them to sign up for Individual Memberships. Today, 80 percent of her students successfully use technology for independent reading. She says, “I’ve shared my passion for Bookshare with the dyslexia therapists at six elementary schools and three secondary campuses in the district, and I will continue to promote the accessible library.”
Way to go Ms. Gallaher! Thank you for being a Bookshare Mentor Teacher, and we hope you enjoy your prize of a new iPad 2.
More Bookshare Mentor Teacher Winners
Runners-up who received Android tablets:
- Kevin Hollinger, Francis Howell School District, MO
- Teresa George, Chino School District, CA
Winners of $25 iTunes gift cards:
- Michelle Thomas, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, CO
- Sallie Spencer, Olivet Community Schools and College, MI
- Vicki Therrien, School Administrative Unit #53, NH
- Tammy Bryant, AE Butler Intermediate School, TX
- David Cohen, NYC Department of Education, NY
Winners of $15 Amazon gift cards:
- Jennifer Brown, Ramona Unified SD, CA
- Julie Freed/Amanda Miller, Grant Wood Area Education Agency, IA
- Theresa Brousseau, North Syracuse Central Schools, NY
- Kathy Foote, Ionia Intermediate SD, MI
- Karrie Pharris, Henderson Elementary/Forney ISD, TX
- Ann Curran, Vanguard School, PA
- Norma Whitaker, Great Prairie Area Education Agency, IA
- Suzanne Loftus, Chancellor Center Council Rock SD, PA
Let’s Promote Lifelong Learning and Reading Together
Thank you to the more than 700 educators who go the extra mile to train colleagues and promote lifelong reading, and congratulations to our 2015 winners! We invite any educator or specialist in the U.S. to find out more about the Bookshare Mentor Teacher program and to tap into these beneficial training resources that will make you a rock star Bookshare educator.