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UCS literacy coach to lead statewide reading association
UCS literacy coach to lead statewide reading association
Posted on 07/19/2021
Mrs Erfourth Head ShotJill Erfourth can trace her love of reading to her days as a student at Flickinger Elementary.
And now, she will carry the passion for literacy nurtured in her UCS elementary years to impact Michigan’s 1.4 million students as president of the Michigan Reading Association (MRA) – a statewide professional organization of educators. 
“The ability to read, write and communicate connects people to one another. Books can be mirrors, windows, and doors building empathy and community. There is power in story,” Erfourth said. “Stories inspire agency and activism, help us celebrate, respect and value what makes us each unique while highlighting commonalities we share as humans.”
Erfourth was elected MRA vice president in 2019 and has moved into the top role this year. 
“As president I plan to carry out our mission of empowering Michigan students and educators through literacy while expanding our organizational strategic plan to support equity in literacy and book access for all students,” she said. 
Her focus will be to expand community partnership and give educators more opportunities for professional growth through webinars and networking sessions. 
“I want to include more voices from educators’ classrooms across the state so they can share their knowledge, expertise and literacy practices,” she said. 
Erfourth has been with UCS for more than 20 years, serving as an elementary administrative intern,  elementary teacher and, for the past two years, a literacy coach in UCS. 
She is co-author of Interacting With Informational Text for Close and Critical Reading, a framework for educators which includes lessons to engage students and guide them to read text critically to build comprehension.
She also serves as the district’s Literacy Ambassador for Macomb County. 
For Erfourth, her professional accomplishments and advocacy for reading are the direct result of teachers who her inspired her in Utica Community Schools classrooms. 
“I remember the Research Center teacher, Dr. Lohr, who would read books and share the love of reading. I enjoyed science with my 5th and 6th grade teacher Mr. Dave Bruha, who ignited my curiosity and love for learning,” she said. “I have since become a lifelong learner and reading is a gateway to discovering the world.”