22nd Annual Conference on Literacy: Engaging All Readers

April 18, 2015 · 8 am-1 pm · Mount Saint Mary College Campus
Presented by the Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL) at Mount Saint Mary College

Tony AbbottKeynote Speaker

Tony Abbott is an award-winning American author who has been writing children’s literature for over 20 years. Mr. Abbott has written over 100 books including titles such as Firegirl, The Secrets of Droon, Kringle, The Postcard, and his newest The Copernicus Legacy series. Mr. Abbott is not to be confused with the current Prime Minister of Australia as Mr. Abbott the author resides in Trumbull, Connecticut. The Postcard won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile in 2009 which is a prestigious award in the mystery genre.

Download the conference brochure.

Register online today!

Conference Schedule

8-9 am Registration, Hudson Hall
Continental Breakfast
Book Sale
9-10 am Keynote Presentation:
Engaging All Readers, by Tony Abbott
10-10:20 am Break and Book Sale
10:20-11:35 am Workshop Session I
11:35-11:45 am Break and Book Sale
11:45-1 pm Workshop Session II

Session 1 Workshops

Empowering All Readers Through Community Engagement: “Reading Buddies” (K-12)
“Reading Buddies” is a literacy program that pairs high-school volunteers with children in grades K-2. Participation in school clubs and activities enhances participants’ feelings of self-empowerment and self-worth, and volunteer work with younger children builds important community connections. The presentation will focus on the components and benefits of this program, and offer a practical ‘how-to’ for those interested in starting such a program.
Christine Susskind, Highland Falls – Fort Montgomery Central School District
Sheri McNair, Highland Falls – Fort Montgomery Central School District
Bridget Smith, Highland Falls – Fort Montgomery Central School District

Coaching Teachers to Engage and Motivate ALL Readers (K-12)
In this interactive session, the presenters will share ways in which they work with teachers to deepen the reading experiences of all of their students. Specific coaching strategies will be shared, Formats and methods of professional learning which builds capacity in order to sustain change. Scenarios and examples will all be tied to coaching teachers to support the readers in their classrooms.
Kristin Rainville, Manhattanville College
Iva Maghuyop, Girls Prep Charter School
Kristen Diehl, Girls Prep Charter School

That Kid Looks Like Me! Children Reading Books that Reflect Who They Are (K-6)
Gloria Ladson-Billings stated “culturally relevant pedagogy is a type of teaching that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes.” Participants will learn the power of multicultural literature in shaping the knowledge and skills, identities, and social consciousness of students. Additionally participants will view how multicultural literature could be used to prepare for the state assessments.
Merle Rumble, Norwalk Public Schools
Melissa Jenkins, Bridgeport Public Schools

Reaching Readers in the Digital Age (K-6)
Have you been looking for practical, user-friendly ways to integrate technology into your reading instruction while digging deeper into assigned texts? In this session, Dr. Ludmila Smirnova will share sample strategies, resources, and tools for incorporating technology into daily reading instruction. Pre and in-service teachers of any grade level will explore a variety of digital tools they can use to meet the needs of today’s learners and the demands of the Common Core State Standards.
Ludmilla Smirnova, Mount Saint Mary College

Storytelling: A Performative and Empowering Art (K-12)
In this session, participants will both listen to and learn to tell stories. The presenters will provide information on how to incorporate storytelling in the classroom and offer opportunities to reflect on the ways storytelling can enhance students’ literacy learning. K-12.
Laconia Therrio, Professional Storyteller
Jane Gangi, Mount Saint Mary College

Reading Incentives and Book Clubs and Book Talks, Oh My! (K-6)
In this session, we will examine how book clubs and other literature activities promote reading engagement and delight to build a foundation for lifelong reading habits in all children.
Meredith Inkeles, Wappingers Central School District
Mary Bish, Wappingers Central School District

Session 2 Workshops

Intervention and the Common Core: It Shouldn’t Be Either – Or! (K-6)
Bridging the divide between intervention and the CCSS in addressing text complexity requires thoughtful and deliberate scaffolding to engage and motivate all readers. Two research-based approaches for advancing student reading achievement include shared reading and close reading, which provide the pedagogical anchors for this session. Authentic classroom video clips and artifacts of student learning demonstrate how these time-honored strategies were used to customize instruction to provide universal access for grade 4 students in all tiers.
Karen Waters, Sacred Heart University
Michael Bennett, Maple Hill Elementary School

Reading Outreach to Children Experiencing Homelessness (K-12)
Children and youth experiencing homelessness frequently struggle with literacy. To help encourage a lifelong love of books and reading, the Queens Library partners with the NYC Department of Education and local family shelters to bring reading programs directly to homeless youth and families. Participants in this session will also learn how to broker their own partnerships with public libraries and service providers, and will take part in a sample program.
Vikki Terrile, Queens Library

Teach Me Truth: How to turn your students into published authors (K-6)
Come hear how a fourth grade class researched, wrote, and illustrated a book chronicling the development of Mount Saint Mary College and Bishop Dunn Memorial School. Mrs. Benfer and Miss Lynch will inspire you to get your students working toward the path of published authors. Participants should bring student writing samples for a workshop activity.
Nancy Benfer, Bishop Dunn Memorial School
Kim Lynch, Bishop Dunn Memorial School

Engaging Readers with Reading Graphic Novels Across the Curriculum (K-12)
The popularity of graphic novels is well established. Teachers are turning to them because of the promise of motivating a wide range of readers. This presentation will provide an overview of graphic novel reading, including information to help better understand how to use both the words and images to comprehend the complex stories. Most importantly, attendees will see examples of some of the best graphic novels that span across the curriculum and grade levels.
Laura Jimenez, Boston University

Building Bridges for ELLs through the Introduction and Analysis of Latino Literature (3-8)
This workshop aims to support middle school educators by employing Latino literature to enhance language development, and build bridges between students’ home/school cultures. Join us as we utilize Alma Flor Ada’s (2003) Creative Reading Approach to discuss and analyze Latino texts, share lessons, and provide extensions beyond the classroom.
Karen Dakin, Brewster School Distrit
Jenice Mateo-Toledo, Hastings-on-Hudson School District

Ideas Worth Spreading? Engaging Students in Multimodal Literacy Activities (7-12)
The presenters will share aspects of the “Senior Talks” project (modeled after TED Talks) developed by a secondary language arts teacher in an urban school district.  This project requires students to use a variety of multimodal reading, writing, and communication skills to create and deliver their own “talks”. Participants will gain insight into how to implement all or part of the project in their own classrooms.
Matthew Freedman, Newburgh Free Academy
Matt Hollibush, Mount saint Mary College
David Gallagher, Mount Saint Mary College

“WOW – We Own Words,” Using Vocabulary to Engage Readers (K-6)
“In 1945, the average American student between the ages of 6 and 14 had a written vocabulary of 25,000 words. Today that vocabulary has shrunk to 10,000 words” (Fletcher, 1993). Participants will learn a ”plethora” of strategies to engage young readers, to improve their oral and written vocabulary, and to promote a life-long love of reading. Through the Word of the Week program, through close reading, and through speaking and listening, students own their words.
Melissa Jenkins, Bridgeport Public Schools
Pamela Jannetty, High Horizons Magnet School

Download the conference brochure.

Register online today!

Registration Fee Schedule

On or before April 10: $40
Late registration (after April 10): $50
Full-time student: $20
Reading council members: $30

Please make checks payable to Mount Saint Mary College.

Register online today!


Contact CELL at 845-569-3431 or email cell@msmc.edu