Experts on Children’s Books, Literacy to speak on campus

November 12, 2013

An authority on helping children who struggle to learn to read and an expert on having quality books for young children to read will be they keynote speakers at a conference in Emporia in November.

Anita Silvey and reading expert Salli Forbes will be keynote speakers at the 16th annual Kansas Reading Recovery® and Early Literacy Conference, to be held November 18 in Emporia State University’s Memorial Union.

Silvey has divided her career equally between publishing and evaluating children’s books. Her lifelong conviction that “only the very best of anything can be good enough for the young” is the basis for her work. Having worked as a publisher and editor in children’s literature, Silvey reads several thousand books a year, hunting for those of exceptional quality that children return to again and again.

Silvey’s own works include Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book and 100 Best Books for Children. Her talk will explore classic children’s books and the stories behind how they were created, including anecdotes about how Dr. Seuss got turned down by publishers 27 times and The Story of Ferdinand was burned by Hitler.

Silvey will speak at lunch, from 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m., in Webb Hall Two of the Memorial Union.

The speaker addressing getting struggling students to reading, Salli Forbes, Associate Professor in Literacy Education, Director of the Reading Recovery Center of Iowa, will address how teachers use and can build professional capital, given the expertise of the teacher is the greatest predictor of student achievement. The methods of developing professional capital are features of Reading Recovery and have been since the program’s beginning more than 30 years ago.

Forbes’s address will be from 8:40-9:45 a.m. in the Preston Family Room of the Memorial Union.

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

  • Reading Complex Texts: Preparation Through Reading Recovery
  • True Stories vs. Invented Stories: Why Children Need Narrative Nonfiction
  • The Visual Culture of an Early Childhood Learning Environment
  • An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement: Third Edition—An Overview
  • The Best Novels for Grade K-6 Classrooms

The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. until 3:35 p.m. Registrations for the conference are being taken at

For more information about registration for the conference, directions to the conference, or about the Reading Recovery program at ESU, visit or contact the Jones Institute at 620-341-5372, toll free 877-378-5433, or e-mail Dawn Moews at 



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