Workshop Options
The following workshops will be offered twice unless otherwise indicated:

1.The Art of Comprehension

    Presenter: Trevor Bryan, Pre-K to Grade 5 Art Educator -  Jackson School District
                     Author, Stenhouse Publishers Consultant, Fable Vision Learning

     In this workshop, Trevor will share how you can help your students meaningfully engage with reading comprehension and

     writing skills through the use of visual texts (illustrations).  Because visual texts are highly accessible to a wide range of

     learners this approach is excellent for non, emerging and striving readers. However, the approach can help your soaring

     students too.

2. Equity in Literacy: The Next Step
    Presenters: Diana Morris & Jennifer Rushton - Penns Grove/Carneys Point Regional School District

     Equity, inequity, diverse, multicultural, race, social class, global, gender identity, sexual orientation, social justice, poverty,

    data, power and privilege, intersectionality, what...?  Let’s put it all together and move past just another workshop on equity.

    This interactive workshop will help participants put it all together and move their practices toward genuine greater equity.

3. Pride in Publishing Drives Passion for Literacy
    Presenter: Andrea Bergstein

    Spark creativity in literacy with writing, illustration and publishing tools that can bring to life personal narratives, poetry, creative writing, graphic novel study, world language,   

    research papers and more. This hands-on approach engages students and drives passion in literacy at all levels with a positive impact on learning. Empower your students to       

    become published authors.

4. The Mindful Educator
     Presenter: Brianne Siderio - Somerdale-Park Elementary

     Enhance your personal self-care and relaxation practices to help reduce teacher burnout, whether you’ve been a teacher for a few months or a few years.  The workshop includes       dedicated time for mindfulness practices that can reduce stress and improve your physical and emotional well-being. This includes daily morning and evening mindfulness 

     meditation ideas, mindful eating, mindful walking, and informal mindfulness practices and techniques.  Bring a yoga mat. Wear comfortable clothing. A certified fitness instructor,     

     Young Living Essential Oil and Arbonne representatives will educate. Win free giveaways for the mindful life and enjoy refreshments that heal. Come learn the literacy about how         to nurture the inner landscape of a teacher’s life.

5. Engaging Young Learners in Literacy (FIRST SESSION ONLY)
    Presenter: Beth Wharton - New Jersey Department of Education - English Language Arts Coordinator K-3
     This presentation will discuss how to engage students K-3 in meaningful literacy lessons and activities. An overview will be provided for making reading, writing, and literacy centers

     fun and enjoyable for all students.

6. Practical Ideas for Improving Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing (FIRST SESSION ONLY)
    Presenter: Nathan Levy, Author

    This workshop, by noted Stories with Holes author, Nathan Levy, will help teachers assist children in developing fluency of writing, reading and thinking.  Participants will develop

    options for problem-solving and critical thinking and will learn time-saving strategies and creative ideas. Writing and critical thinking activities that have been used successfully with 

    gifted children will be shared in this engaging, interactive presentation.

7. Powerful Strategies to Enhance the Learning of Students(SECOND SESSION ONLY)
    Presenter: Nathan Levy Author

    This workshop, by noted Stories with Holes author, Nathan Levy, explores numerous, proven ways to reach learners in challenging ways. Participants will leave with a variety of new

    strategies and specific ideas to help pupils become better creative and critical thinkers.  A variety of successful teaching and parenting techniques relating to social and emotional 

   needs will be shared. Bring your thinking caps and your funny bones to this dynamic presentation.

8. Powerful Prompting to Support Struggling Students
    Presenter: Heather Lieberman - K-5 Curriculum Supervisor/ ELA, Social Studies, Basic Skills, G&T, & Library- Hamilton Township School District 

    Join me to learn how to more effectively empower your struggling readers without enabling them. Take a deeper look at the reading mistakes they make, what they mean, and learn      how to help kids help themselves!

9. Teach through Storytelling and Graphics
       Presenter: Daryl Cobb Children's Author

     Guest Author Daryl Cobb will demonstrate through storytelling, graphic illustrations and group activities how teachers can use an alternate approach to teach students how to     

     become better writers and understand the process better. There will be interactive segments that will cover conflict and resolution, creating detail and a demonstration of the editing

     process using colorful graphics where the attendees will become the book editor-- this will give everyone a better understanding of “why it’s important” to double check their work.

10. Reader's and Writer's Workshop in the Primary Classroom
      Presenter: Susan Morrissey K-2 Literacy Coach, M.Ed. Elementary Education; Reading Specialist

      Let's talk about what Reader's and Writer's Workshop actually looks like in a primary classroom. We will delve into what the lesson should look like and delineate the roles of the          teacher and students. Bring your questions and experiences to make this an interactive workshop!

11. Supporting Developmental Readers through Diversification and a Balanced Literacy Approach
      Presenter: Susan Cydis, Priti Haria & Dr. Shelly Meyer - Stockton University

      This model will describe an approach to instruction that integrates the use of Balanced Literacy and the supports needed to diversify instruction for struggling readers. The model 

      includes a partnership with Stockton University and future teachers supporting developing readers as a component of the clinical practice experience.

12. Unique Books to Excite Readers
      Presenter: Kathleen Spence - Retired reading specialist. Adjunct at TCNJ

     Children’s books have expanded tremendously in the way that their content is delivered.  Come see some examples of beautiful, imaginative, and out-of-the-box books that will   

     spark the interest of your literacy-loving and reluctant readers, and for all readers who cherish the possibilities that a book can hold.

13. The Canine Tutor: A Reader’s Best Friend
      Presenter: Judith E. Burr & Wilson the Reading Dog - Retired; Paws for Reading program at Mt. Laurel Library

      Does reading to a dog make a measurable difference? Come meet Wilson, a friendly Bearded Collie mix, who will review the literature and demonstrate the techniques that help          his student’s progress. Take the challenge: earn a special take-home token by participating in Wilson’s reading test for teachers.

14. Culturally Responsive Teaching Through Diverse Books
      Presenters: Melissa Antinoff - Lumberton 3rd grade, 2019 Burlington County Teacher of the Year 

                          Bernai Brown-Holman - Lumberton 2nd grade 
      In this session, participants will actively learn how to teach culturally responsive lessons using children’s literature to discuss culture, behavior, race, gender, and religion. We will         discuss social-emotional learning through the literature lens and participants will receive a list of suggested books.

15. ESL Toolbox—Easy Strategies for Language Learners
      Presenter: Sherry DuBoff - Shamong Township School District;  Response to Intervention Teacher

       Looking for easy tips and tricks for teaching English language learners? Fill your toolbox with simple strategies, like building background knowledge and scaffolding, for supporting

       the language demands of all students, especially English language learners, in the mainstream classroom.

16. The Revolution in Non-Fiction for Children: New Rules New Subjects
       Presenter: Elizabeth Levy - Author

      Non-fiction for children in the 21st Century is going through a revolution both in subject matter, (people and subjects previously left-out), and in new rules for sourcing and back              matter.  Elizabeth Levy, author of Bringing Down A President: The Watergate Scandal, will try to lead us through it, using both her book, and other stellar examples of new non-


17. NOT Reinventing the Wheel: Giving Older Interventions New Life
      Presenter: Alexandra Guido-Smith -Clara Barton Elementary School, Bordentown, NJ

      Smart teachers know they don't need to hop on the bandwagon for every new intervention.  We know great ideas and best practices never go out of date, even though materials 

      might.  With a little know how and ingenuity, we can repurpose old materials, look at dated programs under a different lens, and ultimately meet the needs of all of our students   

      using materials we probably already have.

18. Connected Classrooms: Breaking Down Walls and Lifting Learning Across the Globe
     Presenters: Maria Kruzdlo - Gifted and Talented Teacher (Gr 3-8), Evesham Township School District
                         Casey Jane Schaffer- Library Media Specialist, Evesham Township School District

       Learn how to bring literacy instruction to the next level and help students dig deeper into learning 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 lifting literacy and engagement with authenticity.  Whether you are tech savvy or just beginning, you will walk away with   

       ideas you can use in the classroom tomorrow.  Note: Attendees to bring their own device

19. Need Powerful Reading Interventions? Poetry to the Rescue!
      Presenter: Maria Matlack Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction - Lumberton School District, recently retired

      Regardless of the grade or reading level, and regardless of the need, a poem is a powerful intervention tool in a small package. In this workshop, we will examine the ways a good

      poem can be used to provide interventions in word attack/phonics, fluency, and comprehension. Come with a poem and/or student(s) in mind. During the hands-on portion of the          workshop, you will create a lesson that meets a need in your classroom.

20. Balancing Literacy Instruction with the Use of Technology (3-6)
      Presenter: Vicki Dugan Retired from Lumberton Twp.

      This workshop will provide you with ideas to incorporate literacy activities using technology in your classroom. I’ll provide examples of websites, apps, activities and projects you

      can use in the classroom that will help you and your students see the benefits of using technology alongside traditional instruction in the areas of reading and writing. You and your

      students will learn how to connect locally and globally, strengthen literacy skills and find the joy in both old and new ways of learning.

21. Inclusion and Empowerment: Using Picture Books to Open Conversations
      Presenters: Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen & Robin Newman - Authors

      Picture books are invaluable tools for teaching students about diversity, inclusion, and empowerment. Using Chicks Rule! and A No Peacocks! Feathered

      Tale of Three Mischievous Foodies, authors Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Robin Newman examine and discuss how to make these important themes

      accessible in a classroom setting.

22 How to adapt Newsela for the English Language Learner
      Presenter: Alamelu Sundaram-Walters - ESL Educator, Mount Laurel School District

      As a certified Teacher Trainer for Newsela, I will share strategies, applications and ways to use the NEWSELA platform for your ESL students in the mainstream classroom as well        as in a pull out classroom.

23. Observing the Natural World to Inspire Story (grades 3-8)
      Presenter: Melissa Sarno Author

      Author Melissa Sarno will talk about the inspiration behind her middle grade novels Just Under the Clouds and A Swirl of Ocean. She will provide writing exercises for students to   

      observe their environments in order to craft stories and understand more about their own identities and circumstances.

24. Writing an Epistolary Novel: Finding Voices and Story Through Letters (grades 6-8, High School)
     Presenter: Aimee Herman - Writing and Literature Teacher Bronx Community College in Bronx, NY

     Writing an Epistolary Novel explores the process of building characters and storyline through letters. Aimee Herman will talk about the novel, Everything Grows which explores the

     themes of bullying, coming out, gender identity, and mental illness.

25. How a manuscript, Left for Almost 10-years on a Shelf, Became a Successful Mystery Series (grades 6-8, High School)
      Presenter: Martin Herman Author

      An entertaining explanation of how a short story, begun during an hour-long airplane delayed takeoff, which was tossed onto a shelf for almost a decade, got into print and led to a

      5 book mystery series which has sold thousands of copies since 2016.

26. Have You Met a Youth Caregiver? (grades 6-8, High School)
      Presenter: Frank Morelli - Grade 8, Language Arts & Literature - Westchester Country Day School High Point, NC

      Author Frank Morelli shares his personal experience with Alzheimer’s caregiving, the educational effects being a career has on the average student, and what prompted him to

      write a young adult novel No Sad Songs confronting the topic.

27. Journalism in the Classroom (grades 6-8, High School)
       Presenter: Ellen Lewis Author

       Ellen Parry Lewis will discuss the reporting and writing processes involved in journalism.  This includes the interview process, coming up with news-worthy story ideas, and the

       various writing and editing techniques specific to both hard news and feature writing. While these techniques would be of use to school newspaper groups, Ellen will also explore

       how some of these skills could be integrated into other classroom assignments.

28. Making the Grade in Middle Grade (grades 3-8)
      Presenters: Lauren Abbey Greenberg & Colleen Kosinski - Authors

      Come have a conversation with authors Lauren Abbey Greenberg and Colleen Kosinski as they book talk their latest projects, give tips on how to create a fulfilling author-educator

      relationship, and recommend the latest and greatest middle grade books for the classroom.

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 16, 2019
Place: Pennsauken High School

$50.00 for registration - includes membership dues, complimentary dinner and the conference
$25.00 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 2019 - August 2020

Registration Closes: Friday, October 4, 2019


If you experience difficulty with registering, please email us at:


  4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Registration

                             Boxed Meal

                             Book Exhibits

  4:30 – 4:55 p.m. President Announcement;

                             Author Meet &  Greet

  5:00 – 5:45 p.m. Session 1

  5:45 – 6:15 p.m. Author Visit

                             Boxed Meal

                             Book Exhibits

  6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Session 2

Boxed meals will be served from 4:00 – 6:15.

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

Meaningful Literacy in Today's World


West Jersey Reading Council