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Cynthia Dawn Martelli, Ed.D. - Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, FL, US

Cynthia Dawn Martelli, Ed.D. Cynthia Dawn Martelli, Ed.D.

Expert in children's literature | Florida Gulf Coast University


Cynthia Dawn Martelli specializes in young adult literature and children's literature.





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Cynthia Dawn Martelli is an assistant professor of reading in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Culture at Florida Gulf Coast University. Her research focuses around crucial issues surrounding the position of children’s and young adult literature in teacher preparation programs.

Professor Martelli is also the founder and director of the FGCU COE Literacy Festival.

Areas of Expertise (5)

FGCU Literacy Festival

Young Adult Literature

Children's Literature

Reading and Writing Workshop


Education (3)

Baylor University: Ed.D., Curriculum and Instruction and Literacy 1997

Baylor University: M.A., Education in Curriculum and Instruction, Curriculum and Instruction in Literacy 1994

Baylor University: B.S.Ed., Education and Reading 1993

Affiliations (5)

  • Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) : State Representative
  • International Literacy Association (ILA) : Member
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) : Member
  • Children’s Literature Assembly (CLA) : Member
  • Florida Reading Association (FRA) : Member

Selected Media Appearances (1)

Help Wanted: Teaching positions vacant as school year begins

ABC7  tv


Martelli: "We are seeing a need for teacher growth."

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Selected Event Appearances (7)

Textbook readings in higher education: Utilizing Beers' and Probst' BHH framework to engage preservice teachers in critical thinking to reflect, make connections, and challenge their thinking

American Reading Forum (ARF)  Sanibel, FL. Dec 2018

Opportunities for children in low socio-economic communities to become exposed to books from authors of quality (or authentic) multicultural children’s literature

American Reading Forum (ARF)  Sanibel, FL. Dec 2018

Strengthening the teacher workforce in Southwest Florida through rural P-12 districts and IHE collaboration

Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities  Charleston, SC. Oct 2018

A literacy festival and its impact on Title I school partners

National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS)  Jacksonville, FL. March 2018

Faculty, Students, and Administrators Working Together to Solve the CAEP Psychometric and Evaluation Challenge through a Novel Rubric Approach

Eastern Educational Education Association (EERA)  Clearwater, FL., Feb 2018

Solving the Rubric Conundrum: High Ratings and Accountability for Almost All Graduates vs. Actionable Data and Continuous Improvement for CAEP (and Others)

Eastern Educational Education Association (EERA)  Clearwater, FL., Feb 2018

Measuring Teacher Dispositions Systematically Using Multiple Measures

Eastern Educational Education Association (EERA)  Clearwater, FL., Feb 2018

Selected Articles (4)

A university literacy festival and its impact on teacher candidates, authors, and teachers and students from Title I schools

Journal of Literacy Innovation

Martelli, C. D. & Johnston, V.

2018 This article will describe how a university literacy festival connects children and young adult authors with students from Title I schools. A College of Education (COE) Literacy Festival invites a variety of diverse authors to interact with students from Title I schools in workshops engaging them in discussion of their literary craft. COE teacher candidates conduct read-aloud with hands-on literacy activities for students throughout the event. This article will focus on how a university literacy festival was implemented and the impact it has on COE teacher candidates, authors, and teachers and students from Title I schools.

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Implementing a reader’s workshop in a first-grade classroom

Journal of Literacy Innovation

Susan Fialko, Cynthia Dawn Martelli

2017 Follow one teacher as she implements a Reader’s Workshop in her first-grade classroom. Through a Reader’s Workshop, students have choice in what they read and what they write, engaging and motivating them to continue to read and write in and out of the classroom. Students will learn the necessary skills they need to read, understand and analyze text in a variety of settings. A Reader’s Workshop will also provide the first-grade classroom a safe, risk-free environment to create a community of readers and learners that supports the growth of all students

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Critical Literacy in Inquiry Learning

Fantasy Literature

Cynthia Dawn Martelli Vickie Johnston

2016 Near the end of the school year, the atmosphere of my eighth grade language arts class shifted from excitement of the long-awaited summer break ahead to jitters and nerves as thoughts of entering high school loomed just beyond. My students shifted nervously in their seats as questions buzzed around the room: “What if I get lost?” “What if I can’t make friends?” “What if everyone thinks I am a nerd?” I sat in awe staring at my students realizing their questions were not centered on the academics of high school; they were genuinely worried about not being accepted by their peers.

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Reading and Writing Workshop: Implementing Nancie Atwell’s Model in an Eighth-grade Classroom

The Florida Reading Journal

Cynthia Dawn Martelli

2016 My journey to the reading and writing workshops came from a feeling that I was missing something big in my teaching. I was teaching from the book, dragging students through reading, writing, vocabulary, and spelling lessons. I could see the lack of engagement from my students, and I knew the frustration I was experiencing. After reading In the Middle and attending a presentation by Nancie Atwell, I incorporated the reading and writing workshops allowing student choice in text selection and writing topics. My classroom transformed into a community of readers and authors eagerly and passionately sharing novels and stories. But most importantly, the reading and writing workshops shaped and refined my teaching on what my students need to become life-long readers and authors.

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