Two scholars will discuss the use of LGBTQ+ literature in classrooms at a talk at Illinois State University.

book cover for Reading the Rainbow

Reading the Rainbow by Caitlin Ryan and Jill Hermann-Wilmarth

Caitlin Ryan and Jill Hermann-Wilmarth, co-authors of the book Reading the Rainbow, will speak at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center. A reception will proceed the talk from 5:30-6 p.m. The talk free and open to the public.

Reading the Rainbow focuses on the use of LGBTQ+-themed literature in grade-school language arts classes. The authors argue that the material benefits developing students by teaching inclusivity in the classroom, and throughout the rest of their lives. The book shows what LGBTQ+-inclusive literacy would look like in a classroom setting, as well as information on how teachers and/or students are likely to respond to the addition of such literature.

Ryan is an associate professor at East Carolina University in the College of Education in Greenville, North Carolina, and is a former K-5 literacy enrichment teacher in public schools around the Washington, D.C., area. Hermann-Wilmarth is a professor of social foundations at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was formerly a teacher of grades 2-5 in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.

Prior to the presentation, the co-authors will conduct two modeling sessions with an anchor lesson in Milner Library.

This event is sponsored by the Queer Ed Redbirds, the Prairie Pride Coalition, the Office of the President’s, Sage Funds, School of Teaching and Learning, Women’s and Gender Studies, and LGBT/Queer Studies.

This event reflects the University’s core value of diversity and inclusion. See more at Educate • Connect • Elevate: Illinois State – The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018-2023.