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Lucy Calkins to Hold Richard Robinson Chair in Children's Literature at Teachers College, Columbia University


Lucy Calkins

Lucy McCormick Calkins, Professor of English Education and founding director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.

Endowed Position is Created by Gift from Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic Inc.

"Fitting Honor" for "A Gifted and Passionate Educator"

Lucy McCormick Calkins, Professor of English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and founding director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, which provides curriculum and professional development to school districts nationwide, has been formally named as the first person to hold the College's newly endowed Richard Robinson Chair in Children's Literature.

The endowed Robinson Chair is the result of a gift from a family trust of Richard Robinson, who is Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic Inc.

Professor Calkins will be formally honored with the endowed position at a ceremony on Friday, July 14th, at Columbia University's Lerner Hall (Roone Arledge Auditorium), located at 115th Street and Broadway, where she will be addressing an audience of 1,200 public school teachers from around the country at the conclusion of one of her weeklong coaching workshops. Mr. Robinson and TC President Arthur Levine also will speak. The ceremony begins at 1:10 pm, and is open to the media.

Professor Calkins, the author of The Art of Teaching Reading, The Art of Teaching Writing and Units of Study for Teaching Writing K-2 and 3-5, was recently cited -- along with Oprah, Hillary Clinton and Jonathan Kozol -- by Teacher Magazine as one of the Ten Most Influential Educators in America. Professor Calkins is known for leading large-scale, school-based professional development in literacy. She is acclaimed for her pioneer work in reading and writing workshops, and has been a forceful advocate for putting the best children's literature into children's hands.

Every summer for the past 25 years, thousands of educators have come to Teachers College to attend one of Calkins' institutes on the teaching of reading or writing.

"It is both a privilege and a responsibility to know that all of these teachers have invested their most precious resource -- their time -- into learning alongside the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project," Professor Calkins recently said. "We take the responsibility of the institutes very seriously."

The Project includes some 75 staff developers and contains separate divisions that focus on supporting school principals and superintendents, English language learners, middle school students and their teachers, literacy coaches, and teacher-leaders. To learn more, visit

"We are tremendously grateful to Dick Robinson for his magnificent gift, which typifies his commitment, and Scholastic's, to children's literacy," said Arthur Levine, President of Teachers College. "This is a truly fitting honor for Professor Calkins, one of the nation's most gifted and passionate educators in the teaching of reading and writing."

Founded over 85 years ago by Mr. Robinson's father, M.R. Robinson, Scholastic is the global children's publishing, education and media company and has a corporate mission supported through all of its divisions of helping children around the world to read and learn. Recognizing that literacy is the cornerstone of a child's intellectual, personal and cultural growth, Scholastic has created quality products and services that educate, entertain and motivate children and are designed to help enlarge their understanding of the world around them. To learn more about Scholastic, visit

Mr. Robinson, a Teachers College alumnus, began his career as a high school English teacher in Evanston, Illinois. He joined Scholastic in 1962 as an assistant editor, and has been President of Scholastic since 1974 and Chief Executive Officer since 1975. Robinson was elected to the position of Chairman of the Board in 1982, succeeding his father. Under his leadership, Scholastic has grown to a $2 billion operation with over 10,000 employees and operations in more than 16 countries. The company's mission of helping children around the world to read and learn is still echoed in every Scholastic product and by each of its employees.
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