April 2021 Newsletter

The Richmond Area Chapter of the Virginia State Literacy Association is pleased to share its April 2021 Newsletter. Download it using the link below.

You can access it on the website under Newsletters at  https://richmondreads.com/about/newsletters/ or download it using the link below.

Also, please note the calendar of events on the right side and register for our virtual spring event on Tuesday, April 20th from 5:00-6:30 PM featuring guest speaker Bavu Blakes! We hope you can join us for this exciting event!

VSLA Richmond Area Chapter Parents and Readers Grant Application due April 26th

Each year, RAC works with one school to facilitate a Parents and Readers Workshop which includes complimentary books! Parents and children attend the workshop together and will leave with books to take home. This workshop is designed to help schools support families in creating a culture of literacy at home. The application requirements, deadline, and link (to the application) are as follows: 


  • At least one staff member at the school must be a CURRENT RAC member
  • Schools must have 50% or more students eligible for free and reduced lunch
  • Parents must attend the hour long RAC workshop at school (or virtually) with their children/students
  • School groups, such as Title 1, CIS, PTA, etc., will be invited to support the workshop
  • A school representative will work with the RAC Parents and Readers Coordinator to determine the timeframe for the Parents and Readers Workshop (Spring 2021, Summer 2021, or Fall 2021)


RAC Parents and Readers Coordinator – Doris Favale, dfavale@hcps.us 

To apply for the grant, please click on this link

WANTED: Applications for RALC’s Teachers as Readers Grant

Teachers as Readers Grant

Is there a professional book or children’s literature that you want to read, but don’t want to have to buy? The Richmond Area Chapter has the solution for you – apply for our Teachers as Readers grant! The Richmond Area Chapter is pleased to offer two grants for groups of teachers to purchase, read, and discuss children’s literature or professional books that further literacy instruction. One $250 grant will be awarded to a group from an elementary school, and one $250 grant will be awarded to a middle or high school group. Applications must be submitted digitally.


  • Applicant must be a member of the VSLA Richmond Area Chapter. https://www.vsra.org/whyjoin 
  • Groups must consist of 5 or more participants.
  • Discussion group must meet at least 4 times from May through August 2021.
  • Copies of receipts for books purchased must be submitted to the Grant Chairperson by July 1, 2021.
  • Group leader must submit dates met, a list of participants, and a brief summary of the discussions to the Grant Chairperson by September 1, 2021.
  • Grants will be announced by April 16, 2021

Questions? Please contact Caroline Head at carolinehead@verizon.net.

Apply here: https://forms.gle/ReyHbYr5h48tSKDdA 

Deadline to apply: March 31, 2021

February 2021 Newsletter

Hello Richmond Area Members,

Be sure to check out the February 2021 Newsletter for all of the latest happenings in the VSLA Richmond Area Chapter.

You can access it on the website under Newsletters at https://richmondreads.com/about/newsletters/ or download it using the link below.

Please note the calendar of events on the right side and save the date for our virtual spring event on Tuesday, April 20th. More details to come!


Call for Nominations for the Richmond Area Reading Teacher of the Year


VSLA-Richmond Area Chapter Guidelines and Application Form

The VSLA-Richmond Area Chapter is pleased to announce that we are collecting nominations for our local chapter’s Reading Teacher of the Year.  In addition to the honor of representing the Richmond Chapter in the state’s Reading Teacher of the Year process, the recipient will also receive $500 to use in the classroom to promote literacy.  The VSLA-Richmond Area Chapter Reading Teacher of the Year Committee will review all information received, and the selected Reading Teacher of the Year will be submitted to be considered for the VSLA 2020-2021 Ofie T. Rubin Reading Teacher of the Year.

The Ofie T. Rubin Reading Teacher of the Year is selected by the VRLA and honors exemplary literacy instruction in the classroom.   Each year, every local chapter nominates one outstanding teacher of reading to compete for the VSLA Ofie T. Rubin Reading Teacher of the Year.   The candidate selected as the VSLA Ofie T. Rubin Reading Teacher of the Year will receive a $1000 Professional Development Award at the VSLA conference banquet in 2021.

To nominate an outstanding colleague:  Please complete the form located at VSLA_Richmond Area Chapter RTOY

Once the nomination is received, we will ask your colleague to submit additional required materials.  


  • The candidate must have been a member of RAC in the 2019-2020 school year.  If selected as the RAC RTOY, the candidate must be a member in the 2020-2021 school year to be eligible for the VSLA Ofie T. Rubin Reading Teacher of the Year.
  • The candidate must teach reading a minimum of one-third of each school day to students in grades K­12.

Once nominated, all applicants will be asked to complete the following:

  1. The candidate’s vita (2 pages) 30 points
  2. The candidate’s philosophy of reading education (1 page) 20 points
  3. Proposal for using the $500 RAC award to further literacy instruction (1 page) 30 points
  4. Two letters of recommendation (principal, supervisor, or colleague) 10 points each (20 points total)
  5. A digital photo (jpg file) of the candidate


  • All RALC nominations must be received by February 12, 2021
  • The applicant must submit all supporting materials listed above by April 2, 2021
  • All nominees will be recognized at the RAC RTOY celebration on May 6, 2021 (virtual)

Supporting documents should be sent to:

   Lisa Signorelli, Reading Teacher of the Year Chairperson


54th Annual VSLA Conference

The 54th Annual Conference of the Virginia State Literacy Association will be a hybrid meeting March 18-20, 2021.

Conference registration is currently open to in-person attendees for up to 500 participants.
A select few sessions will be live streamed for attendees to view virtually.
For rates and registration please visit: https://www.vsra.org/rates-2021

Meet the Speakers:

Carmen Agra Deedy
Derrick Barnes
Allison Behne
Gail Boushey
Trevor Bryan
Ralph Fletcher

Kelly Gallagher
Jarrett Lerner
Molly Ness
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Donna Scanlon
Jennifer Serravallo
Kathy Flynn-Somerville

Join RARC Today!

We are pleased to announce that membership is open for 2020-2021 year!
Your membership in RARC gives you free admission to all RARC and other chapter events and a discounted registration fee for the annual VSLA (formerly VSRA) conference!

Our RARC board has already been hard at work planning for this year and we have some exciting ideas for the year.  We look forward to collaborating with YOU as we engage students, parents, teachers, and the community to promote a life-long love for literacy!

To become a member of RARC/VSLA:

  1. Go to www.vsra.org
  2. Click on Sign up to be a Member if you are joining for the first time or click on Member Log In if you are renewing your membership.
  3. Complete the membership form.
  4. Don’t forget to click on the SUBMIT button (scroll down to bottom of page).

Things to know: 

  • Select Richmond Area as your chapter – your membership is for both VSLA and RARC!
  • Membership is rolling, which means your membership will expire a year from when you join.
  • Members can pay via PayPal or by check.  Online payment is encouraged.  If using a check, follow the directions on the screen.  Membership is not complete until payment (online or check) is received.
  • Members are asked to use personal emails, to prevent VSLA emails from being blocked or going to spam.

Don’t delay – cross RARC Membership off your “to-do” list before going back to school!

We look forward to this year together and wish you all the best!