Now an international consultant, ReLeah Cossett Lent was a public school educator before becoming a founding member of a literacy initiative at the University of Central Florida. While there, she created protocols for and implemented professional leadership teams in schools and districts across Florida. Her work led to the publication of Literacy Learning Communities: A Guide for Creating Sustainable Change in Secondary Schools and is unique in that she combines deep literacy learning with embedded PLCs, leading to sustainable change in schools. She works long-term with districts to provide embedded, sustained professional learning as well as doing keynote addresses and multi-day workshops.
ReLeah has authored ten books on education and has been published in numerous journals, including Educational Leadership, the Journal of Staff Development, and NCTE’s English Journal as well as being a frequent speaker for these organizations. Her latest titles include This is Disciplinary Literacy: Reading, Writing, Thinking and Doing, Content Area by Content Area (Corwin, 2015), Common Core CPR: What about the Adolescents Who Struggle. . .or Just Don’t Care? (Corwin, 2013) and Overcoming Textbook Fatigue (ASCD, 2012). Additionally, her work with Jimmy Santiago Baca, award-winning poet and writer, led to a book and CD for reaching at-risk students, titled Adolescents on the Edge: Stories and Lessons to Transform Learning (2010).
As past chair of NCTE’s Standing Committee against Censorship, ReLeah has worked to create national anti-censorship policies, and her book on censorship, Keep Them Reading: An Anti-Censorship Guide for Educators, is influencing district policies around the country.
ReLeah is the recipient of both NCTE and ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Award, in addition to be honored at a gala in New York City after winning the PEN’s First Amendment Award in 1999. In 2013 she received state education awards from Wisconsin and Florida.
ReLeah now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia with her husband, Bert, two happy dogs (Sage and Sierra)—and any other animals who happen by.