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Cindy Downend

Associate Director, Literacy Programs

What I like most about my role within the Center is…

I love to teach! It is so rewarding to see how our work with educators can be so empowering and transformative. When you think in new ways about literacy teaching and learning, you change your practice to improve the school experiences of children.

What I believe in

The power of literacy to improve, enrich, and change people’s lives.

Previous work highlights

Many years as a classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, and literacy coach in Michigan, Germany, Minnesota, and Florida.

Favorite book

All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

Fun fact

Many years ago I was smuggled across an international border to go snow-skiing!

Education

MA, Elementary Education, Western Michigan University
EdS, Educational Leadership, Nova Southeastern University

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Featured Blog Posts

July 1, 2024 Heather Rodman, Literacy Trainer

Ralph Fletcher: A Writer’s Mentor 

When I need a little writerly advice, I often turn to Ralph Fletcher. We’ve never met, but his advice about writing for both students and teachers has stayed with me for the last 20 years.

June 27, 2024 Linda Murphy, Associate Director of Literacy Programs

Reaching All Learners Through Independent Reading

Research highlights the significant benefits of independent reading, including improved literacy skills, greater empathy, and a lifelong love of reading.

June 11, 2024 Nikki Drury, Literacy Trainer

Advice for Coaches: Helping Teachers Navigate the End-of-Year Homestretch

How can coaches help empower teachers to navigate the end-of-year homestretch? By creating opportunities for reflection.