All posts by tinsmon

WIVB: Lafayette Students Use iPads to Improve English Skills

Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WIVB) – Can learning how to use an iPad, also help non-native speakers learn English?  That’s precisely how the University at Buffalo and Buffalo’s Lafayette High School are teaming up to help international students improve their language skills.

The Buffalo Partnership Project got started two years ago, with the help of grant money from the State Education Department. UB applied for the grant and chose to work with Lafayette High School on the project…

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UB Reporter: Buffalo Partnership Project Changing Lives of Refugee Students

Buffalo Public School social studies teacher Lisa Spaulding has heard the background stories of the refugee students at Lafayette High School, particularly the ones told by the girls. “Absolutely hair-raising,” Spaulding says. “Frightening. All absolutely heart-breaking.” And that’s why the work she has done with faculty and doctoral students in UB’s Graduate School of Education means so much…

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UB Reporter: McVee Recognized by AERA

Mary McVee, whose work in UB’s Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction (CLaRI) has earned praise and publicity from educational experts as well as mainstream media, will receive the Division K Mid-Career Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA), a national honor recognizing an outstanding researcher in the intermediate stage of her career….

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McVee recognized by AERA
McVee recognized by AERA

.edu Newsletter: Thanks UB to Supporters of Literacy Specialist Program

Chad White says he owes his career choice to his seventh-grade social studies teacher who “absolutely loved to come into the classroom every day.” The educator covered classroom walls with historic quotes and inspired an all-school Civil War Day, his favorite period of U.S. history. Chad, who favors the two World Wars, will bring history to life for urban high school students. Chad was awarded a scholarship that helped him earn a BA in history and a literacy specialist master’s degree….

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Buffalo News Blog: When Should Kids Start Reading?

It’s never too early to start reading to your children. That’s one of the lessons Mary McVee – the key source for today’s WNY Refresh cover story on teaching kids to read – hopes parents will take to heart.  “One of the things people will often think is that there isn’t a reason to read to their child until a child is 2 or 3 or preschool age, or at least a toddler, but you can start reading to a child before they’re born….

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Big Theory in Literacy: McVee Speaks at LRA

Dr. Mary McVee participated in the 2013 LRA session:
Big Theory in Literacy: Still Transformative After All These Years?  
See her session talk, What’s Theory Got to Do With It?


In this Pecha Kucha-based alternative session, we propose to interrogate the current state of “Big Theory,” or meta-theory, in literacy education scholarship with a particular focus on how it has transformed literacy research and practice in the past, and what role, if any, it might play in the future, particularly regarding issues of equity and justice in and through literacy education.

Session Participants

Session Organizer: George G. Hruby (University of Kentucky)

Chair: George G. Hruby (University of Kentucky)

Discussant: James Cunningham (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Is Big Theory in Literacy Passé, or Just Running Late?

  • George G. Hruby (University of Kentucky –

First Pecha Kucha Panel: Big Theory Past and Present

  • Deborah R. Dillon (University of Minnesota –
  • Mark Allen Dressman (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign –,
  • Mona Matthews (Georgia State University –
  • Mary McVee (University at Buffalo –

Second Pecha Kucha Panel: Current and Future Challenges for Big Theory

  • Elizabeth Dutro (University of Colorado Boulder –
  • Kevin Leander (Vanderbilt University –
  • Alfred Tatum (University of Illinois at Chicago –
  • David B. Yaden, Jr. (University of Arizona –