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The Sewist

Dr. Reka Barton is a passionate educator and craftivist with over a decade of experience in literacy education, dual language instruction, and teacher training. Founder of The Scholarly Sewist, an innovative brand that merges academia and creativity to empower women of color. Extensive background in curriculum development, professional development facilitation, and educational research, with a commitment to promoting equity and culturally responsive teaching practices.


PhD in Education
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Dissertation: "Black Girl Multilingual Magic"

Master of Teaching
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Bachelor of Psychology
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Professional Experience

Founder & Director
The Scholarly Sewist, San Diego, CA

  • Develop and lead a multimodal brand that integrates craftivism and education to support women of color.
  • Create and distribute educational resources focused on literacy, dual language education, and equity.
  • Host of "Scholarly Sips & Tips" celebrating and highlighting the work of women of color in academia and beyond.
  • Design and facilitate sewing tutorials, promoting creativity and mental well-being through craft.

District Literacy Leader
Alexandria Public Schools, Alexandria, VA

  • Lead district-wide literacy initiatives, focusing on improving reading outcomes for diverse student populations.
  • Provided professional development and coaching for teachers on best practices in literacy instruction.
  • Developed and implemented culturally responsive curriculum and assessment tools.

Biliteracy Curriculum Writer
San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, CA

  • Authored and revised curriculum materials for dual language programs.
  • Collaborated with educators to design lessons that support bilingualism and biliteracy.
  • Conducted workshops and training sessions for teachers on dual language education.

Professional Development Facilitator
Various School Districts

  • Design and deliver professional development sessions on topics including literacy strategies, dual language instruction, and equity in education.
  • Support teachers in implementing new instructional practices through coaching and mentoring.
  • Present at national and international conferences, sharing research and best practices in education.

Adjunct Professor
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

  • Taught graduate-level courses in teacher education, focusing on literacy and language development.
  • Supervised student teachers, providing feedback and guidance on their instructional practices.

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

  • Barton, R. (2022). "Black Girl Multilingual Magic: Exploring Identity and Language Use in Education." Journal of Multilingual Education.
  • Barton, R. (2021). "Equity in Dual Language Programs: Challenges and Strategies." Bilingual Research Journal.

Conference Presentations

  • "Visual-Based Literacy Pedagogy: A Culturally Responsive Approach." Presented at La Cosecha Conference, 2023.
  • "Promoting Biliteracy in Diverse Classrooms." Presented at CABE Conference, 2022.
  • "Craftivism in Education: Using Creative Practices to Foster Equity." Presented at the International Literacy Association Conference, 2021.

Awards & Honors

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Alexandria Public Schools, 2019
  • Emerging Scholar Award, San Diego State University, 2018
  • Innovative Educator Grant, Alexandria Public Schools, 2017


  • Literacy and Biliteracy Instruction
  • Curriculum Development
  • Professional Development and Coaching
  • Educational Research
  • Craftivism and Creative Teaching Practices
  • Multilingual Education
  • Community Building & Outreach

Community Involvement

  • Member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Volunteer Literacy Coach, Local Community Centers
  • Mentor, Women of Color in Academia Network


  • English (Fluent)
  • Spanish (Fluent)