NIU’s College of Education Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic provides reading support for K-12 students, high quality practicum experiences for candidates who are pursuing graduate studies in reading, and continuing education and professional development opportunities for reading specialists. Established over 60 years ago, the JLJ Literacy Clinic supports courses leading to the reading teacher endorsement and the Type 10, K-12 Reading Specialist Certification through the Illinois State Board of Education.

Brief History

The founder of the Johns Literacy Clinic was Eugene B. Grant who served as director for 15 years until his retirement in 1973. Dr. Grant passed away in 1988. Subsequent directors included Jane L. Davidson, James H. Moss, Earl Hanson, Thomas E. Wheat, Jerry L. Johns and Laurie Elish-Piper.

About Our Name - The Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic

Jerry L. Johns, Ph.D.

Jerry L. Johns has been recognized as a distinguished teacher, writer, outstanding teacher educator, and popular professional development speaker for schools, school districts, and conferences. He completed his B.A. at Oakland University with special honors and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Michigan State University. Dr. Johns had a long, distinguished career at Northern Illinois University and maintains a close connection with the Literacy Clinic. He was also a Visiting Professor at Western Washington University and the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

Dr. Johns has been elected to leadership positions at the local, state, national, and international levels. He has been president of the International Reading Association, the Illinois Reading Council (IRC), the Northern Illinois Reading Council, and the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER). He also served on the Board of Directors for each of these professional organizations. In addition, Dr. Johns has served on numerous committees of the International Reading Association and other professional organizations. His more than 700 presentations and professional development sessions involved travel throughout a majority of the states and 13 countries.

Dr. Johns has authored or coauthored nearly 300 articles, monographs, and research studies as well as numerous professional books published by Kendall Hunt.

Dr. Johns currently serves on the editorial advisory boards for Reading Psychology and the Illinois Reading Council Journal. He is also the Senior Reading Consultant for three levels of Vocabulary Workshop published by William H. Sadlier.

Dr. Johns has been the recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to various professional and civic organizations. The Illinois Reading Council honored him with induction into the Reading Hall of Fame. Other recognitions include the Alpha Delta Literacy Award for Scholarship, Leadership, and Service to Adult Learners and the A.B. Herr Award for outstanding contributions to the field of reading. He also received the Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award presented by the International Reading Association, the Champion for Children Award presented by the HOSTS Corporation, and the Laureate Award from the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers for life-long contributions to the field of reading. In 2011, Altrusa International of DeKalb/Sycamore presented him with a literacy award for his many contributions to reading.