2013 Early Literacy Symposium

Experts in the field of early literacy offer practical methods to encourage early learning in every child. Registration for this free event is required by April 16, 2013.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
8:00am @ Plaza Branch

Parents, teachers and civic leaders – Join Us in Building a Community of Readers!

Investing early in children’s literacy skills sets the stage for a lifetime of success. As readers they are more likely to:

  • Excel in school and graduate from college
  • Enjoy higher earnings over the course of their careers
  • Contribute to the civic and cultural life of their communities

At the Early Literacy Symposium you will learn practical ways to stimulate children’s language skills and a love for books and reading. Register today for the free Early Literacy Symposium! Registration is required by April 16th.

KDHE and Missouri approval pending for in-service training clock hours for the Early Literacy Symposium.

Early Literacy Symposium Schedule:

8 a.m. Doors open for Registration
8:45 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Keynote Address: Everyday Magic with Susan Hope Bard

Every day is an opportunity to bring magic into the hearts and minds of young children and their parents and caregivers. These moments translate into reading readiness, enthusiasm for learning and a positive start in life. Learn how making reading fun builds brain connections that last a lifetime. Non-traditional methods of sharing stories, including singing, dancing and physical activity, help children integrate literacy into all aspects of life. Help get children reading more proficiently at an earlier age to increase later school success. Children who learn to love reading develop critical early literacy skills and solid reading comprehension. Learn why it is important for child care providers and parents to take advantage of everyday moments before children enter Kindergarten.

Susan Bard has been a presenter for the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read adult training project since 2001. As part of the pilot program, she worked with libraries across the country and abroad to integrate research-based practices into story times and children’s programs. As an educator, Susan has worked with children from birth to high school and trained teachers, parents and community partners in effective youth programming. For the Baltimore County Public Library she created Story Timers, a volunteer initiative to expand library programs to underserved children. Bard holds degrees in Education and Communication and is dedicated to helping all children success in life through the love of reading.

10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Break
11:00 – 12:30 Choice of two concurrent break-out sessions:
  • Breakout A: Practical Magic – Susan Hope Bard

Learn practical skills and simple methods to identify early literacy techniques that work best for you. Practice these methods to build your confidence and understanding of reading comprehension and decoding for young children. This session will review the Every Child Ready to Read Second Edition methods and research. Participants will be introduced to simple, meaningful methods of incorporating research-based techniques into daily activities in the classroom, through children’s programming, and at home.

  • Breakout B: The Magic of Books – Helma Hawkins and Naphtali Faris

Explore the magic of books for early literacy with the guidance of expert children’s librarians. Discover new titles and award-winning children’s literature and illustration. Learn how others use their favorite books with children in classroom and home settings. Gain ideas you can put to use today!

Helma Hawkins has a personal and professional passion for books and children. She was a children’s librarian in Wyoming and Colorado before coming to Kansas City in 1994 to be Director of Children’s Services at the Kansas City Public Library. Helma serves on the community council for Reach Out and Read Kansas City, and received the Hooked on Books Dr. Seuss Award as outstanding community volunteer in 2004.

Naphtali Faris is the new Early Literacy Manager for the Kansas City Public Library. Before joining the staff Naphtali served as youth services librarian for the St. Louis Public Library and then as Literacy and Youth Services Consultant for the State Library of Missouri. A 2012 member of the Newbery Committee, she currently serves on the American Library Association’s Council.

Space is limited! Registration is required by April 16th. There are two easy ways to register today:

  1. Register online
  2. Call the Library at 816-701-3407

The Plaza Library is located at 4801 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. Free parking is available in the adjacent Library garage.


Our partners for this event are the Francis Institute for Child and Youth Development at Metropolitan Community College Penn Valley, The Family Conservancy, Child Care Aware of Missouri, and ACE Alliance for Childhood Education.

Kansas City Public Library Beta