University News

Barclay Appointed to State Literacy Committee

February 7, 2000

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MACOMB, IL - The chair of Western Illinois University’s department of curriculum and instruction (formerly called elementary education and reading) has been selected, and is the only university representative statewide to have been chosen, for the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) Early Childhood Literacy Team.

Kathy Barclay will serve on the team, which is part of the state’s Reading Initiative. The Early Childhood Literacy Team will develop "literacy toolkits" which will be disseminated to every PreK - third grade teacher and to every licensed child care center in Illinois.

Along with Barclay, the team is comprised of outstanding PreK through third grade teachers from across the state, including Linda Housewright of Dallas City Elementary School, Camille Breheny of St. Paul School in Macomb, Margaret Harn of Industry Grade School and Cathy Jones of LaHarpe Elementary School.

"It is an honor to be selected as the only person from a higher education institution to serve on this committee," said Barclay. "And it’s wonderful that the members selected from our area each have a long-standing association with WIU. They are all cooperating teachers for our elementary and early childhood majors who are completing field experiences, and they have taken courses at WIU. All of this says a great deal about the teachers we work with and the training we provide for pre-service teachers."

In 1998 Barclay was one of two faculty members from Illinois universities selected to serve on a seven-member team representing the state at the National Reading Summit in Washington, D.C. She has served as the steering committee co chair of the Illinois Right to Read Initiative; and for the past four years she has served as co-director of Project ELIPSS, a national Head Start Emergent Literacy Project from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. She also co-coordinates WIU's participation in the national America Reads Challenge initiative.

"Dr. Barclay’s selection to this state program further exemplifies the high caliber of our faculty," said College of Education and Human Services Dean David R. Taylor. "We are pleased that Western is a part of this crucial initiative that will benefit our next generation of students."

Through its departments such as curriculum and instruction, the College of Education and Human Services at Western Illinois University prepares professionals to meet the humanistic and technological challenges in our changing society. For more information, contact the college at 309/298-1690.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Relations