Jackie Relyea, assistant professor of literacy at NC State’s College of Education, has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the University of North Carolina’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award at Chapel Hill School of Education.

The award recognizes a recent graduate who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to the education of children and emphasizes the interconnectedness of homes, schools and communities through their professional work and volunteer. Relyea obtained her doctorate. in Literacy from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015.

“I am deeply touched and honored to receive this award,” said Relyea. “My passion and commitment to early childhood literacy began through the remarkable mentorship and learning experiences I had while I was an international doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill. This award reflects outstanding mentors and faculty who instilled in me the confidence to conduct high quality research, community service, and continuous learning and improvement.

Relyea’s research focuses on the development of linguistically diverse students as well as reading interventions to improve academic vocabulary, reading comprehension and knowledge acquisition in multilingual learners.

Since 2020, she has worked with Associate Professor Dennis Davis to develop and implement the Building Reading Comprehension through Knowledge, Language, and Inquiry (KLI) framework. The Reading Intervention for Bilingual Learners in Upper Primary is designed to link texts to content that appears elsewhere in the curriculum, helping readers build their literacy skills while gaining knowledge of science and language topics. social studies.

She was also the principal investigator of a year-long AERA-National Science Foundation-funded project that explored a more nuanced understanding of how the relationship between reading ability and content knowledge plays out across the board. over time in order to better inform teaching practices and intervention strategies. to integrate literacy and subject teaching in elementary schools.

“I am committed to conducting scientific research that benefits the community, the state and the nation to improve young children’s access to equitable learning opportunities in literacy,” he said. she declared. “I will continue to pursue my passion for research into the development and evaluation of effective reading and literacy interventions to promote reading achievement and engagement for multilingual elementary students and students with reading comprehension difficulties. reading.

More recently, Relyea was the co-author of a study which examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the reading achievement growth of Charlotte-Mecklenburg students in grades three through five. The results of this study revealed that students achieved 48-65% learning gains in reading in the 2020-21 school year compared to the 2018-2019 school year.

“The magnitude of the pandemic’s overall impacts on reading gains can inform various school district stakeholders as they plan how best to support the recovery of student learning,” she said.