The Rochelle Lee Teacher Award (RLTA) is a professional development program focused on guiding teachers to improve their Balanced Literacy practice. RLTA is most suited to teachers who strive daily to improve their teaching and want to grow lifelong readers in their classrooms. Specifically, a Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardee commits using Balanced Literacy best practices in their classroom daily: maintaining an inviting classroom library, conducting interactive read alouds, and independent reading.
The award is open to pre-kindergarten through eighth grade teachers in Chicago Public Schools. If selected, awardees attend the Summer Institute where they have access to over 300 hours of the high quality teacher-lead, teacher-selected professional development. Teachers choose which areas of Balanced Literacy they wish to pursue and engage in interactive workshops with resources and techniques that are directly applicable to their classroom.
Awardees become a part of the Rochelle Lee Teacher network, made up of over 500 Chicago-area teachers who have all revolutionized their practice thanks to the RLTA program. There is no other teacher professional development available in Chicago that puts teachers in charge of their own learning. Teacher choose their workshop based on what aspect of their literacy teaching they would most like to improve.
Working to develop a joy in reading in both teachers and students, the Rochelle Lee Teacher Award provides Classroom Library Grants valued at over $700 to put high quality texts in the hands of students. Upon completion of the program requirements, teachers choose what books they’d like to add to their library; the books are theirs to keep. By putting books into the hands of students, the Rochelle Lee Teacher Award allows teachers to stay current in new literacy techniques and to have the newest titles to engage readers at all levels.