Young Ballymun

Lána McCarthy Wins Best Paper award at the USA Literacy Research Association, 70th Annual Conference

Lána, who works as Family and Community Language and Literacy Coordinator with Youngballymun, received an Irish Research Council award to carry out her PhD in Trinity College, Dublin in 2018. The title of her research is: ‘Parental Engagement to Measurably Improve Children’s Language and Literacy Outcomes in Areas of Socio-economic need’.

We are delighted to inform you that Lána has recently won an International Award for one of her papers submitted to the Literacy Research Association (LRA) in the USA: 

As I am currently studying for a PhD in Trinity College Dublin, I submitted two proposals to the Literacy Research Association (LRA), and I am delighted to tell you all that both papers were accepted.

The mission statement for the (LRA) echoes the emphasis on quality practice with an evidence-based foundation, prevalent in the work of the language and literacy team of Youngballymun.

“The Literacy Research Association (LRA) is a community of scholars dedicated to promoting research that enriches the knowledge, understanding, and development of lifespan literacies in a multicultural and multilingual world. LRA is committed to ethical research that is rigorous, methodologically diverse, and socially responsible. LRA is dedicated to disseminating such research broadly so as to promote generative theories, informed practices and sound policies. Central to its mission, LRA mentors and supports future generations of literacy scholars”.

The first paper submitted was centred on SPACES: A Family Literacy Framework for Practice, a framework I developed for my Research. This framework can be found on the Youngballymun website here 

The second paper was a collaboration with the University of South Florida, Florida Southern College and Otterbein University. This collaboration was titled We are in a book! In Defense of Books, Children, and Reading. We shared a series of independent investigations that explored the use of children’s and young adult literature as foundations for literacy teaching and learning across various contexts—preschool, elementary, university, and community. Using multiple methods and theoretical perspectives, we framed our individual studies, artifacts, and documents to illustrate how children’s and young adult literature is experienced, (mis) used, measured, and leveraged across societies and educational systems in the US and Ireland.

My part of this collaboration was the paper Parental Engagement to Measurably Improve Children’s Language and Literacy Outcomes in Areas of Socio-economic need. This Collaboration won the best paper award at the 70th LRA Annual Conference.

As you can imagine I am extremely grateful to get the opportunity to be in such esteemed company as my colleagues in the University of South Florida: Jenifer Jasinski Schneider, Lindsay Persohn, Stephanie Branson, Aimee Frier. Otterbein University: Susan Constable, Carrie Blosser Scheckelhoff and Florida Southern College: Rebecca Powell.

Another good news story related to SPACES:

Lána Mc Carthy’s SPACES framework is named as an example of best practice within Family Literacy in Ireland. The SPACES framework tool is applied in all of Youngballymun’s Family Literacy programmes.

The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) was commissioned to produce guidelines and recommendations on family literacy on behalf of SOLAS and ETBI and engaged the practice expertise of Dr Maggie Feeley and Dr Ann Hegarty as partners in delivering the resulting reports.

The report: Enabling Intergenerational Learning: Background report on family literacy practices in Irish Education and Training Boards (ETBs)’  includes a comprehensive literature review which covers a history of family literacy, findings from national and international research and an outline of relevant policy.

Youngballymun is delighted to have the work of their Family Literacy programmes recognised by esteemed researchers on behalf of  SOLAS and the National Adult Literacy Agency. You can find the report here.
(Pages 28 & 33)

If you would like to know more about the research, or the family Literacy Framework SPACES please contact Lána McCarthy: