Introducing the 2024 Science of Reading Star Awards

Help us honor the reading teachers who light the way for kids!

By Amplify Staff | January 2, 2024

There’s more than one way to name a star. You can honor someone you admire by symbolically attaching their name to a star in the night sky…or you can nominate a teacher you admire or a district lighting the way for students for Amplify’s third annual Science of Reading Star Awards!

As we like to say, it takes a constellation of people to help children learn to read—from district leadership to student families, and from inside the classroom to out there the real world. It also takes science—specifically, the science of teaching reading. And it takes leaders who can successfully lead their district in the shift to a curriculum grounded in the Science of Reading, educators who thoughtfully connect students and their families to the impact of the Science of Reading, and teachers who artfully use evidence-based reading instruction to light the way for their students.

We want to celebrate all of these Science of Reading stars!

That’s why we created the Science of Reading Star Awards. Read on for more information about them, including how to nominate someone (or an entire school or district) for the awards. (And if you’re already ready to nominate a star, go right ahead!)

Honoring stellar educators, leaders, schools, and districts in the Science of Reading

We launched this awards program in 2021—a year when schools, educators, and students were still working to bounce back from pandemic challenges and into a new normal. Even then, educators drove change, leading their school communities on a journey to the Science of Reading.

Our awards program honors educators who advocate for and champion the Science of Reading in their classrooms, schools, and districts. They generate buy-in. They inspire their peers and students. They successfully bring research-based materials, phonics instruction, and foundational literacy skills into their approaches—and have remarkable gains to show for it.

These award-worthy educators can include/have included:

  • Teachers who’ve connected with their students and served as role models for their colleagues by applying the Science of Reading.
  • Principals or district leaders who’ve supervised a successful shift to the Science of Reading in many classrooms across several grades.
  • Schools or districts that are driving changes and seeing incredible results using the Science of Reading.

Meet (and learn from) some of our previous winners!

Javonna L. Mack, Lead Content Teacher, Caddo Parish Schools, LA

Award: Changemaker

How did it feel to be selected as a Star Award finalist?

I was and am still over-the-moon excited about being selected as an Amplify Changemaker Star Award finalist. I was very humbled by becoming the winner. It is an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you receive awards. It has become a hallmark of the hard work I have done in my district to support our push in the Science of Reading.

Do you have any advice for educators submitting to the Science of Reading Star Awards for the first time?

Make sure to tell your story. Be clear and concise. Remember to be reflective of all the ways that you have supported your district. I advise that you speak with your peers and gain feedback as to the ways that you have impacted the work they do. Detail your support. Be unique and track and celebrate your achievements.

Shennoy Barnett, Kindergarten Teacher, Johnston County Public Schools, NC

Award: Data Dynamo

How did it feel to be selected as a Star Award finalist?

It was an amazing feeling even to be considered as a semi-finalist, and an even greater one to be selected as a winner, given that it was my first year using the tool.

Do you have any advice for educators submitting to the Science of Reading Star Awards for the first time?

Your hard work and dedication with your students through [the] Science of Reading will tell your story. Even if you are not selected as a finalist, you are still a winner as you are using an amazing tool and touching the lives of your students.

Anila Nayak, Instructional Coach, Intervention Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District, CA

Award: Science of Reading Superstar Teacher

How did it feel to be selected as a Star Award finalist?

I felt exhilarated at first and later responsible for sharing my learning about how best to teach children to read. It certainly made me more energized to work harder and continue to improve my practice. The award validated my efforts and steered my obsession to become an efficient and knowledgeable reading teacher.

Do you have any advice for educators submitting to the Science of Reading Star Awards for the first time?

Write your compelling narrative about the impact you make each day in the lives of young readers who need you most. You have the tools to reach students who may be struggling but just have not been reached yet. Tell about how you evolved into an expert despite challenges and how learning about the best ways to teach is an absolutely rich experience. After all, you are impacting so many students through your work. Show your pride, because you are doing important work. The Awards journey opens you up to a community of experts and makes you feel a part of new horizons; you get to listen to many experts and read about the new knowledge that is impacting our understanding of how literacy grows.

You can meet all of our 2023 winners here. Their stories and perspectives may help you discover how you can drive change in your classroom, school, and district with the Science of Reading!

Nominate a Science of Reading star!

Inspired? Now think of the educators in your world—especially those devoted to literacy. Do you know someone who has transformed their classroom and empowered their students with the Science of Reading? (And yes, this person might be you!) How about a school or district that has established strong evidence-based practices and seen incredible results? We also have new categories this year to honor both the traditional and less traditional Science of Reading champions!

Submit your nomination for the 2024 Science of Reading Star Awards by Feb. 15!

All award winners will receive:

The grand prize winner in the District and School categories will receive a regional event hosted by Amplify. The grand prize winner in the Individual category will be given full conference registration and associated travel costs to NCTE in Boston, in Nov. 2024.

ELA Literacy instruction Science of Reading

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