Minnesota Reading Association

Minnesota Academy of Reading 



Joan Sax-Bendix




Catherine Kelly

Legislative Liaison

MACTE Liaison


MDE Liaison
Jennifer Wazlawik

Past Presidents

Wendy Richards
Lisa Krall

Keitha-Gail Martin-Kerr
Debra S. Peterson

Christopher W. Johnson
Catherine Kelly
Karen Moroz
Debra Peterson
Amy Smith
Terri Christenson
Carolyn Gwinn

Past Secretary

Joan Sax-Bendix

Lisa Krall

Pamela Solvie

What is the Minnesota Academy of Reading?

Background and Mission Statement
Approximately 20 years ago, the International Reading Association commissioned the Minnesota Academy of Reading (MAR) as a Special Interest Council, giving the organization this charge:

The purpose of this council shall be to (1) provide an opportunity for members to actively engage in the process of sharing and testing professional ideas; (2) engage in service functions of instruction, consultation, and evaluation.

Currently MAR serves as one of the local area councils supporting the Minnesota Reading Association.

The purpose of the Minnesota Academy of Reading is to bring various groups of reading stakeholders together to discuss and respond to reading practices/policies in Minnesota.

  • We provide opportunities for reading stakeholders to share, analyze, and evaluate reading policies and practices. We gather groups of reading stakeholders together to impact the licensure requirements for reading professionals in Minnesota. Rather than reacting to policies, this group desires to have a visionary role in the direction of future policies.
  • We provide opportunities for reading stakeholders to celebrate the work of their colleagues. Each spring, we host a banquet honoring a Minnesota reading professional who has made significant contributions to reading locally and nationally, including Barbara Taylor (2005), Michael Graves (2006), Jay Samuels (2007) and Alton Greenfield (2008), Maureen Prenn (2010), Deborah Dillon (2012), Gail Jordan (2014), and Rick Beach (2016),  Cindy Whaley (2017) and Debra Peterson (2020), Lori Helman (2022).
Our members are K-12 teachers and higher education professors, mostly the latter, with extensive research, teaching, and publication experience. However, this is an inclusive group, open to any interested reading professional.

Becoming a Member of the Minnesota Academy of Reading

To become a member of the Minnesota Academy of Reading, first join the Minnesota Reading Association and then identify MAR as your local council.  A printable membership form is also available.

Past Event Highlights


April 25, 2023


January Policy and Issues Symposium

January 26, 2023

MAR January Symposium 2022

Honoring Dr. Lori Helman's Contributions to Literacy

MAR Online Policy and Issues Symposium

Critical Issues in Literacy 2021

MAR provided resources and held an online session to address critical issues in literacy including:

  • Minnesota Department of Education Updates (State of the State in Literacy)
  • Anti-racist Literature for Elementary and Secondary Levels
  • Motivating and Engaging Readers (with a focus on distance learning)
  • Science of Reading
Resource Links:

Science of Reading

Click on the link above to access the Google folder.

Anti-Racist Literature

Click on the link above to access the Google folder.

Motivating and Engaging Readers in Distance Learning

Click on the link above to access the Google folder.

MDE Spring 2021 Updates

Click on the link above to access the Google folder.

Minnesota Dyslexia Legislation:

What does it mean for us?

Please click on the presentation links below to view the MAR Symposium from January 31, 2020.

MAR Symposium Jan 31, 2020- Distinguished Honoree: https://cloud.swivl.com/v/9584e712e27b7349d2115030c66b9a7f

MAR Symposium Jan 31- Key Speaker Amy Schulting: https://cloud.swivl.com/v/8cdd6f155a5e2a2bd5d8555e3c1f2efb

MAR Book Talk recording: https://cloud.swivl.com/v/8575e67a1e4c762df26742f5eee338a7

For more information, contact:
Joan Sax Bendix at mailto:jbendix@winona.edu

2023 Board Minutes

Minnesota Academy of Reading Minutes May 16, 2023.docx

MAR Minutes 4.11.2023 .docx

MAR Minutes 2.14.2023 .docx

MAR Minutes 1.10.2023 .docx

2022 Board Minutes

Minnesota Academy of Reading-11.15.2022 Minutes.docx

Minnesota Academy of Reading-10.18.2022 Minutes.docx

MAR Minutes 3.16.2022.docx

MAR Minutes 2.16.2022.docx

Minnesota Academy of Reading Minutes 1.19.2022.docx

2021 Board Minutes

MAR Minutes 12.15.2021.docx

MAR Minutes 9.15.2021.docx

MAR Minutes 6.10.2021.docx

MAR Minutes 4.24.2021.docx

2020 Board Minutes

MAR Minutes 10.21.2020.docx

MAR Minutes 9.18.2020.docx

MAR Minutes 6.19.2020.docx

MAR Minutes 4.18. 2020 .docx

2019 Board Minutes

MAR Minutes 6.28.2019.docx

MAR Minutes 5.17.19.docx

MAR Minutes 3.21.19.docx

2018 Board Minutes

MAR Minutes

MAR Minutes 9.13.18.docx

8.2.18 MAR Minutes .docx

MAR Minutes 6.22.18.docx

MAR Minutes 4.21.18.docx

MAR Minutes 3.1.18.docx

MAR Minutes 2.15.18.docx

2017 Board Minutes

MAR Minutes 12.14.17.docx

MAR Minutes 11.9.17.docx

MAR Minutes 10.12.17.docx

MAR Minutes 9.14.17.docx

MAR Minutes 8.8.17.docx

MAR Minutes 03.23.17.docx

MAR Minutes for 02-16-17.doc

2016 Board Minutes

2015 Board Minutes

2014 Board Minutes

2013 Board Minutes
2012 Board Minutes

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