William Van Cleave Scholarship
for Excellence in Literacy Instruction
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, the literacy world unexpectedly lost an amazing educator and great friend to many. William Van Cleave presented at Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning® from 2014 to 2021, with over 2,170 educators choosing to attend his sessions. His high level of enthusiasm, energy, and passion for working with teachers made him a highly-effective presenter. His interactive sessions were always filled with joy and laughter. William made learning fun regardless of who the student was, and the impact he had across the world is immeasurable. His passion was infectious, and his kindness was genuine.
While he presented on many topics, William always said that syntax was his superpower. His colleagues would tell you that he had many superpowers. As a way to honor them all, we have created the William Van Cleave Memorial Scholarship Fund that, through a selection process, will afford chosen educators the opportunity to attend Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning®. The goal of the William Van Cleave Scholarship for Excellence in Literacy Instruction is to offer funding to individuals to attend The Center for Literacy & Learning’s annual Plain Talk about Literacy and Learning® Institute. Scholarships will be awarded to educators who have done outstanding work developing skills in students in the area of reading instruction, writing instruction, dyslexia, and/or structured literacy.
There will be 3 scholarships awarded for the 2024 Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning® Institute to be held in New Orleans on January 31st – February 2nd, 2024. Scholarship funds will be used to help defray the costs to attend the Institute for those educators unable to attend otherwise. Each scholarship awarded will cover the registration fee for Plain Talk, accommodations for 3 nights (room and tax only) at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, and up to $500 reimbursement for travel expenses. Scholarships must be used for the year it is awarded and are not transferable.
Proposal Submissions Open – July 10, 2023 Proposal Submissions Close – September 1, 2023, no later than 5:00 PM CST
- Final Winner Notifications – October 31, 2023
- Registration Deadline – December 31, 2023
- Submission of Invoice and Receipts for Travel – by March 1, 2024
Before you Submit
- Ensure you are available to attend Plain Talk all 3 days – January 31st – February 2nd, 2024.
- If accepted to receive a scholarship, you will be required to confirm your attendance and register for the conference by December 31, 2023 (the conference registration fee is waived).
- Ensure you can pay for your own travel and be reimbursed AFTER Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning®.
Recipients with receive a complimentary 3-day registration to Plain Talk.
The registration includes:
- Registration materials
- Entrance into all sessions and exhibit area
- Continental breakfast and lunch on Wednesday and Thursday and Jazz Brunch on Friday
- Afternoon refreshments on the first 2 days
- Access to the exhibit hall
Registrations must be used for the year they are awarded and are not transferable.
A room block has been established specifically for Plain Talk which allows for the guarantee of available spaces for attendees. The Center for Literacy & Learning will reserve a room in your name at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel with check-in on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, and check-out on Friday, February 2, 2024. We will cover room and tax only. Recipients will be required to provide a credit card upon check-in and will be responsible for parking (if applicable) and any incidental charges to their room.
Winners are required to book and pay for their own travel. The Center for Literacy & Learning will reimburse each winner after the event for up to $500 for airfare, mileage (if driving), and ground transportation. Winners must submit an invoice and copies of all receipts related to their travel expenses.
Winners will be notified via email of their selection on October 31, 2023.
Anyone may apply, however, preference will be given to applicants who have one or more of the following:
1. Have a history of professional development with William Van Cleave or have attended his sessions at a previous Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning® Institutes and can provide details as to how they have applied the learnings of William Van Cleave within their classroom and/or school.
2. Have engaged in outstanding work developing literacy skills in students in the areas of reading and writing instruction, structured literacy, and/or dyslexia.
Scholarships are awarded in the fall of each year. Due dates for applications are September 1, 2023, by 5 pm CST. Award decisions will be made by October 31, 2023. Winning applicants will be notified by email. The winners’ names are published on The Center for Literacy & Learning’s website, social media, newsletters, and at the conference.
Applications must be submitted electronically via Google Form.
A committee consisting of The Center’s staff and invited professionals will review the applications. The committee reserves the right not to award any monies if the quality of the applications is insufficient. The decision of the committee is final.
Submissions will be collected via a Google Doc.
Step 1: You will be asked to provide the following information:
- Phone Number
- Job Title
- School or School District
Step 2: Answer the following questions thoroughly:
- Please state your reasons for wanting to attend the 2024 Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning® Institute.
- Please state how you would use the information, techniques, and strategies learned while at Plain Talk.
- How have you done outstanding work developing skills in students in the areas of reading instruction, writing instruction, structured literacy, and/or dyslexia? Provide examples of this work.
- Tell us about your philosophy or motivation for working with struggling readers and/or children with learning differences.
- Share with us your personal, family, or professional financial need for this scholarship.
- Have you attended any professional development or Plain Talk sessions presented by William Van Cleave? (yes/no)
- If yes, list the professional development or Plain Talk sessions presented by William Van Cleave that you have attended (include titles and dates).
- How have you applied what you learned from William in the classroom and/or school?