West Jersey Reading Council


        4:00 – 4:30 p.m.    Registration, Boxed Meal, Book Exhibits
        4:30 – 4:40 p.m.    President Announcements
        4:45 – 5:15 p.m.    Keynote Speaker: Rhonda Shevrin of Bookmates
        5:15 – 5:45 p.m.    Boxed Meal and Vendor Visits
        5:45 – 6:45 p.m.    Workshops - One Breakout Session

        6:45 p.m.               Closing Announcement
                        Boxed meals will be served from 4:00 – 6:15.  

                        Book exhibits will be open from 4:00 – 6:15.


1.  Quick Wins for K-12 Literacy Success: Change-Making Starts with US!
     Presenter: Dr. Kenneth Kunz, Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction K-12, Middlesex School District
                                                     President, NJ Literacy Association

In this workshop, participants will walk away with “quick wins” that can be used to promote a positive K-12 literacy learning experience.  Useful materials will be shared and raffled.

2. Strengthening Family Literacy Partnerships
     Presenters: Tara Barnstead, M.Ed. Title I Reading Teacher, Pennsauken Public Schools
                         Diane Joyce, M.Ed., Elementary Principal Pennsauken Public Schools

This session will explore the crucial role of family partnerships in education and factors that influence successful family involvement. The presenters will share strategies for engaging families and sustaining involvement.  Participants in the session will be provided with a template to begin planning their own family literacy program.

3. How to Engage English Language Learners in Literature and Poetry
     Presenter: Nina Israel Zucker, Teacher, English Language Learners (ELL), Cherry Hill Public Schools

Students who are working on the domains of English Language {Learning- Speaking, Listening (understanding), Reading, and Writing} have a wonderful opportunity to read and hear literature and poetry in a different manner than those who have English as their first language. We will explore how to create excitement as we utilize the sounds and images provided by books both with and without words.


4.  English Language Arts Classroom Instruction (K-3)
     Presenter: Beth Wharton, NJDOE ELA Coordinator K-3

This workshop is designed to increase teachers' understanding in the area of English Language Arts in grades K-3. Teachers will be presented with an overview of best practices that focuses on classroom instruction that aligns to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for English Language Arts. Participants will also learn ways to create a schedule that incorporates literacy instruction throughout the school day.

5.  Using Data to Improve Student Literacy
     Presenter: Chad Marcus,  Chief Academic Officer, LinkIt

Learn how LinkIt supports effective data-driven literacy practices in 150+ NJ school districts across NJ. Highlights will include:

  • NJ Normed NJSLS Benchmarks
  • Maximizing the impact of PARCC, MAP, STAR, iReady, Achieve3000, PSAT, and other 3rd party assessments
  • Using Data Locker as an alternative to spreadsheets for collecting DRA, F&P, and performance task assessments
  • Digital portfolios and associated rubrics


6. Word Study Can Be the Best Part of Your Day!
    Presenter: Melissa Antinoff, Third Grade Teacher, Lumberton Township Schools
Do your students master a spelling pattern, only to forget it as soon as you assess them?  Are you looking for ways to transfer word study to their reading and writing?  This workshop explores fun activities to use right away to promote transference.  Even better, students will LOVE doing the activities and will look forward to word study each day.

7. Building Global Citizens Through Literacy Connections
    Presenter: Maria Kruzdlo, Fourth Grade Teacher, Evesham Township School District

Learn how to bring literacy instruction to the next level and help students dig deeper into the text by making global connections. This presentation will focus on integrating authentic learning experiences with a foundation in literacy. We will explore a variety of resources and ideas to connect what children read on the pages of a book across the curriculum and across the globe. Join us on a journey to Vietnam, Korea, Mauritius, Canada, California, Hawaii, Japan, the floor of the Pacific Ocean and even Outer Space

8. Fluency Fanatic
    Presenter: Dr. Helen Hoffner, Professor & Coordinator of the Reading Specialist Certification Program, Holy Family University

How do you help children become more fluent readers?  In this workshop, we will discuss ways to use read-alouds, captioned videos and TV programs, comic strips, and other common instructional materials to build students’ confidence and ability to read fluently.

9. Tell Me More: Strategies to Help Writers Write Longer and Stronger (Grades 3-6)
    Presenter: Vicki Dugan, Retired Elementary Teacher, Lumberton Public Schools

We’ve all been there… “I don’t know what else to write!”  “What do you mean, ‘Show don’t tell?’”  “I did add some adjectives!” This workshop will offer specific strategies that will engage writers and enable them to add a variety of details and description to both fiction and non-fiction pieces. These mini-lessons will use mentor texts, student writing, and teacher examples to demonstrate strategies. Students will improve their writing and look forward to sharing their new strategies!

10. Small Group Interventions that Hit the Target (Grades K-8)
      Presenter: Maria Matlack, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, Lumberton School District

Do you have students who are not yet meeting the literacy standards?  Do you ever find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed, working hard to meet their needs but seeing little progress? This session will provide simple, research-based approaches to small group interventions that will help you work smarter rather than harder to accelerate reading growth.

11.  Daily 5: Fostering Independent Literacy
       Presenter: Kristi Schoppe, Bridgeton Public Schools Master Teacher

Learn how to structure literacy time so students work independently and productively while you deliver small group instruction.

12. Reading Interventions and the Brain

       Presenters: Lynn Bresnahan, Literacy Teacher Coach, Cherry Hill Public Schools

                          Terry Molony, School Psychologist, Cherry Hill Public Schools

Choosing the right reading intervention for our struggling students can be a tricky task. Join us to learn more about the neuropsychology of reading and what the research says about the most common reading challenges. Recommendations for reading intervention programs to address specific reading problems will be provided.


13. Content Area Literacy: Strategies for Real-World Readers and Writers
      Presenter: Lauralee Richardson,  7th grade Language Arts, Moorestown Township Public Schools

As a result of challenging standardized testing and higher academic standards, all within a technologically advanced world, one of our biggest goals as educators is to help our students become competent, twenty-first century readers and writers.  During this workshop, we will be discussing, brainstorming, and experimenting with a variety of content-area literacy strategies to help students be successful in language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies classrooms.  Through exploring these content-area literacy practices, we can supply our students with the tools they need to effectively comprehend complex, discipline-specific, informational texts.

14.  We have the technology. Now what? (GR 6-8)
        Presenters: Michelle Cohen: Triton High School; Special Education English Teacher; Technology Super User;

                           Elizabeth Procida: Pennsauken School District; English Language Arts BSIP Teacher

Embrace the computers in your classroom! This session will explore how to write feedback quickly on student drafts, how to incorporate effective student collaboration, and how to bring textbooks to life with authentic lessons. These are just a few tasks you can do with Google for Education tools. If you teach reading and writing to middle schoolers and above, these tools can save you valuable time and ensure your students work harder than you.


West Jersey Reading Council is pleased to offer a comprehensive, professionally enriching program to area educators, administrators, and parents.  It includes the following:

  • Numerous sessions on current educational topics
  • Exhibits of the latest educational materials
  • Professional exchange of ideas, methods, and techniques
  • Resume benefit - PD

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Place: Pennsauken High School

$40.00 for registration - includes membership dues, complimentary dinner and the conference

$20.00 for full-time undergraduate student registration - includes membership dues, complimentary dinner and the conference (college ID is required at registration)

Note: Membership periods run September 2018 - August 2019

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, October 4, 2018


If you experience difficulty with registering, please email us at: contactwjrc@gmail.com