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  • Writer's pictureDionna Roberts

Behind the Boards

As an educator, I feel that it is important to constantly look for opportunities to learn. Attending conferences, PD opportunities, collaborating with colleagues, following and engaging with educators on social media platforms, and reading are the primary ways in which I am able to continue my education. I have also found value in being part of professional and academic organizations. Some of the most invaluable learning and networking has come from serving on nonprofit executive boards.

I currently serve on the Board of Directors for two nonprofit organizations in Michigan—Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK) and the Michigan Reading Association (MRA). Some of my friends and colleagues ask, “When do you have time for this?” Honestly, sometimes it's harder than others depending on the demands of any particular month, week, day, or hour. That's just the nature of how our lives work, right? All in all, I have time because I choose to make time. I make time because I believe strongly in the visions of both organizations and their commitments toward empowerment through literacy. And if you didn’t know, literacy is kind of my J.A.M. (Job and Motivation).

I was invited to join the board of Read and Write Kalamazoo in 2015. RAWK is committed to amplifying youth voices in our community and providing opportunities for young people to creatively express themselves. As a parent, I witnessed my own children become more excited about writing/creating as a result of participating in RAWK programming. My children also grew in confidence to share their words with others through public speaking forums and submitting work for anthology publication. I am a part of the Educational Taskforce Committee. Currently, we are charged with continuing programming for young people and families through COVID-19, as well as building community partnerships with other organizations who wish to do the same. Click here for upcoming RAWK events! Click here for ways to support RAWK's mission.

In July of this year, I was invited to serve on the board for MRA. The Michigan Reading Association is probably best known for its annual conferences that bring educators and authors together to build excitement around books and the capacity to teach readers and writers in our classrooms. Beyond this, MRA exists to empower Michigan students and educators with literacy. This of course looks different right now we are navigating teaching/learning virtually during a pandemic. However, we are approaching our vision with outside the box thinking in order to keep people engaged. I have enjoyed building content for the MRA Instagram Account so far and looking forward to watching our social media presence grow. Click here to become a member of MRA. Click here to check out the MRA Blog.

Follow both these organizations on their social media platforms.


IG: @readandwritekzoo

Twitter: @ReadWriteKzoo


IG: @michiganreading

Twitter: @michiganreading

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