Jody Polleck

Photo of Jody Polleck

Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Literacy

Associate Professor Dr. Jody Polleck is the program coordinator for literacy education at Hunter College in New York City. For the past 12 years, she has also served as a secondary literacy intervention teacher and literacy coach. Jody completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland-College Park, majoring in journalism and English with a minor in women’s studies. She began her work with urban adolescents in 1994 where she was an outreach counselor for runaway teenagers in Washington, D.C. In 1999, she received her Master’s at the University of South Florida in English education and worked as a high school reading and English teacher for struggling and reluctant students in a dropout prevention program. In 2002, she received National Board Certification for adolescent and young adulthood/English language arts. In 2003, Jody received a full-fellowship to New York University where she completed her doctoral degree in English education four years later. Her research focused on urban adolescent females of color and their experiences in student-led book clubs. Jody explored how these alternative, supplemental forums were effective in not only promoting literacy but social and emotional development as well. In addition to teaching and researching, Jody has trained teachers at the district, state, and national level and has developed several regional curriculum guides for reading, English, and social studies. Her current research agenda focuses on differentiated and culturally responsive literacy instruction. She has been published in 20 different books and journals including The High School Journal, Reading Horizons, ALAN Review, The English Journal, Reading and Writing Quarterly, and Teacher Education Quarterly.


B.A. 1996 University of Maryland
M.A. 1999 University of South Florida
Ph.D. 2007 New York University


SEDC 211/711: Advanced Study of Young Adult Literature in Our Diverse Society
EDLIT 740: Leadership in Literacy
EDLIT 742/752: Practicum in Literacy
EDLIT 745: Literacy Research for Change
EDLIT 755: Literacy Instruction for Struggling Readers and Writers
EDLIT 757: Practicum in Literacy Assessment and Intervention (Grades 5-12)


Jody’s research focus is with urban adolescents and culturally sustaining and differentiated literacy instruction across the content areas. Specifically, she has worked with urban adolescents and their experiences in student-led book and writing clubs, exploring how these alternative, supplemental forums are effective in not only promoting literacy skills but also social and emotional development. She is also looking at the complexities and intersections of race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality within these environments and how they can be used as places for empowerment, agency, and advocacy. Finally, Jody is currently conducting practitioner, action research, particularly with her work as an English teacher and a literacy intervention specialist and coach at the secondary level.


Tijms, J., Stoop, M. A., & Polleck, J. N. (2018). Bibliotherapeutic book club intervention to promote reading skills and social–emotional competencies in low SES community-based high schools: A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Research in Reading, 41(3), 525-545.

Polleck, J. & Espana, C. (2017). Revolutions and resistance: Creating space for adolescent agency and advocacy through a critical reading of Sonia Manzano’s The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. ALAN Review, 45(1), 44-56.

Polleck, J. & Jeffery, J. (2017). Common Core and its impact on standardized testing: A New York case study. The High School Journal, 101(1), 1-26.

Schieble, M. & Polleck, J. (2017). Addressing LGBTQ-themed texts and heteronormativity in English education. In H.L. Hallman (Ed.) Innovations in English Language Arts Education (pp. 165-183). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.


Fulbright Scholar Award 2018-2019 at the University of Amsterdam: “Bibliotherapeutic Book Clubs to Enhance Literacy and Social-Emotional Development for Urban Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder” ALER (Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers) 2017 Teacher Education Research Grant Award ($3000): “Creating and Sustaining Culturally Responsive Literacy Classrooms within Alternative Settings” Moving from Associate to Full Professor 2017 Award ($1000): “The Challenges and Risks within High Stakes Literacy Assessments” Faculty Innovations in Teaching and Technology, FITT 2012 Grant ($2000): “Using Hybrid Classes to Enhance Students’ Collaboration and Advocacy” PSC-CUNY 2011 Grant ($6000): “Differentiating Literacy Instruction in the Urban English High School Classroom” PSC-CUNY 2008 Grant ($6000): “Building Teacher Efficacy through Whole-school Literacy Professional Development with Urban Teachers” Diversity Projects Development Grant 2010 ($2000): “Differentiating Instruction and Curriculum for Diverse Urban Secondary Classrooms” Faculty Fellowship Publications Program Spring 2010 (3-credit course release)