Description of and Contact Information for SoMIRAC Committees

21st Century Literacy Leaders

Yvette Rivers

The 21st Century Literacy Leaders Committee shall communicate with administrators, supervisors, coordinators, and directors in Maryland to inform them of the purpose of SoMIRAC, make them aware of new trends in the area of reading and language arts and update them on new federal and state legislation and its impact on schools.

Advocacy/Government Relations

Dona Michel

The Advocacy/Government Relationships committee shall promote advocacy for literacy by communicating with the public, press, and policy makers about reading, inform SoMIRAC members about legislation regarding literacy at the state and national levels, and solicit members' involvement in advocacy through a variety of activities.

Everyone Reads Initiative

Mary Lou Nelson

The Everyone Reads committee shall promote literacy through a statewide literacy outreach program to encourage life -long reading by children, parents and citizens in Maryland.

Exemplary Reading

Sue Abramson   

The Exemplary Reading committee shall promote the IRA Exemplary Reading Program Award through local councils and state school systems, recognize and support literacy initiatives in schools, and recognize schools that exhibit an exemplary reading program as described in IRA guidelines.

Family Literacy

Jane Long

The Family Literacy committee will provide opportunities for families in the state of Maryland to develop print-rich homes and promote a life-long love of reading for all children and adults.

Global Literacy Initiatives

Natalie Stephenson

The Global Literacy Initiative Committee shall provide local councils with suggestions plans for participating in service activities that benefit international literacy initiatives as well as projects that would benefit their local communities.

Maryland Reading Month

Sandy Watt

The Maryland Reading Month Committee will request that the sitting governor of Maryland proclaim January as “Maryland Reading Month”. In addition they will provide local councils with a calendar of activities and programs to be used during the month to promote reading beyond the classroom and as a life-long pursuit.

Parents and Reading

Lisa Lowe

The Parents and Reading committee shall share activities and programs with local councils and parents that promote literacy and increase family involvement in reading.


Lisa Wild 

The Publicity committee shall promote and publicize the goals, activities, and programs of the organization through a variety of media forms in local communities and throughout the state.

Scholarships and Member Grants

Bonnie Schmeltz

The Scholarships and Member Grants committee shall organize and promote a program to award monetary scholarships to high school seniors pursuing a career in education, and to members for building learning capacity to extend and refine career endeavors. The number of scholarships and the amount awarded may vary depending on funds available. Interested students and members must apply for the scholarships. High school senior recipients will receive scholarships at their senior awards program while member scholarships will be presented at the September board of Directors' meeting.

Studies and Research

Holly Clark

The Studies and Research committee shall encourage and empower teachers to find, prove, and disseminate solutions to raise student achievement by conducting active research in the classroom. Such teacher-researchers shall apply for the scholarships to be awarded.

Teachers as Readers

Donna Redmond

The Teachers as Readers committee shall encourage and promote reading for pleasure among teachers; make them aware of good literature, best sellers, and classics, as well as professional texts; and keep members informed of book clubs, bookstores, and literary activities taking place in local venues. The committee will offer stipends to encourage local councils to form teachers as readers groups.


Zetta Hart

The technology committee shall forward general information questions from the website to appropriate SoMIRAC Board of Directors. Additional responsibilities of this committee include but are not limited to: maintaining and updating the website, monitoring and assessing the current service provider, and maintaining, operating and servicing SoMIRAC-owned technology, such as laptops and LCD projectors.

Young Authors' Contest

Grades 2-8:
Grades 9-12: Kelly McCutcheon

The Young Authors committee shall sponsor a writing contest among students in Grades 2-12 at the local council and state levels, compile winning entries from the state level in an anthology, conduct a celebration for winning writers at the annual conference, and encourage local councils to conduct a celebration for local writers.


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