Investing in early learning sets the stage for a lifetime of success, including greater academic achievement, higher lifetime earnings, and heightened civic engagement.
The Kansas City Public Library hosts the second annual Early Literacy Symposium on Saturday, April 20, 2013, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Truman Forum at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Experts in the field of early literacy will offer practical methods to encourage early learning in every child, thus increasing our community's potential for a more culturally and economically vibrant future.
The event's keynote address, Everyday Magic, will be given at 9 a.m. by national literacy consultant Susan Bard.
Bard will explain how every day is an opportunity to bring magic into the hearts and minds of young children and adults. These moments translate into reading readiness, enthusiasm for learning, and a positive start in life.
Bard maintains that by making reading fun through non-traditional methods like telling stories, singing, dancing, and physical activity, parents, and educators can build brain connections that last a lifetime.
Since 2001 Bard has been a presenter for the American Library Association's Every Child Ready to Read program. As an educator she has worked with children from birth to high school and trained educators, parents, and community partners. Bard created and managed Story Timers, a volunteer effort at the Baltimore County Public Library to increase programming for underserved children.
The keynote speech will be followed by a breakout session led by Bard. Practical Magic allows educators to learn skills to identify effective early literacy techniques. This session will review the Every Child Ready to Read Second Edition research. Participants will be provided with methods for incorporating research-based techniques with daily activities in the classroom and in children's programming.
A second breakout session, The Magic of Books, will be led by Helma Hawkins, director of children's services, and Naphtali Faris, early literacy manager, at the Kansas City Public Library. They will introduce participants to new titles and award-winning children's literature and illustration, and offer ideas for using these books in classroom and home settings. Visit the Library's website at kclibrary.org to get a listing of times.
Admission is free. Registration is required by April 16. Visit kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407 to register. Professional development "clock hours" are pending for child care professionals and early educators who attend.
Our symposium partners 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.
The Early Literacy Symposium is co-sponsored by the Hall Family Foundation as a part of Building a Community of Readers.