Eligibility: members and non-members
Amount: up to $4,000
Deadline: April 1
This award recognizes a middle school educator or team of educators who have designed an effective, replicable program for advancing reading or literacy. The award is underwritten by the John and Frances Beck Foundation and is administered by Pi Lambda Theta.
Dr. Frances M. Beck was assistant dean of students in the University of Chicago Graduate School of Education for almost twenty years. She was also the director of the Reading Clinic at DePaul University. Her passion and love of reading were evident in her numerous articles on reading and on motivating students. Dr. Beck, an active member of Pi Lambda Theta, held local and national offices and served as faculty adviser for more than thirty-five years. After retiring from the university, she tutored middle grade students in reading in Chicago schools. The John and Frances Beck Foundation was established after her death as a tribute to an educator who devoted a lifetime to helping students. Herbert Walberg, a long-time friend of Dr. Beck, suggested this award to honor her and her contributions through Pi Lambda Theta.
Recipients receive a cash award of up to $4,000.
An applicant must be employed in a middle school as a classroom, ESL, special education, resource, or Title I teacher or reading specialist throughout the award process. Individual teachers and teams of teachers are eligible for the award. Phi Delta Kappa board members, Beck Foundation board members, and members of the selection committee and their families are not eligible.
Self-nomination is permitted. A complete application consists of:
- a PLT universal nomination form
- two current letters of support from colleagues, parents, students, administrators or university/college professors describing the applicant’s efforts to advance reading or literacy
- a program description (Download the evaluation rubric to use as a guide.)
The description should:
- tell how students benefit from the program
- explain how the program can be replicated
- show how the program incorporates at least four of these nine pedagogical elements of advancing reading or literacy:
- instructional techniques that reach students
- creative assessments to inform instruction
- creative evaluations to inform instruction
- creative use of student data
- selecting materials of interest to students
- selecting materials at the appropriate level of readability
- making reading exciting and engaging
- teaching reading skills that improve reading achievement
- integrating technology
The description must not exceed five pages, double-spaced, with one-inch margins, using a 12 pt. typeface. Samples and exhibits that amplify the written program description may be submitted at the discretion of the applicant. The description, samples, and exhibits may be posted on the web for downloading by the selection committee or submitted as e-mail attachments. Please send seven copies of physical descriptions, samples, and exhibits. Application materials are not returned.
Selection and Notification
The selection committee comprises two members of the John and Frances Beck Foundation board, a member of the board of the International Reading Association, a member of the PLT Beck award committee, and a reading specialist. Applicants are notified of the committee’s decision within two months of the application deadline.
The complete application must be received in the Pi Lambda Theta international office by April 1. Send applications:
- via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- via U.S. mail to PLT Scholarships, P.O. Box 7888, Bloomington, IN 47407-7888