The Cambridge Dictionary simply defines literacy as the ability to read and write. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) defines literacy as the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential. The International Literacy Association defines literacy as the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, compute, and communicate using visual, audible, and digital materials across disciplines and in any context. Over time, literacy has been applied to a wide range of activities and appears as computer literacy, math literacy, or dietary literacy; in such contexts, it refers to basic knowledge rather than to anything specific to reading and writing. No matter the definition, we know that high-quality access to literacy instruction is a key component of equity of access to student success and access to the world.
In the fall of 2022, the Maine Department of Education brought together the first group of individuals who were interested in the inaugural network called the Maine Association for Improving Literacy. More than 100 educators came together to discuss literacy education across the State. Through monthly meetings, text studies, and regular email communication educators started the process of connecting a collaborating to improve literacy education across the state.
The mission of this network is to support children as they learn to read and love reading, address the diverse literacy needs of all Maine students, and discover a common ground of a supportive literacy community across the state. We welcome all people with a passion to learn and take action to increase literacy access to every person in the state. We encourage the participation of classroom teachers, administrators, special services educators, school support staff, educational specialists, and all of you who have a passion for literacy.
If you are interested in joining the MAIL network to attend monthly meetings, join text and article studies, or to simply be on the MAIL email list please consider completing the 2023-2024 membership form on the link below:
If you have additional questions about the MAIL network, please do not hesitate to contact Dee Saucier, Inclusive Education Literacy Specialist and Dyslexia Coordinator, (firstname.lastname@example.org).