We ensure that children who struggle in learning to read and write gain the skills for a literate and productive future

 2016 Keynote Speakers

Sunday (Feb. 7)

Linda Dorn

Reading Recovery trainer, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR

Engaging Children in Meaning-Making

Meaning is a reflection of the inner workings of the mind. The brain’s desire to construct meaning drives what we attend to and determines how we use this information to make sense of the world. When
children engage in meaningful reading and writing, they build connections between what they know and what they want to know, thus expanding their knowledge of the world through literacy relationships.

About the speaker
Linda Dorn
is a professor of reading education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she is the director of the Center for Literacy. She is a Reading Recovery trainer and a former president of the Reading Recovery Council of North America. Recognized nationally for her contributions to literacy education, she has presented at over 300 conferences at international, national, and state levels. She has published widely with eight books on literacy instruction plus book chapters, articles, and media publications. Her most recent books are Apprenticeship in Literacy, 2nd ed., (co-authored with Jones) and Changing Minds, Changing Schools: A Comprehensive Literacy Approach for School Improvement (co-edited with Forbes, Poparad, and Schubert).


Monday (Feb. 8)

Anthony Muhammad

Author, educational consultant, and chief executive officer, New Frontier 21, Novi, MI

All Means All! Building a School Culture to Assure Student Achievement

Equality is the cornerstone of our public school system. Explore the root causes of the achievement gap and our responsibility to create equitable learning environments. Teachers’ beliefs drive their instruction. Examine the practices of schools in which leaders and staff are committed to this challenging work that builds environments in which all students achieve. The process of self-examination and reflection is modeled.

About the speaker
Recognized as a leading expert in the areas of school culture and organizational climate, Anthony Muhammad has consulted with school systems around the world. He is the CEO of New Frontier 21 Consulting, a company dedicated to providing cutting-edge professional development to schools throughout the world. Dr. Muhammad served as a practitioner for nearly 20 years, including positions as middle school teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal. He is also a best-selling author of several books, the most recent being The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach: Transforming School Culture at Every Level.


Tuesday (Feb. 9)

Steve Jenkins

Children's book author and illustrator,
Boulder, CO

Children's Nonfiction: Making Sense of the World

Children are blessed with a sense of wonder and an insatiable curiosity about the world. Compared to the children of just a few decades ago, kids today have access to an almost overwhelming amount of information with which to satisfy that curiosity. But the signal, the accurate, relevant information, is often overwhelmed by noise — irrelevant or incomplete data, facts presented out of context, or information that is just plain wrong. Good nonfiction books filter out the noise and present a picture of the world that is focused, relevant, and context-sensitive. At their best, these books give children the tools to ask questions and come to their own reality-based conclusions about the way the world works.

About the speaker
Steve Jenkins
has illustrated many children’s books, including the Caldecott Honor-winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?, The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Move!, and Actual Size. He has also illustrated Wiggling Worms at Work, Life in a Coral Reef, and Almost Gone in the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. His books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging,accessible, glorious, and informative. The questions his children have asked over the years have been the inspiration for many of his books.


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