Dr. Gary Wellbrock is an early elementary educator at a dual-language (American Sign Language and English) school in New York City. He teaches deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing children from diverse backgrounds. He holds a master's degree from Columbia University Teachers College and later became a licensed reading specialist due, in part, to his work with the Hello Friend Foundation. Gary earned his doctoral degree from the Language, Literacy and Learning program at Fordham University.

Articles by Gary

Confronting Creepy Crawlies and Implicit Bias

Dealing with outbreaks of lice or bedbugs in the classroom presents a prime opportunity for elementary school educators to examine implicit bias.

Inviting Arts and Literacy Into the Classroom

This first-grade teacher invites Broadway stars to his classroom to build students’ literacy skills in a fun and exciting way.

Helping Hunter Spanjer Keep His Name

Grand Island Public School District (GIPS) in Nebraska wanted 3-year-old Hunter Spanjer to change his name because they said it violated the school's weapons policy. I am outraged. But more than that, I realize that students like Hunter need advocates.

New Literacies Bring Sign Language to eBooks

A new literacy landscape has emerged that is whispering farewell to the clothbound books of my childhood. Classrooms today are moving away from traditional print-based texts to incorporate digital media, often referred to as “new literacies.” Elementary school classrooms now come equipped with Smart Boards, computers and even iPads.

Families Come in All Shapes and Sizes

A school district in the midwestern town of Erie, Ill. found Todd Parr’s award-winning children’s book objectionable because it included references to gay and lesbian families. The school board gave in to pressure from a small group of outspoken parents and decided to remove The Family Book, written and illustrated by Parr, from their elementary school’s social and emotional development curriculum. According to school district Superintendent Brad Cox, the concerned parents took issue with the fact that "the book references families with two mommies or two daddies."
A map of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi with overlaid images of key state symbols and of people in community

Learning for Justice in the South

When it comes to investing in racial justice in education, we believe that the South is the best place to start. If you’re an educator, parent or caregiver, or community member living and working in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or Mississippi, we’ll mail you a free introductory package of our resources when you join our community and subscribe to our magazine.

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