Rough Patch: On Writing About Painful Experiences for Kids
5:30-6:30 p.m. | May 5, 2021 | Virtually via Zoom
About the Speaker
Meg Medina is an award-winning and New York Times best-selling author who writes picture books, as well as middle grade and young adult fiction.
Her works have been called “heartbreaking,” “lyrical” and “must haves for every collection.” Her titles include:
- Evelyn del Rey is Moving Away / Evelyn del Rey se muda, 2020 Jumpstart Read for the Record Selection;
- Merci Suárez Changes Gears, 2019 John Newbery Medal winner, and 2019 Charlotte Huck Honor Book;
- Burn Baby Burn, long-listed for the 2016 National Book Award, short-listed for the Kirkus Prize, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize;
- Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, winner of the 2014 Pura Belpré Author Award;
- The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, a 2012 Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year;
- Mango, Abuela, and Me, a 2016 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book; and
- Tía Isa Wants a Car, winner of the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers Award.
When she’s not writing, Meg works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth, and/or literacy. She serves on the National Board of Advisors for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is a faculty member of Hamline University’s Masters of Fine Arts in Children’s Literature. She lives with her family in Richmond, Virginia.
- Speaker: Meg Medina
- Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Date: May 5, 2021
- Place: Virtually via Zoom
Free and open to the public
These Three Words
Presented by Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds discussed the three words he keeps at the forefront of his mind when writing stories for young people. They serve as his compass to ensure the stories connect and feel like true representations of young life, leading to a more engaged reading.
Jason Reynolds is an American author who writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Ghost, a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature.
Born in Washington, DC and raised in neighboring Oxon Hill, Maryland, Reynolds found inspiration in rap to begin writing poetry at nine years old. He focused on poetry for approximately the next two decades, only reading a novel cover to cover for the first time at age 17.
His books have received numerous awards including but not limited to: Coretta Scott King for Ghost (2016), Schneider Family Award (2017) for As Brave as You, Printz Honor and Newbery Honor (2017) for Long Way Down. His latest book, Look Both Ways, will be released October 2019.
Reynolds say, “Here’s what I know: I know there are a lot — A LOT — of young people who hate reading. I know that many of these book haters are boys. I know that many of these book-hating boys, don’t actually hate books, they hate boredom. If you are reading this, and you happen to be one of these boys, first of all, you’re reading this so my master plan is already working (muahahahahahaha) and second of all, know that I feel you. I REALLY do. Because even though I’m a writer, I hate reading boring books too.”
My Journey From Reluctant Reader to Author
Presented by Matt de la Peña
Matt de la Peña’s presentation centers around his journey from reluctant reader to published author, and the transformative power of literature. “I didn’t fall for books until I was in college — I got there on a basketball scholarship — but once I did, it changed my life,” says de la Peña.
Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of six young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and The Living) and four picture books (including Love and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country.
Looking in the Mirror
Presented by Kirk Robbins
In this interactive lecture, science education presenter Kirk Robbins guided participants through a learning experience to consider each individual’s role in improving the learning of science in the K-12 education system. Participants uncovered and shared their personal “science stories” and used those stories to define the K-12 system of science education both in and outside of school. Participants then used an equity and diversity lens to identify opportunities to change and disrupt the K-12 science education system in order to maximize student learning outcomes for students.
Robbins is a science education consultant and adjunct lecturer (University of Washington, Western Washington University, Central Washington University) in the Puget Sound Region. Robbins has a background as a lab technician with a degree in molecular biology and extensive experience in many levels of the education system. He has worked as a classroom teacher, regional science coordinator, district office science coordinator, supervisor of student interns, consultant, instructional coach, and advocate for science education reform.
Robbins shares science education resources through his blog, teachscience4all.org and he has developed a reputation as an engaging and effective presenter and professional development provider. Robbins is currently partnering with multiple school districts, Educational Service Districts, Pacific Education Institute, and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative to assist with implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Unlocking Your Students’ Superpower
Presented by Suzie Boss
A Learning Revolution Goes to School: The Maker Movement
Presented by Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager
Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. Dr. Willingham’s current research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education. Dr. Willingham is the author of Why Don’t Students Like School?, When Can You Trust the Experts?, and Raising Kids Who Read (forthcoming).
Six Edges of Innovation in Education
Presented by Dr. Milton Chen
Chen shared his thoughts and examples of these six edges including: The Thinking Edge, The Curriculum Edge, The Technology Edge, The Edge of Time and Place, The Co-Teaching Edge, and The Youth Edge.
Six Edges of Innovation in Education
Dr. David Wicks
Catching Up or Leading the Way
Presented by Dr. Yong Zhao
Zhao, addressed issues of globalization and technology in a dramatically changing world. He addressed questions including:
- Is education reform in the U.S. headed down the right path?
- Are schools emphasizing the knowledge and skills that students need in a global society?
- Are education systems in China and other countries really as superior as some people claim?
Moving the Needle on Adolescent Literacy
Presented by Dr. Don Deshler
Jolita Hylland Benson Endowed Chair in Elementary Education
In 2009, a gift from the Benson Family Foundation of Portland, Ore., created the Jolita Hylland Benson Endowed Chair in Elementary Education at PLU. The chair position is in honor of Jolita Benson’s tireless work as an educator. Dale and Jolita Benson, both attended PLU in the early 1960s.
The Benson Chair in Elementary Education is funded through the Benson Family Foundation whose purpose is to involve the Benson children and their families in charitable activities on behalf of supported organizations.
Dr. Wendy Gardiner
Dr. Wendy Gardiner is the current Jolita Hylland Benson Endowed Chair in Elementary Education at PLU. Her scholarship focuses on literacy teacher education and new teacher mentoring. Dr. Gardiner’s scholarship and service also addresses the need for high quality, diversity responsive children’s and young adult literature. Dr. Gardiner publishes and presents nationally on these topics. She is on the International Literacy Association’s Children’s Book Award Committee, honoring high quality fiction and nonfiction published by emerging authors and illustrators. Her new book Responsive Mentoring: Supporting the Teachers All Students Deserve was recently published.
Dr. Leon Reisberg
Dr. Leon Reisberg is the first recipient of the Jolita Hylland Benson Endowed Chair in Elementary Education at PLU. His current research includes the uses of technology with students with reading and other learning disabilities and the state of technology in regional school districts. Reisberg is involved in collaborative research projects with other faculty throughout the Department of Instructional Development and Leadership and serves on the board of several community educational organizations.