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Adolescent Literacy Addressed

Author Shannon Hale believes that fairy tales are relevant today. She has been very successful at converting well known tales into uplifting and inspiring novels, including The Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days. She is a New York Times best selling author of these and other young adult and adult novels, including Princess Academy, a Newbery Honor book.

Hale discovered her love of writing in elementary school, at the age of ten, and she hasn’t stopped writing since.  She included photos of herself, her family, and influential friends during her keynote address at the 2nd Biannual Literacy Conference held in the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. The David O. McKay School of Education Alumni Association and the Brigham Young University Public School Partnership sponsor the conference. Hale’s presentation set the tone for the conference theme--The Literacy Promise: Opening Doors for the Adolescent Learner.

Adolescent literacy, an area of great concern for educators today, is a major challenge facing many students as they try to comprehend materials they must read to succeed in school.  In just two years the conference has gained a favorable reputation because of the caliber of the presenters and relevance of their subject matter.

Over 1,000 attended the two-day conference. Conference presenters from across the nation included highly respected specialists in adolescent literacy. Regie Routman, is an internationally respected teacher and author with 40 years of experience, who teaches and coaches across the U.S.; she is a reading specialist, learning disabilities tutor, Reading Recovery teacher, language arts resource and mentor teacher, staff developer, and literacy coach. Her plenary session focused on effective teaching and learning techniques.  She included in her presentation many examples of success stories, strategies, and solutions.

Jim Burke, a high school English teacher in California, is the author of numerous books including The English Teacher’s Companion, Writing Reminders, Tools for Thought, Illuminating Texts: How to Teach Students to Read the World--to name a few. His sessions centered on using questions and discussions to help students engage, comprehend, and retain as they read, write, and think.

Dr. Humor, a.k.a. Stuart Robertshaw, who holds both a law degree and a PhD in special education, closed the conference with his thoughts on education, including the humorous aspects. Since retiring from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, he has become the president and CEO of the National Association for the Humor Impaired.

The two days of the conference were filled with presentations that concentrated on improving reading comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, writing, and questioning skills. For more information on the 2010 conference presenters, click here.

31 May 2010