Celebrate Literacy Fall Conference Virtual Style

The school year is off, and we are once again challenged with Covid 19. However, our board is committed to getting PAC back on track! We are writing to share with you the details of this year’s Celebrate Literacy Fall Conference 2021. This is our fifth year hosting the event, and we’re thrilled once again with this year’s line up.

Conference Overview:

Our conference celebrates our love for all things literacy by providing teachers in our area access to professional development on a wide range of literacy topics to support the needs of elementary and middle school learners. Registration is open to teachers, reading specialists, administrators, homeschooling parents, and education students. Our keynote address will be delivered by faculty members from the University of Lynchburg and breakout presentations by local literacy experts including reading specialists, instructional coaches, and special education teachers.

We are excited to offer the conference in a virtual, on-demand format this year. Pre-recorded keynote address and sessions will be made available to those who register for the conference. These sessions will will be made available on-demand to participants over the course of two weeks, October 2nd - October 16th. In addition, we will be hosting a live, virtual “Round Table Discussion and Q&A Session,” on October 9th to engage in a follow-up discussion with presenters and participants.

On-Demand Sessions:

Keynote Address: 

  • Uncovering the Essentials of the Science of Reading: Putting Research into Practice

Breakout Sessions:

  • Using Young Adult Literature to De-Center Dominant Narratives in the ELA Classroom
  • The Why and How of Phoneme-Grapheme Mapping
  • Making Small Group Instruction Impactful (Where Differentiation Happens)
  • Making Magic with Multi-Sensory Methods
  • Using Literacy to Reinforce Math Concepts

Session Details:

Uncovering the Essentials of the Science of Reading: Putting Research into Practice

Presenters: Dr. Stephanie Copp, Dr. Autumn Dodge, Dr. Corrie Kelly

Session Description:
The Science of Reading has gained tremendous attention over the last several years. While this movement is exciting, it can be overwhelming to wade through the depths of information on the topic. Keynote speakers Drs. Stephanie Copp, Autumn Dodge, and Corrie Kelly, faculty of the University of Lynchburg’s Master of Reading program, will be presenting on the essentials of the Science of Reading, focusing on three core areas: identifying research-based practices; understanding essential frameworks to guide assessment and instruction; and identifying what the application of the science might look like in a classroom setting.

Using Young Adult Literature to De-Center Dominant Narratives in the ELA Classroom

Presenter: Dr. Autumn Dodge

Session Description:
Think about the books in your classroom library, that you use in your units, and that are in your school's library. What percent of the protagonists are white, able-bodied, cis-gender, native English speaking, U.S.-born characters? Does the answer concern you? If so, this session is for you! You will learn more about how the traditional ELA canon has historically and to this day made invisible the voices and identities of diverse populations and how that impacts the students in our classrooms. The lack of diversity in literature is not a simple-fix problem, but there are pedagogical approaches teachers can take to face this challenge head-on. This session will present an approach to de-centering the dominant narratives that pervade literature in our schools by utilizing young adult literature featuring diverse protagonists. Using diverse young adult literature can help start conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion, activism, and advocacy, beginning with centering diverse characters and their experiences in the literature we read. After viewing this session, teachers will come away with concrete strategies for selecting young adult literature to use as they make their classroom more socially just.

The Why and How of Phoneme-Grapheme Mapping

Presenters: Ashley Hutchinson and Ruth Matheny

Session Description:
Phoneme-grapheme mapping is a research-based activity that helps readers build word recognition skills. This presentation will focus on why phoneme-grapheme mapping is essential for helping readers associate phonemes (sounds) with graphemes (letters).We will also share strategies for implementing phoneme-grapheme in your classroom. Using this technique will help your students build decoding skills that will increase fluency, increase confidence in spelling, and increase fluency with the more complex texts.

Making Small Group Instruction Impactful (Where Differentiation Happens)

Presenters: Susan Cargill

Session Description:
Providing instruction to small groups of students is a tried-and-true way to differentiate and support students. In this session you will learn how to make your small group reading instruction more impactful through targeted differentiation.

Making Magic with Multi-Sensory Methods

Presenter: Andrea Crawford

Session Description:
Learning to read isn't always easy for everyone, but using multi-sensory methods helps all students as they learn to read and write. Beginning with early grades and moving up through grade levels, all students can benefit from simple multi-sensory activities for reading and writing. Learn easy techniques you can use today to help all students learn to read, spell, and write!

Using Literacy to Reinforce Math Concepts

Presenter: Kari Wills

Session Description:
This session focuses on the importance of incorporating literature into your daily math block. Attendees will receive numerous resources and plans for implementing literacy instruction that enhances and reinforces important mathematical concepts.

Round Table Discussion:

Join us for a live, virtual round table discussion on October 9th! The presenters from each of our sessions will be available to answer questions from participants and facilitate further discussion about the topics presented during our conference. The time and link to the virtual Q&A session will be provided to participants who register for the conference.

Registration Details:

Conference Dates: 

On-demand access October 2-16th and virtual, live discussion October 9th.


Registration for this conference is free to all VSLA members and $15 for non-members. Non-members who register will be contacted by VSLA to pay for the event through PayPal.
Not a member yet? Click HERE and join VSLA today!

Registration Form: 

To register for this event, please complete THIS REGISTRATION FORM.

Questions? Email us at vsrapiedmont@gmail.com

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