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Aligned with the mission of the University of Illinois as a land grant institution and with the goals of the College of Education, the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities serves as a vital resource to local school districts and educators.  The Center works collaboratively with local education agencies to create sustainable improvement in education.  The core focus of the Center is to collaboratively plan and sustain long-term, job-embedded professional learning experiences for teachers. The Center partners with local schools to conduct research on these collaborative efforts in order to further understanding of what works and to explore ways to grow such efforts. The importance of the research, service, and outreach that the Center provides is based on the critical need to support the success of our schools and its students.  To date, our collaborative work has resulted in expanding the capacity of local schools to deliver quality instruction as well as the establishment of other meaningful partnerships supporting literacy, mathematics, and second-language learning.  


  • Build capacity through supporting teacher professional learning embedded in schools to affect change in student performance.
  • Assist in the generation of research-based understandings of our collaborative engagement in educational improvements.
  • Provide a point of entry for schools and the community to connect with faculty, researchers, and students at the University and in the College of Education.
  • Support the efforts of collaborating educators and schools in addressing their identified needs and aspirations through enabling them to access College of Education and University resources.

Youth Literature Festival authors, artists to visit 90 Illinois schools

Oct 17, 2016, 13:10 by Sharita Forrest
About 90 local schools will welcome award-winning authors and book illustrators as part of the Oct. 20-22 Youth Literature Festival.

Writer David Schwartz will be a part of the Youth Literature Festival activities this year

About 90 local schools will welcome award-winning authors and book illustrators as part of the Oct. 20-22 Youth Literature Festival.

The biennial festival brings together local and national authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers who nurture a love of literature and share the magic of storytelling with children, teens, and adults.

This year, 24 of the participating authors and illustrators will visit schools in and around Champaign to perform readings, lead writing workshops, and discuss their books. About 20,000 schoolchildren across eight Illinois counties are expected to participate.

“These author visits to area schools are more crucial than ever, given the large number of Illinois schoolchildren who come from low-income families and might not have opportunities otherwise to meet and be inspired by award-winning writers and artists,” said James D. Anderson, the interim dean of the College of Education, one of the festival’s sponsors.  “These creative individuals impart to children the fun of reading and the joy of making stories come to life, which are invaluable to the kids and to our community as a whole.”

The festival will conclude Saturday, Oct. 22, with the Community Day Celebration, a family-oriented event that will include readings, book signings, live music, dance, art displays, puppet shows, and a variety of hands-on activities for children.

Read the full article from the Illinois News Bureau.