Faculty and Staff Profiles

J. HELEN PERKINS
Professor, Instruction Curriculum Leadership
Email: jhperkns@memphis.edu
Office Location: 413d Ball Hall
Office Hours: Tuesdays - 10:00 - 1:00 & by appointment
Profile

J. Helen Perkins, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis.  She serves as the Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Memphis Literacy Academy (MLA). This is a collaboration between the university and Memphis City Schools; the academy's principal goal is to enhance the literacy of urban children by building capacity with the K – 5th grade teachers.  She also serves as the Co-PI of the Memphis Striving Readers’ Project, an academy for grades 6 – 8 (Memphis Content Literacy Academy).

She was recently appointed by The Board of Directors of the International Reading Association to the editorship of The Reading Teacher. Helen is the first African American to serve in this capacity for any of the IRA journals.

Prior to moving to the Memphis area, Helen was appointed by the governor of Texas to serve on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.  She also served as a trainer, master trainer, developer and writer for the Texas Reading Academies.

Helen’s research focus is in Urban Literacy.  She recently co-authored an article in the October 2005 issue of The Reading Teacher Journal titled “Evidence – based Literacy Education and the African American Child.”  She has published several articles, chapters in books, and a children’s book. She also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Balanced Reading Instruction, a special interest journal of the International Reading Association.

Helen is Director of the Clinical Division in the College Reading Association. She represents her department by serving as a member of the University Council for Graduate Studies and Research.  She also serves the students as an advisor to the International Reading Association Student Organization.

She serves as a National Literacy Consultant on various projects such as the Reading First Teacher Education Network (RFTEN); this is a federal project with Historically Black Colleges & Universities, HBCU’s.  Helen is an international, national, and local speaker.

 

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Additional Information

Class Resources

International Reading Association

Memphis Striving Readers/Memphis Content Literacy Project

     

Honors/Awards
  • Board Chair - Porter Leath, Non-Profit - 2014 - 2015
  • President - Association of Literacy Educators and Researcher, International - 2014 - 2015
  • City Visionary: Dr. J. Helen Perkins - Higher Ground News, Memphis, TN. - 2015
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Award - University of Memphis - 2015
  • "The Literacy Coach" Article - University of Memphis Magazine Fall - 2015
  • Chalkbeat Invited Panelist - Chalkbeat Tenneessee - 2016
  • The "Eye of the Tiger" Award - University of Memphis - 2016
  • Al Mazurkiewicz Service Award - Association of Literacy Educators & Researchers - 2017
  • Faculty Excellence Award Service - COE/ICL - 2017 - 2018
  • College of Education, Health & Aviation Hall of Fame - Oklahoma State University - 2018
  • Laureate Award - Association of Literacy Educators & Researchers - 2020
  • Board of Directors Member-at-Large - International Literacy Association - 2020 - 2023

Creative Activities

  • Casey's Lamb (Children's Book) - 2004 - Barrington, IL - Rigby Publishing Company
  • Memphis Content Literacy Academy Innovation Configuration Map - 2008 - 2009 - University of Memphis/Memphis City Schools - Memphis Striving Readers Grant/DOE
  • "Impressions From the Middle: Content Literacy Strategies for Improving Student Achievent" - 2010 - 2012 - University of Memphis - Department of Education
  • Perkins, J. H. (Common Core Consulting Author) et. al. (2014).  Tennessee’s journey’s common core. Basal Reading Series, Grades K – 6. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. - 2014 - Orlando, FL. - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Support

  • Memphis Literacy Academy (PI, 100%) - Memphis City Schools - $223,000 - 2006 - 2007
  • Memphis Striving Readers (Co-PI, 50%) - U.S. Department of Education - $16.1 Million - 2007 - 2008
  • Memphis Literacy Academy (PI, 100%) - Memphis City Schools - $224,000 - 2007 - 2008
  • Memphis Striving Readers (PI - 100%) - U.S. Department of Education - $16.1 Million - 2008 - 2011
  • Improving Teacher Quality,( PI) - Tennesee Higher Education Commission (THEC) - $58,371 - January - December, 2014
  • University of Memphis Literacy Leadership & Coaching Certificate Cohort (Co-PI- 50%) - Shelby County Schools - $95,546.00 - June - December 2016
Books Published
  • Perkins, J.H., Cook, C.D. and Wright, C.D. (2020), "Social, Emotional and Cultural Learning in Literacy." Ortlieb, E., Grote-Garcia, S., Cassidy, J. and Cheek, E.H. (Ed.) What’s Hot in Literacy: Exemplar Models of Effective Practice (Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, Vol. 11). Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 131-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2048-045820200000011011
Journal Articles
  • Perkins, J. H. (2001). Listen to their voices: Effective reading instruction for fourth grade, Reading Horizon. 41 (4), 239 - 255.  

  • Diffily, D., & Perkins, H. (2002). Preparing to teach in urban schools: Advice from urban teachers. Teacher Education & Practice, 15, 57 - 73.             
  • Perkins, J. H., & Haywood, J. F. (2003). Smart talk: Improving children's oral language. Texas Child Care, (27) 1, 38 - 42.         
  • Perkins, J. H. (2003). Talk is cheap, but oh, so important. Early Years, 25 (1), 4 - 5.        
  • Perkins, J. H., & Cooter, R.B. (2005). Evidence-based literacy education and the African American child. The Reading Teacher, 59(2), 194 - 198.   
  • Perkins, J. H., Powell, A., & Key, S. (2006). The power of vocabulary knowledge: Social studies, science, and math. Tennessee's Children: Journal of the Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children, (1), 25 - 30.    
  • Perkins, J. H. (Spring, 2007).  Master reading teachers taking the lead in literacy education.  The State of Reading Online Journal.  Texas State Reading Association. http://www.tsra.us/state_of_reading.shtml  
  • Cooter, R.B., & Perkins, J.H. (2007). Looking to the future with the reading teacher: 900 year-old sheep, and papa na come! The Reading Teacher, 61 (1), 4 - 7.       
  • Perkins, J. H., & Cooter, K. (2013). An investigation of the efficacy of one urban literacy academy program: Enhancing teacher capacity through professional development.  Reading Horizons, 52,2, 181 - 209.   
  • Davis, D., & Perkins, J. H. (2015). Literacy Practices in the Homes of African American Families and the Perceived Affects on the Language and Literacy Development of their Children. The Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Yearbook, 37, 73 – 88. Double Peer Reviewed.
  • Perkins, J. H. (Invited Guest Author, 2015, May 31). Early language development nurtured at home. The Commercial Appeal, pp. 4V.
  • Perkins, J. H. (2016). Examining the Research of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Through the Lens of Social Justice. Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Yearbook, 38, 3-10.
  • Hunter, W., Elswick, S., Perkins, J. H., Heroux, J.R., & Harte, H. (2017). Literacy workshops: School social workers enhancing educational connections between educators, early childhood students, and families. Children and Schools 39 (3), 167-176.
Presentations
  • Perkins, J. H. (1989 – 1997). Literacy. Dallas Reading Academy Staff Development  Dallas School Teachers & Administrators. Dallas, TX.

  • Perkins, J. H. (1989 – 1997). Various Reading Topics. PTA Presentations. Presented  strategies for parents to assist their children at home. DeSoto, TX. 
  • *Briggs, C., & Perkins, J. H. (1991). Using Multicultural Literature: An Open Window to New Worlds. Southwestern Reading Conference, Oklahoma City, OK.

  • Perkins, J. H. (1994 – 1995). Reading Recovery. Presentations for Parents & Teachers. DeSoto, TX.

  • Perkins, J. H. (1995). Alternatives to Worksheets & “Multicultural.  Teacher In- Service, Elementary Teachers & Jr. High Teachers. DeSoto, TX.   

  • Perkins, J. H. ( April, 1995). Reading Recovery.  Lecture, Via Telenet, Emporia State University, Kansas, Pre-Service Teachers. 
  •  *Perkins, J. H. (Feb. 2000). A Perfect Match: Selecting and Introducing Books.  Kansas State Reading Recovery Conference, Emporia, KS.    

  • *Perkins, J. H. (Feb. 2001). Effective Scaffolding: A Vehicle to Students’ Literacy  Acceleration.  Kansas State Reading Recovery Conference, Emporia, KS.  
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Sept. 2001). Moving Forward: Scaffolding Children’s Oral Language Development. Houston Area Association for Education of Young Children. Houston, TX.  
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Oct. 2001). African American Students on the Path to Literacy. The National Black Child Development Institute Conference. Miami Beach, FL.

  • Perkins, J. H. (Nov. 2001). Literacy at Home: Parents as Partners. Even Start Literacy  Program, Cedar Hill ISD. Cedar Hill, TX.   
  • *Cooter, R., Cooter, K., & Perkins, J. H. (April, 2002). Systemic Problems Plague Inner City Readers: Research-Proven Solutions. Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Reading Conference, Corpus Christi, TX.
  • Perkins, J. H. (Oct. 2002). Texas Primary Reading Inventory and Instruction. University of Texas in Arlington, Arlington, TX.   
  • *Perkins, J. H., & Perkins, C.  (Oct. 2002). The Power of Language: Its Acquisition, Development and Enhancement. The National Black Child Development Institute Conference, Atlanta, GA.   
  • Perkins, J. H. (Oct. 2002). Expanding Literacy and Content Learning Through Engaging Activities. Dallas Public Schools’ Health Teachers. Dallas, TX.  
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Oct. 2002). Negotiating Syllabi: Modeling Student-Centered Practices in Teacher Education Courses, 46th Annual College Reading Association Conference, Corpus Christi, TX.

  • *Perkins, J. H.  (Feb. 2003) The Power of Language: Its Acquisition, Development and Enhancement. Kansas Regional Reading Recovery Conference (invited), Emporia, KS.  
  • *Perkins, J. H., & Perkins, C. D. (April, 2003). The Power of Language: Its Acquisition,  Development and Enhancement. Texas A & M University Corpus Christi Reading Conference, Corpus, TX.   
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Oct. 2003). Unlocking the Comprehension Door: Strategies for Enhancing Literacy Skills. National Black Child Development Institute Conference. New Orleans, LA.  
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Nov. 2003). Preparing to Teach in Urban Schools: Advice from Urban  Teachers .College Reading Association. Corpus Christi, TX.  
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Feb. 2004). Vocabulary: Its Acquisition, Development, and Enhancement. National Reading Recovery & Early Literacy Conference. Columbus, OH.   
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Sept. 2004). Writing to Succeed: Strategies to Develop and Enhance Writing Skills. National Black Child Development Institute Conference. Los Angeles, CA.   
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Jan. 2005). Integrating SBRR into Course Content. Reading First Teacher Education Network, Winter Collaborative Development Seminar, Austin, TX.   
  • Perkins, J. H. (Mar. 2005). Literacy Initiative Updates.  Training & Learning Academy, "Focus on Literacy Leadership, Instructional Facilitators' Training. Memphis, TN.  
  • Perkins, J. H. (Apr. 2005). African American Students on the Path to Literacy: From Theory to Application. Memphis Literacy Academy/Principals' Fellowship. Memphis, TN. 
  • *Perkins, J. H. (July 2005). Memphis City Schools and The University of Memphis: Collaborating to Empower Teachers.  Reading First Teacher Education Network Summer Collaborative Development Seminar. Austin, TX.  
  • *Perkins, J. H., Key, S., & Powell, A. (Oct. 2005). The Power fo Language: Its Acquisition, Development, and Enhancement in the Content Areas.  Tennessee Association for Childhood Education International Fall Conference. University of Memphis.   
  • *Perkins, J. H., Cooter, R. B., & Cooter, K. (Nov. 2005). Connecting Urban Literacy Academies and Reading Clinics as Research Laboratories.  College Reading Association Conference, Savannah, GA.   
  • Perkins, J. H. (Dec., 2005). Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Become Better Readers.  Getwell Elementary No Child Left Behind Night (Parents). Memphis, TN.   
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Jan. 2006). First Grade Teacher Reading Academy. Reading First Teacher Education Network (RFTEN) Winter Collaborative Development Seminar. Washington, DC.   
  • *Perkins, J. H. (March 2006). (Keynote) The 900 Year Old Sheep. West Tennessee Reading Association Winter Conference. Memphis, TN.    
  • Perkins, J. H., & Cooter, R. (April, 2006).  The Academy Training Model as a Vehicle for Externally Funded Projects.  Office of Faculty Development.  University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.     
  • *Perkins, J. H. (April, 2006). Meaningful Partnerships: Families, Caregivers, and Educators Working Together.  Memphis Association for the Education of Young Children Spring Conference. University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.   
  • *Perkins, J. H. (April, 2006).  Meaningful Partnerships: Families, Caregivers, and Educators Working Together.  Reading First Teacher Education Network Spring Collaborative Development Seminar. Austin, TX.   
  • *Perkins, J. H. (Oct. 2006). (Keynote). Using Scientifically-Based Reading Research (SBRR) to Teach Reading.  Stillman's Division of Education Reading Conference.  Tuscaloosa, AL.   
  •  Perkins, J. H. (Jan.2007).  Urban Literacy: Making a Difference in our Schools.  Friends of the Library.  Memphis, TN.  
  • Perkins, J. H., & Cooter, R. (March, 2007). Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation's Schools.  New Teacher Center.  Memphis. TN.   
  • *Perkins, J. H., & Perkins, C. D. (April 2007). Writing to Succeed: Strategies to Develop and Enhance Writing Skills.  Memphis Association for the Education of the Young Child. University of Memphis, Memphis, TN. 
  • *Perkins, J. H. et al. (May 2007).  The Changing Faces of Clinical:  Practicum and Research.  International Reading Association.  Toronto, Canada.  
  • *Perkins, J. H. (July 2007). Cobblestones Needed to Pave the Way Toward Enhanced Literacy Acquisition: Examining Effective Content Area Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Grades. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor's Academy. University of Illinois, Champaign, IL.  
  • *Perkins, J. H. (July 2007). Integrating Scientific Based Reading Research into the Syllabus.  National Reading First Higher Education Consortium. St. Louis, MO. 
  • * Perkins, J. H., & Cooter, R. (Nov. 2007). Writing for Publication in The Reading Teacher: Tips from the Editors. College Reading Association Conference. Salt Lake, Utah.  
  •  *Perkins, J. H., Cooter, R., Cooter, K., Potts, R., & Heeren, E. (Nov. 2007). The Memphis Content Literacy Academy: New Directions for Adolescent Literacy. National Council of Teachers of English.  New York, NY. 
  • *Perkins, J. H. et. al. ( Nov. 2007).  Urban Education: Pre K - 12, Community & Teacher Education Efforts. National Reading Conference. Austin, TX.

  • *Perkins, et al. (May 2008). Hot Tips: Writing for The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, & Reading Research Quarterly.  International Reading Association Conference.  Atlanta, GA.   
  •  Perkins, J. H. (December 2009). Smart Talk: Nurturing Oral Language and Oral Language Development Acquisition.  Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association. Memphis, TN.      
  • * Fain, J. G., Perkins, J. H. et. al. (December 2009). Shattering the Looking Glass of Diversity in the Past: Editors Grappling with the Future. National Reading Conference. Albuquerque, NM.     
  •  *Perkins, J. H. (July. 2010). Engaging the Cognitive Ability of ALL Children of Poverty. 23rd International Reading Association World Congress on Reading. Auckland, NZ.   
  •  Perkins, J. H. (August, 2010).  Maximizing the Cognitive Engagement of All Learners. Egypt Elementary School. Memphis, TN. 
  • Perkins, J. H. (November, 2010). Education Makes the Difference. Central High School Honor Students. Memphis, TN. 
  •  Perkins, J. H. (February, 2011). Urban Literacy/Education. Douglas High School Honor Students. Memphis, TN.  
  •  Perkins, J. H. (April, 2011). Teachers Make A Difference. Kappa Delta Pi Lambda Gamma Chapter Initiation.  University of Memphis. Memphis, TN. 
  • *Perkins, J. H. (April, 2011).  Literacy: Impacting the Coummunity. National Association of Junior Auxiliaries Annual Education Conference. Memphis, TN.   
  • Perkins, J. H. (August, 2011 - Keynote Speaker). Nurturing Oral Language Development, Literacy Acquisition & Enhancment. Shelby County Government Early Headstart, PreK-Staff, Delegates & Community Partners Annual Pre-Service Training. Memphis, TN.  
  •  *Perkins, J. H., Cook, C. D., & Malone, S. (Dec. 2011). Science and Literacy: A Marriage That Works. Tennessee Reading Association Conference. Murfreesboro, TN. 
  • Perkins,J. H., Walker-Dalhouse, D., & Briggs, C. (Nov. 2014). Effective Reading Strategies Implemented by Teachers of Children Living in Poverty. Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Conference. DelRay Beach, FL.
  • Perkins, J. H. (August 2015). Leverage and Cultivating Leaders: Literacy. Bartlett City Schools Administrators. Bartlett, TN.
  • Perkins, J. H. (Featured Speaker, September 2015). Literacy and Language Development in the Early Years: Best Practices for Enhancing Oral Language. Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children Conference (TAEYC). Memphis, TN.
  • Perkins, J. H. (October, 2015). Literacy and Language Development in the Early Years: Best Practices for Enhancing Oral Language. LeBonheur LEAD, Le Bonheur Early Intervention and Development .
  • Perkins, J. H. (November, 2015). Literacy and Language Development in the Early Years: Best Practices for Enhancing Oral Language. Hope House Educators, University of Memphis.
  • Perkins, J. H. (Presidential Address, November 2015). Examining the Research of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Through the Lens of Social Justice. Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers. Costa Mesa, Calif.
  • Perkins, J. H., Knowlton, L., Cook, C., & Harris, R. (Dec. 2017). Effective Literacy Strategies & Methods Implemented by Teachers of Children Living in Poverty. Tennessee Reading Association Conference, Murfreesboro, TN.
  • Taylor, S., Perkins, J. H. & Reeves, K. (February 2018). What do American, Japanese, & Taiwanese Children Say About Clean-Up Time? Ethnographic & Qualitative Research Conference. Las Vegas, NV.
  • Reeves, K. & Perkins, J. H. (February 2018). Pre-service Teachers' Perception of Technology in Japan & the U.S. Ethnographic & Qualitative Research Conference. Las Vegas, NV.
  • Bean, R., Kern, D., Perkins, J. H. & et al. (July 2018). Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals: Meet the Writers. International Literacy Association Conference. Austin, TX.
  • Perkins, J. H. (Nov. 2018). Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals. Arkansas Literacy Association Conference. Little Rock, AK.
  • Cook, C. & Perkins, J.H. (Nov. 2018). Bridging School & Community Literacy Strategies to Support Language Acquisition. Association Literacy Educators & Researchers Conference. Louisville, KY.
  • Reeves, K., Perkins, J. H. & Taylor, S. (February 2019). What do American, Japanese, and Swedish Teachers Say about Children's and Adults' Play. Ethnographic & Qualitative Research Conference. Las Vegas, NV.
  • Perkins, J. H. (October 2020). Social, Emotional & Cultural Learning in Literacy. Montana State Literacy Conference. Virtual, Montana.
  • Perkins, J.H. (June 2021).(Keynote). What Matters: Promising Practices in Early Language & Literacy Enhancement. 2021 Governor's Summit on Early Language & Literacy. Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language & Literacy. Milledgeville, GA.

Appendix A - Teaching Experience

  • RDNG 4240 - Literacy in Grades K - 4
  • RDNG 4240 - Literacy Grades in K - 4
  • LITL 7560 - Online - Literacy Leader and Coach