Here's What's Coming in 2019-2020

We had a productive meeting last week, and we discussed what's been happening in our districts, the needs, the strengths, and suggestions for the coming year. Through our discussions, we identified these several key focus areas that we used to determine plans for the coming year. 

Here is a list of those key topics:

  1. phonological awareness for students entering kindergarten and for struggling kindergarten and first graders. 
  2. multisensory activities and signs of dyslexia 
  3. writing instruction across all grade levels 
  4. reading motivation, inspiration, and independent reading incentives 
  5. small group instruction and management 
Positive information was shared about the phonemic awareness program, Heggerty, and David Kilpatrick's book, Equipped for Reading Success, being used and studied in Amherst County. Other book titles discussed included Jennifer Serravallo's books, Game Changer! by Donalyn Miller, and From Striving to Thriving, all great for summer reading. 

PARC Event Plans

As far as our calendar is concerned, we chose the following events for the next school year. Firm dates have not been set, but we have a general plan of when these events will happen. 

Celebrate Literacy Conference

On September 21, 2019 from 8:30-1:00 PM at Central Virginia Community College, we will kick off the year with our fourth annual Celebrate Literacy Conference. Please save the date and plan to join us. It's a wonderful event, and we always have great door prizes for many who attend. We award five recertification points to all who attend. Details on presentation topics will be sent before the school year ends. The cost will be $45 which includes your membership to PARC and VSRA for the year. 

Young Writers Contest

On October 1st, we will kick off our annual Young Writers Contest. This year, we will be modifying it and aligning the options to the Virginia Standards of Learning. Unlike the original contest rules, teachers are NOT expected to create beautiful books. Our goal is for this writing opportunity to be incorporated into your regular writing program and NOT something extra. There will be page and word limits, and rules for labeling the writing pieces, but we aim to make it easier for all. When the new year starts, simply collect great examples and submit them when the time comes. 

Launching Writer's Workshop and Using Mentor Texts

Also in October, we will be hosting a workshop in Martinville at the New College Institute on Launching Writer's Workshop and Using Mentor Texts with Writing Instruction. For this event, we will offer 2-3 sessions on a Saturday morning in October. 

Table Tales-A Spotlight on the Virginia Readers Choice Books

For November, we're super excited about Table Tales. For this event, members will bring their teammates and compete with themed table decorations (literacy focused of course). We'll serve refreshments and our board will be sharing teaching ideas to use with this year's Virginia Readers. 


Ready Readers Mini Conference

In late January or early February, we'll focus on our emergent readers in PreK and Kindergarten with a Ready Readers Seminar/Conference. We hope to co-sponsor this event and extend invitations to all area Pre-K/Kindergarten teachers. We'll share developmentally appropriate practices and activities teachers, daycare staff, homebased providers, and caregivers can use at school or at home. This event size is still to be determined, so watch our site as details are worked out. 

Young Writers Judging and Awards Ceremony

The week of February 17th, all districts will judge their Young Writers entries and select the top three finalists per grade level and writing category for regional judging. All entries must be submitted from districts prior to February 28th. Andrea Crawford will be the contact person for Young Writers this year, and she'll be looking for members interested in supporting this project to form a planning committee.

VSRA Conference in Roanoke

In March, we'll host regional judging on the 3rd (location TBA), and at the end of the month, March 26th-28th, the 53rd annual VSRA conference will be hosted in....Roanoke (Woooohooo!!!) Consider sharing your expertise and putting in a proposal when the time comes, and certainly, plan to attend when it's this close! Speaking of the conference, all members receive a $25 discount, so you recoup a large part of your membership fee with your discount! 

The weekend following the VSRA conference will be our Young Writer's Ceremony. This year, we had almost 400 parents, teachers, and students attend, and author, Jeri Watts, shared amazing stories of how her experiences come alive in the books she writes. Her book, A Piece of Home, was one of the Virginia Readers in Primary! We also enjoyed having four of the students share their pieces. It is such a lovely event which your membership supports. The tentative date we have planned will be April 3rd from 9-11 AM. 

Teachers Are Readers Summer Book Study

And just when you think we're done for the year, we decide to toss in one more option for good measure. We will be applying for the Teachers are Readers Grant and hosting a summer book study through Google Hangout. We will be selecting two title options (one for elementary teachers and one for middle/high school teachers). If we are successful in winning the grant, your book would be FREE! 

Consider Joining Next Year

Now, doesn't this sound like an awesome organization to join? Have you?? PARC is not the PARC from the past. We've always been passionate about literacy instruction, but now we're working hard to sponsor professional activities for YOU and your colleagues. If you are a passionate literacy leader or wanting to grow your literacy teaching skills, then we hope you'll plan to become a member. Membership is $30 for full time teachers or $20 for full time education students, paraprofessionals, or retirees. One half of your fee stays with the local chapter and covers the majority of the costs with these events. Plus, membership means you are eligible to apply for many wonderful grants VSRA awards each year. This year, Kelly Cyrus from Campbell County won a $2500 grant toward her reading education degree all because she was a member and applied. In fact, our conference fee includes membership, and just look at all that you have the opportunity to participate in during the year once you join. 

But wait, there's more! 

Site Updates

Recently, our website got an overhaul (again). We wanted our site to coordinate with the new VSRA site. Our site offers links to reading and writing websites and apps, Pinterest boards by literacy topic, and professional reading recommendations. We also have all of our social media links which help you to be informed. (you can click on and follow our pages after reading this post). 

Let's face it. You are busy, and if it's easier to keep up with PARC through email, simply subscribe using the gadget on the right side of our site to receive blog posts in your inbox. If you'd like to received our newsletters, you can sign up for that on our blog's home page or join. We send the updates out to all members and district leaders.

I believe I've reached the end of our meeting notes, and I hope you read to the end. It's been my privilege to serve as the PARC president for the last two years. I am passing the torch on to Andrea Crawford from Bedford County Schools next year and moving into the communications role as the PARC secretary and webmaster. If you have a literacy event you'd like to highlight or have PARC cosponsor with you, we'd love to help you spread the word or work with you. Simply email us a 

Now, I wish you all the best as you close out 2018-2019. There are just a few weeks left, and you can do it! 
Carla Fedeler 
PARC President

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