ATHENS — Ohio University’s Patton College of Education will host the conference, “Bringing Literacy to Life!” from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, in McCracken Hall.
The conference, which will feature keynote speakers, workshops, and book signings, among other activities, is a cost-effective, informative, and an inspiring event for students, educators, and literacy advocates.
“The Patton College and Literacy Education programs are extremely excited to host this event,” Julie Francis, Stevens Literacy Center director, said. “We are fortunate to have an impressive list of speakers and workshops that I know will resonate with attendees and provide wonderful professional development opportunities. There is something for everyone, and teachers will learn skills and techniques that they can use in their classrooms the very next week.”
Tanny McGregor, internationally known teacher and author, will serve as the keynote speaker. A former elementary school teacher, McGregor has served as a literacy coach, gifted intervention specialist, and pre-K-12 staff developer. She has authored three books, including her latest release, “Ink & Ideas: Sketchnotes for Engagement, Comprehension, and Thinking.” McGregor works on special assignment for Clermont Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio, and her workshops are known for their creative and engaging style.
Other featured speakers include Denise Fleming, picture book author and illustrator, and Jorma Kaukonen, musician and author.
Fleming has more than 20 author and illustrator credits to her name, including “In the Small, Small Pond,” which received a Caldecott Honor. Her latest book, “This is the Nest Robin Built,” is a celebration of cooperation and showcases her ability to capture the natural world through the illustrative process of pulp painting and paper making.
Kaukonen is an original member of the band Jefferson Airplane and has been a prolific musician for over 50 years. In addition to performing as a solo artist, he formed the band Hot Tuna with Jack Casady, and the two still tour together and perform. Kaukonen has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and received a Citation Award from the Ohioana Library, an organization honoring outstanding Ohioans in a variety of fields. His latest work is a memoir entitled, “Been So Long: My Life and Music.”
In addition, a pair of middle grade and young adult authors — Jordan Sonnenblick and Thanhha Lai — will present via Skype. Sonnenblick has authored 11 books for children and young adults, poignantly capturing contemporary adolescence in novels such as “Notes from the Midnight Driver” and “Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie.” Its sequel, “After Ever After,” received the 2011 Schneider Family Book Award, which recognizes authors and illustrators for excellence in portraying the disability experience in literature for youth.
Lai, who is from Vietnam, is an internationally known author. Her debut novel, “Inside Out and Back Again,” relied on many of her own memories of immigrating to the United States and was named a Newbery Honor Book and received a National Book Award. She has also written “Listen, Slowly” and “Butterfly Yellow” and started a non-profit, Viet Kids, which provides tuition, uniforms, food, and bicycles to children to help alleviate challenges associated with receiving an education.
The Literacy Conference is supported by the Helen M. Robinson Jobe Fund for Reading and Language Arts. Jobe, an Athens native who graduated from Ohio University in 1926, worked in reading education for more than 60 years and published the “Dick and Jane New Basic Readers” in 1962-65.
The Stevens Literacy Center was established in 1997. It focuses on improving lives by researching, developing, and promoting literacy across the lifespan.
“The Literacy Conference is a great example of the type of programming that The Patton College and Literacy Education programs strive to provide,” Francis said. “It is valuable, engaging, and helps people of all ages and abilities.”
The conference costs $50 for educators and community members, and $15 for students. Same-day registration for individual sessions will be available at the conference for $20 per session. Pre-registration is highly encouraged. You can register for the event at commerce.cashnet.com/stevensliteracycenter.