KRA Executive Board and Membership resolve to disband organization by April 01, 2018
To the Kansas Reading Association Membership:
The Executive Board of the Kansas Reading Association has been meeting throughout January and February, following the online voting by the membership to determine the future of our organization. After a series of four very difficult meetings to discuss the future of the organization, the Executive Board is submitting this letter to inform you of the decisions made.
The membership voted on the future of the Kansas Reading Association in an online voting process from November 16 – December 15, 2017. Twenty-nine percent of the membership voted, and the results of the membership vote are as follows:
- Dissolution of KRA: 31 votes (72%)
- Full Group Affiliation: 1 vote (2%)
- Chapter Development: 5 votes (12%)
- Limited affiliation: 5 votes (12%)
Given these results and the discussions held by the Executive Board, a very difficult decision has been made to dissolve the Kansas Reading Association. We believe that our colleague, LeAnn Clark’s words are appropriate here: “It (KRA) played such an important role in my development as a young teacher. I regret that our beginning teachers will not have the opportunity to interact, share ideas, and develop friendships across the state.” Her words echo our sentiments and the sadness we feel about dissolving our organization.
In our meetings, we also made decisions about provisions for existing initiatives and processes that are important to us and to the membership. Funds held by the Kansas Reading Association have been disbursed to ensure continued delivery of each of the following initiatives:
- Ethiopia Reads: Funds were donated to this organization to continue the literacy work we have supported over many years. Funds will be used to continue to send books and distribute them to libraries and children in Ethiopia.
- The Kansas Journal of Reading: For the current issue, the Kansas Reading Association shared the cost of publishing the most recent edition with Kansas Association of Higher Education Literacy Professionals.
- Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award: To continue the rich history of this award, funds have been disbursed to the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence at Emporia State University to “house” and maintain the BMJ award and its website at Emporia State University. The funds disbursed allowed the establishment of an endowed fund to administer the Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award program. This endowment will allow the Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award to continue in perpetuity. Dr. Roger Caswell, current chair of the BMJ committee and Executive Director of the Jones Institute, has been instrumental in carrying out this process and is committed to maintaining the high standards of this award. Look forward to hearing from ESU with announcements about winning books, author visits for the award presentation and an opportunity to speak with Kansas teachers, and the nomination process for the BMJ Award.
- Electronic Book Bag Project: Additional funds were disbursed to Emporia State University through the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence to house and continue the development of KRA’s Electronic Book Bags website, a project associated with the Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award. Upon the dissolution of KRA, the website responsibilities will transfer from Stephanie Hamby, KRA webmaster, to a web designer at Emporia State University.
- Kansas Reading Association Website: Payment has been made to Stephanie Hamby, KRA webmaster, to securely close the KRA website. All related files to the KRA and Electronic Book Bag website have been forwarded to the webmaster at Emporia State University.
Remaining Funds: Money remaining in the Kansas Reading Association Treasury will be sent to the International Literacy Association, per requirements by the parent organization, along with a Resolution to Disband.