2017 LORNE H. WOOLLATT DISTINGUISHED PAPER AWARD WINNER - Maria Y. Finger-Elam, Baltimore County Public Schools

Congratulations to Maria Y. Finger-Elam, the 2017 winner of the Lorne H. Woollatt Distinguished Paper Award for the paper entitled, Efficacy of Blended-Learning Model Literacy Intervention for Struggling Adolescent Readers, co-authored with Marquis Dwarte of Baltimore County Public Schools. Maria Finger-Elam is Supervisor of Research the Baltimore County Public Schools.
     The award-winning paper addressed the problem of a stagnation in literacy achievement at the high school level. The research evaluated a blended-learning literacy intervention for high school students reading two or more years below grade level. The study found that students who fully engaged in the computer-adaptive instructional component of the intervention had the greatest gains in reading comprehension skills, with some students showing three times the improvement in reading skills than expected. 
     Maria received a NERA travel stipend to present this paper at the 2018 meeting of the American Educational Research Association Consortium of State and Regional Educational Research Associations. The paper was rated by the award committee members on its relevance, theoretical backing, clarity, design, analytical procedures, and presentation of results and conclusion, and received very high scores in each of the criteria - earning the highest overall rating of all eligible submissions. 

     The Lorne H. Woollatt Distinguished Paper Award is named in honor of Lorne Woollatt, a distinguished New York State educator and NERA member. It is awarded annually, and a plaque is given to the recipient at the subsequent year’s conference. Research papers from the 2017 NERA conference were submitted by their authors to the award committee for this competitive award. Any questions about the award can be directed to the committee chair, Abby (Lau) Cahill at lauar@jmu.edu.

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