You are viewing trinasotira

Mar. 20th, 2011 @ 11:46 am Winning the Battle for Literacy--IRC 2011

I’m back from Springfield, but I feel jipped. I didn’t get to shake hands with a fake Abe or stand next to his waxed body. I didn’t get to stare at history and watch Civil War greatness transpire in condensed museum minutes. But I did witness history of a different kind at the Illinois Reading Council where teachers joined together to fight a great battle—Literacy.

In a battle for attention, our blue MuseWrite booth lost to grey. You can’t compete with rescue greyhounds. But we did have some special visitors—Boomer and Sheila, two IRC VIPs, came by to pose with history’s great-granddaughter, Michelle Duster.

The SCBWI-Illinois booth won praise from all who passed by. Louann Brown created a ridonkulously large clown.

You know I’m deathly afraid of clowns, don’t you?
But I still managed to creep up and steal a picture. Anastasia Ely, SCBWI person of awesome, informed me that both MT Anderson and Jane Yolen stopped by to see the clown. And I missed it?!

When I met MT at the SCBWI Summer Conference last August I swore he’d make the best late-night Denny’s friend. And because I didn’t even get a chance to see him speak—sulk—my MuseWrite friends and I went to Denny’s in honor of MT’s greatness. Or maybe we were just hungry for Moons Over My Hammy.

At our panel, Jen Cullerton Johnson, Michelle Duster, and I challenged teachers to create communities that extend beyond classroom walls. We were thrilled to have so many teachers say they would take our four-week lesson plan to their classrooms. We can reduce our differences by uniting through similarities, and writing can play a big role in creating communities.

At an appetizer gathering in our hotel we met Stacy Baker and Ann Kluesner, two teachers from Peoria who help strengthen their community by offering meals to their students’ families. In one of the poorest areas in the United States with over 95% free or reduced lunch, teachers visit homes with dirt floors and chickens running down stairways in order to provide food for hungry families. Coats, mittens, hats, and clothing are donated from other communities. Their school attendance rate is near-perfect because students look forward to a warm room, food, and a fun learning environment. In a conference of over 3,000, Stacy Baker and Ann Kluesner most definitely won the Battle for Literacy!

 


Below you can make fun of me or agree with me...you choose.
[User Picture Icon]
From:Hilary Wagner
Date:March 20th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)

IRC

(Permanent Link)
I was there too! The SCBWI Booth was amazing and I had such a great time on the AuthorsNow! Panel! What fun!

xoxo -- Hilary
[User Picture Icon]
From:trinasotira
Date:March 21st, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)

Re: IRC

(Permanent Link)
Hilary, I heard you had a great panel with Jen and Cynthea! I wish I arrived in Springfield early enough to catch you guys. So sorry! One of these days we'll actually meet!
From:jdwrites4kids
Date:March 21st, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)

Greyhounds

(Permanent Link)
Greyhound booth at IRC reminded me that local author Stacey Kade has two greyhound rescues (if my memory is working tonight).
[User Picture Icon]
From:trinasotira
Date:March 21st, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)

Re: Greyhounds

(Permanent Link)
Oh, really?! That's awesome! Greyhound rescue dogs melt my heart. By the end of the conference, one of the pups was fast asleep in the middle of the exhibit hall walkway. To die for.
[User Picture Icon]
From:Anastasia Burke-Ely
Date:March 26th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)

Awesome

(Permanent Link)
Just had to say I love the statement "Anastasia Ely, SCBWI person of awesome". I'm thinking that should be on my badge next year. :) If it makes you feel better I wasn't at the booth when MT Anderson came by, but it was, well, awesome to get to chat with Jane Yolen! Glad I saw you! (the clown was very creepy in my opinion as well)
[User Picture Icon]
From:trinasotira
Date:March 27th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Awesome

(Permanent Link)
You deserve a plaque...not just a badge! I'm so jealous that you met Jane Yolen! Next year I'm going to plan an extra day to enjoy the sights--and eat caviar in our extra-fancy SCBWI literary salon. Can't wait!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 14th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC)

Can't wait to get involved

(Permanent Link)
Hey - I am definitely delighted to find this. cool job!
[User Picture Icon]
From:trinasotira
Date:May 12th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Can't wait to get involved

(Permanent Link)
Thank you!
From:xafaguam
Date:April 16th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Excellent post I must say.. Simple but yet interesting and engaging.. Keep up the awesome work!

[User Picture Icon]
From:trinasotira
Date:May 12th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Thanks!