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AdLit gathers interesting news headlines about literacy, middle grade and YA books, best practices in instruction, and other key topics related to middle school and high school teaching and learning.

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What Happens When Older Students Struggle to Read? We Asked. You Answered. (opens in a new window)

Chalkbeat Colorado

June 14, 2022

When students get to middle and high school without strong reading skills, the results can be devastating. In response to a recent Chalkbeat survey, dozens of parents and educators described secondary students who refuse to read out loud for fear of being teased, who can’t understand math word problems or science vocabulary, and gradually give up on school altogether. They worried such students face poor job prospects and bleak futures.

Middle Schoolers Write Pet Profiles to Help Find Homes for Shelter Dogs and ‘Romeo’ the Rat (opens in a new window)

USA Today

June 10, 2022

Read the pet profiles written by students at Booker T. Middle School in Newport News. According to the shelter’s executive director Alison Fechino, the group’s engagement and development director asked teachers at Booker T. for help recently. The teachers allowed 7th grade students to write profiles for the pets as part of an extra credit public service announcement assignment. As of Thursday afternoon, the shelter has 91 dogs in the building, it’s down to two open cages and the shelter also has 46 dogs in foster care, said shelter director Amanda McQuarry.


Gov. Whitmer Boosts Funding for 16 Schools to Expand Programs to Prepare Students for In-Demand Jobs (opens in a new window)

June 10, 2022

Governor Gretchen Whitmer along with state environmental and workforce leaders announced 16 K-12 institutions, school districts and educational partnerships have been awarded $205,028 to develop Great Lakes-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational programs for students. These grants build on the Governor’s historic educational budget proposal, which includes the highest per-student investment ever, $1 billion for new school construction and renovation, funds to hire and retain 15,000 teachers, and more resources for on-campus mental health support.

Latina Mothers, Daughters and the Pursuit of Higher Education Together (opens in a new window)

Los Angeles Times

June 10, 2022

Cindy R. Escobedo chronicled the aspirations, challenges and joys of Latina mothers and daughters who pursued college degrees together. Cindy identified nine working-class mother-daughter families consisting of 22 women — all but three of whom attended college in California at the same time. The mothers are largely immigrants — from Mexico, Peru, Belize, Guatemala — while all but one of the daughters U.S. born. But beneath the joy of achievement are complex journeys because for every mother who made sacrifices on the way to her degree, so too did her daughter. Here are their stories.

Teachers of the Year Say Educators Deserve More Trust (opens in a new window)


June 02, 2022

Curiosity and creativity were on display when dozens of top teachers from around the U.S. gathered on the National Mall at the end of April. While reflecting on the state of their profession, a trio of finalists expressed a variation of the following observation: Teachers are experts who deserve more trust. Read more insights from Teacher of the Year finalists.

‘Who Will Clean Out The Desks’ — A Crowdsourced Poem in Praise of Teachers (opens in a new window)


May 31, 2022

Listen to or read a community poem culled from submissions to NPR’s Morning Edition as part of teacher appreciation month. NPR put out this call a week before the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, so the majority of contributors are not reflecting on that horrific day but a late addition did reflect that loss.

NPR’s poet in residence Kwame Alexander took lines from submissions to create a community poem. This poem is dedicated to all teachers, but especially to Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, fourth grade teachers who lost their lives at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

Hear From Four TJ Freshmen Admitted Under Controversial Circumstances (opens in a new window)

Washington Post

May 31, 2022

Two years ago, Thomas Jefferson. known as TJ and frequently ranked the best public high school in America, radically altered its admissions process, eliminating a much-feared test and a $100 application fee, in the hope of admitting more students of color and low-income students. The changes at the magnet school in Northern Virginia sent parents and alumni into a frenzy. 

How did it feel to be one of the newly admitted students? The Washington Post followed four Thomas Jefferson High School freshmen through a difficult, unusual and absorbing academic year.

The Most Popular YA Books on TikTok (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

May 06, 2022

BookTok covers a wide range of book genres, including romance and fantasy. But when it comes to books that people love on TikTok, young adult literature is king. That’s why we rounded up this big list of the most popular YA books on TikTok.

Seeding an Interest in STEM (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

May 05, 2022

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) affect our daily lives in ways too numerous to count. Having a broad understanding of these disciplines is essential for navigating an increasingly complex future.

15 Middle Grade & YA History Books That Highlight Marginalized Voices (opens in a new window)

School Library Journal

May 05, 2022

Many authors are unearthing long-buried evidence and exalting hidden figures of the past to afford readers (and their educators) a more richly textured version of our collective experience. The 15 books discussed herein, which range from middle grade to YA, restore the urgency and excitement of history while highlighting the marginalized voices that have so often been written out of established curricula. 

I’m a High School Junior. Let’s Talk About ‘Huckleberry Finn’ and ‘Mockingbird.’ (opens in a new window)

NY Times

April 27, 2022

How we as Americans approach restrictions on literature curriculums is not only flawed but also wholly reactionary. My experience at that meeting and others convinced me that the problem is not that we disagree but how. We need to shift focus away from reflexive outrage about restrictions and bans and toward actual discussions of the merits and drawbacks of the individual books.

10 Fantastically Sweet Middle School Romance Books (opens in a new window)

Book Riot

April 21, 2022

For a long time, conventions have stated that middle grade books should focus on friendship and family, while YA books focus more on romantic love. And choices for middle school readers who love romance are few and far between. But there are some great ones out there. And this seems to be changing with more tween romance books being published in recent years.

How a Statewide Entrepreneurship Contest Launched 3 Indianapolis High Schoolers into a Million-Dollar Business (opens in a new window)

The 74

April 21, 2022

If not for a statewide pitch competition for entrepreneurial students, three Indianapolis high schoolers likely wouldn’t have started their business. And they certainly wouldn’t have seen that company, Find Ideal Applicants, earn $20,000 in early-stage investment that valued the company at $1.5 million.

Their success stems from involvement in Indiana’s annual Innovate WithIn contest, which carries a $25,000 prize and offers entrants the chance to work with industry leaders to bring their proposed products to market.

From a Molasses Flood to ‘Titanic,’ 6 Podcasts That Offer a Glimpse Into Kids’ Minds (opens in a new window)


April 15, 2022

From discussions about teen mental health to explorations on the possibility of alien life, the 2022 Student Podcast Challenge offers a glimpse into the mind of kids and teens from across the country. This year, the contest received well over 7,500 minutes of podcasting from 45 states and the District of Columbia. While all the entries spotlight a different topic, one thing is clear: we need to listen to kids more often – and we don’t often get the chance to.