Passion for Reading Leads to National Recognition


Gladstone Elementary teachers are receiving national recognition for their literature strategies in the classroom. First grade teacher Susan Phillips and third grade teacher Amy Brock will be featured in the upcoming Debbie Miller Professional Development book for their work on how children’s literature shapes the lives of young students.

Susan Phillips helps her first grade students find meaning in literature.

First grade teacher Susan Phillips designed a unit that will teach students how books can influence and shape their lives. Phillips helped her students choose a book that “speaks to them.” As students read their selected books, they are encouraged to write post-it-notes on pages that impact them in a particular manner. Phillips wants students to be able to decipher the author’s overall message and then carry out that message through their own real world actions.

Phillips says she is humbled to have her students’ work included in a national publication.

Amy Brock uses inspirational biographies to inspire her third grade students

“I’m truly humbled to be able to do this. I’m so glad that the world will get see the kids’ work. I think it’s great for them.” Phillips said.

Teacher Amy Brock applies the same message to her third grade class in a slightly different manner. Using biographies of inspirational figures, Brock encourages students to think how they can evoke positive change into the world. Brock says that several of her students have been inspired to create service projects after reading the biographies.  One group of students started a recycling initiative to help reduce plastic waste and raise money for the school.

Brock hopes to pass her own passion for reading along to her students.

“Reading is carried with you throughout your whole life. Everything you read you interpret in some way.” Brock said.



  1. I have waited a long time for Amy to be recognized for the great teacher she is. The student love her. She works long hours to do special things for the kids . The cost comes out of her own pocket but you will never hear her complain. Amy Brock is a God sent to those children.