Children’s author and literacy experts to speak in Emporia

October 12, 2015

A Kansas author noted for her collaborations in writing about Amish culture and two experts on teaching children to read and will be the featured speakers at a conference in Emporia in November.

Author Carol Duerksen, Dr. Paula Bennet and Dr. Michal Taylor will speak at the 18th annual Kansas Reading Recovery® and Early Literacy Conference on Nov. 9 in Emporia State University’s Memorial Union.

Duerksen has co-written books with her husband, Maynard Knepp, described as “a guy who grew up Amish and didn’t like to read or write,” with a disabled cat named Slickfester Dude, and with a corgi dog named Walter Bean. Duerksen is a freelance writer who lives on a farm between Goessel and Hillsboro; the couple have co-written and self-published Amish novels.

Bennet teaches at the Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy at the University of Northern Iowa. Currently she works with teachers and teacher-coaches to help better meet the literacy needs of all children.

Taylor is a Reading Recovery teacher-leader for two regional reading recovery sites. Her classroom focus has been on implementing readers and writers workshops, guided reading/close reading, vocabulary and accountable talk with preK-8 teachers.

All three speakers will give two presentations each. Duerksen will speak at lunch on “Writing with an Amish man, Slickfester Dude, and Walter Bean.” Her talk will be from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., in Webb Hall of the Memorial Union.

The conference will offer educators the opportunity to network and attend sessions led by reading instruction experts including:

  • Intentional Instructional Conversations
  • Acceleration Sound Teaching in Early Lessons
  • Moving from Phonological to Orthographical Awareness: Learning How to Hear, Learning How to Look
  • Teaching for Strategic Activity
  • Amish Books and Lifestyles, Animal Books and Lifestyles
  • Summer Learning Loss and What YOU Can Do About It
  • How We Got Results: Reading Recovery Practices for the Classroom

The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. Nov. 9. Registrations for the conference are being taken at http://www.emporia.edu/readingrecovery/

For more information about registration for the conference, directions to the conference, or about the Reading Recovery program at ESU, visit http://www.emporia.edu/readingrecovery or contact the Jones Institute at 620-341-5372, toll free 877-378-5433, or e-mail Dawn Moews at dmoews@emporia.edu.

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