At Savvas, we believe culturally responsive learning is critical in helping ensure all learners succeed. It increases engagement and achievement by giving students a voice and agency, and allowing them to see themselves reflected in what they learn, as well as helping teachers set high expectations for all learners.
That is why we have launched our Culturally Responsive Learning Initiative. Our work will support teachers in making real changes in their classroom practices and encourage them to welcome a diverse array of voices and opinions. It will also focus on enhancing diversity and inclusion within the Savvas workforce. Elevating perspectives and creating a culture of belonging begins with a basic understanding that our differences are assets that we should recognize and honor.
To help guide Savvas in advancing culturally responsive learning within our products and services and throughout our organization, we created a Culturally Responsive Learning Advisory Board made up of educators and advocates with subject matter expertise.
Our Culturally Responsive Learning Advisory Board is comprised of prominent education scholars, researchers, former teachers, and advocates whose role is to provide insight and expertise in helping Savvas develop and deliver on culturally responsive learning through a holistic, research-based, and authentic approach. This diverse group of experts offers a wide range of viewpoints and knowledge on a variety of culturally responsive topics.
is an assistant professor of literacy, reading, and bi/multilingual education at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former ESL, Spanish, and ethnic studies public high school teacher in Calif. and Mass.
is Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the original author on culturally responsive education and currently writes about culturally relevant pedagogy and critical race theory.
is an award-winning literacy education scholar and the author of two core Savvas programs, myView Literacy and myPerspectives English Language Arts.
is an LGBTQ+ family advocate and consultant, journalist, and children’s book author. She also has 28 years of educational publishing experience.
is an assistant professor of sociolinguistics and ESL education at Rowan University. She is also a former New York City ELA teacher.
Cati V. de los Ríos, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of literacy, reading, and bi/multilingual education in the Graduate School of Education at University of California, Berkeley. She holds a doctorate in English education from Teachers College, Columbia University. A former ESL, Spanish, and ethnic studies public high school teacher in California and Massachusetts, her research interests include Latinx bi/multilingual adolescent literacies, translanguaging (the use of different languages together), critical digital literacies, and youth community engagement. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation. Dr. de los Ríos is the recipient of several awards from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), including the 2018 Promising Researcher Award, and with her co-author Dr. Kate Selzer, she co-received the 2018 Alan C. Purves Award and the 2019 Janet Emig Award. Her latest research can be found in Reading Research Quarterly, Harvard Educational Review, Research in the Teaching of English, and Journal of Literacy Research.
Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D. is professor emerita and former Kellner Family Distinguished Chair of Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the current president of the National Academy of Education and former president of the American Educational Research Association (2005-2006). She is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Ladson-Billings researches and writes about a concept she developed known as "culturally relevant pedagogy" and examines critical race theory applications to education.
Ernest Morrell, Ph.D. is the author of two core Savvas programs, myView Literacy and myPerspectives English Language Arts. He is the Coyle Professor of Literacy Education, Director of the Center for Literacy Education, and a professor in the Africana Studies and English departments at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Morrell also heads the James R. Squire Office of Policy Research in the English Language Arts at Notre Dame’s Center on Literacy Education, which focuses on creating studies of the profession that advance knowledge and inform policy. He was the Macy Professor of English Education and former Director of Teachers College’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME), Columbia University; a class of 2014 fellow of the American Educational Research Association; and the past-president of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Dr. Morrell received recognition for one being one of the top 100 university-based education scholars in the 2020 and 2016 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Ranking. He was also the recipient of the Adolescent Literacy Thought Leader Award/ILA 2020, Council of English Leadership 2019 Kent Williamson Exemplary Leadership Award, the NCTE 2019 Distinguished Service Award, and most recently, nominated to be on the Library of Congress Advisory board for their literacy awards.
Theresa Santos-Volpe (she/her/hers) is an LGBTQ+ family advocate and consultant, journalist, children’s book author, and one part of a two-mom family who is raising three children with her wife, Mercedes. Ms. Santos-Volpe was instrumental in the fight for marriage equality in Illinois. She and Mercedes were plaintiffs in the LAMBDA Legal lawsuit against the State of Illinois and testified before the Illinois Senate in support of the Illinois Marriage Equality Bill. In recognition of their efforts, she and Mercedes were the first same-sex couple to be married in Illinois.
Ms. Santos-Volpe is a consultant for the Chicago Children’s Museum’s LGBTQ+ Access and Inclusion Task Force and conducts staff training for companies on methods for being LGBTQ+ friendly and aware in the workplace. Co-founder of BrainWorx Studio, Inc., an educational publishing development company, she has 28 years of educational publishing experience. She collaborated with Illinois Equality to strategize lobbying in support of the Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Bill requiring LGBTQ+ history to be taught in Illinois schools. In partnership with the Legacy Project and the Illinois Advisory Council on Curriculum Inclusion, Ms. Santos-Volpe is working to provide LGBTQ+ inclusive learning resources for Illinois teachers. She also advises educational publishers about LGBTQIA content included in products.
Ms. Santos-Volpe has served on LGBTQIA-centered committees for Lambda Legal, the Center on Halsted, the Family Equality Council, and One Million Kids for Equality. She drew on her publishing experience to found ProudYouth.com, an online publication created to elevate the voices of LGBTQIA youth and allied youth. As a participant in The National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity), she continues to learn how to listen to all voices within communities. Ms. Santos-Volpe believes no child's voice should ever be silenced simply for being their true self. By advocating to uplift the voices of LGBTQ+ youth, her hope is for all children to be heard, listened to, and respected.
Kate Seltzer, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of bilingual and ESL education at Rowan University, where her research focuses on working with schools and teachers to build on their students’ rich language practices while disrupting their own ideologies about these students and their ways of using language. A former high school English Language Arts teacher in New York City, Dr. Seltzer currently teaches pre- and in-service teachers of bilingual students. She is co-author of the book The Translanguaging Classroom: Leveraging Student Bilingualism for Learning as well as several book chapters and articles in journals such as English Education, Research in the Teaching of English, and TESOL Quarterly.