Laura Klenk is an Associate Professor in the department of Elementary Education & Reading at Buffalo State College where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in reading, writing, children's literature, literacy assessment, and play. She has also taught children in elementary and special education classes, including three years in a two-room school in rural Wyoming, where she taught children from grades 4 - 8 in one class.
Dr. Klenk received her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary and special education from Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD) and her Master of Arts in Curriculum from the University of Wyoming (Laramie). She earned a doctorate in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). Her dissertation study of young literacy learners in a self-contained special education classroom was recognized by the Rackham Graduate School with a Distinguished Dissertation Award. She also received the Outstanding Dissertation Award for Curriculum from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Her research interests focus on the intersection of play and the development of literacy, and on the role of elementary school principals in supporting play in early childhood classrooms. She is a member of the International Literacy Association, the U.S. Play Coalition, and is active in the annual Conference on the Value of Play at Clemson University.
Dr. Klenk lives in Buffalo, NY where she is actively involved in her church and neighborhood. Sharing her home is a miniature white Schnauzer, Eddie Victor Valiant (aka "The Beastie Boy”).