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Literacy Conference at Walter's State Sept. 25

Community Contributor Debra Williams • Sep 6, 2018 at 12:30 PM

MORRISTOWN — The Ninth Annual East Tennessee Literacy Conference is coming to Walters State Community College on Sept. 25 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on the Morristown Campus. This year’s theme is “Strategic Teachers, Strategic Students.”

The conference is sponsored by Walters State, the Mossy Creek Literacy Council and the Mid-East Tennessee Regional P-16 Council.

This year’s conference features Jennifer Serravallo, a nationally respected expert on literacy. Serravallo served as senior staff developer at the Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. In that role, she helped urban, suburban and rural schools implement exceptional literacy instruction through reading and writing workshops.

“Literacy opens the world. To me, it’s a social justice issue. If you can’t read, your academic success and the opportunities you have as an adult will be limited,” Serravallo said.

She’ll be sharing strategies that teachers can take back to the classroom to help all readers, particularly those who are struggling. Many come from her latest book, “Understanding Texts and Readers.”

“The premise is that comprehension can be complicated to teach. The key is making the connection between the text and the reader,” Serravallo said.

“If I am working with a reader who is reading a Judy Moody book, I will ask about characters and expect to get simple answers with a few traits about each character. If I’m asking about a more complex book, like ‘Because of Winn Dixie,’ I know the reader should know more about the main characters and even the secondary characters.”

Serravallo is the author of nineteen books, including “The Reading Strategies Book,” which features 300 strategies aligned to goals, skills, genres and levels of reading. She has taught school in Brooklyn and in Columbia, N.Y.

Several other workshops are planned as part of the conference. The cost is $75, which includes a light breakfast and 6 hours of professional development points. Space is limited. To register for the conference, call Tammy Wells at (423) 585-6899 or email [email protected]