2023 Annual Conference
"Literacy Empowers All!"
February 23-25, 2023
Marriott Hilton Head Resort and Spa
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
We understand the disruption and uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing locally and worldwide. At this time the PSLA Conference dates and schedule remain unchanged. We are closely monitoring guidance from federal, state, and local authorities regarding travel and COVID-19 and will take proactive measures, as necessary, to ensure the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, and staff. The standard conference refund policy will not apply if conference dates are altered due to COVID-19. Thank you for your patience and continued support.
Let’s stay safe!! Please adhere to all safety protocols designated by Marriott and Omni Hotels. We’ll provide as much spacing as possible as well as hand sanitizing stations.
The PSLA Annual Conference is an amazing professional learning opportunity for educators at all levels to come together to learn and grow in order to refine current literacy practices.
The conference supports our primary commitment to promote literacy through the improvement of reading, writing, and communication instruction and to encourage literacy as a lifetime tool for learning.
Marriot Resort & Spa
Start Date: Sunday, February 19, 2023
End Date: Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Last Day to Book: Friday, February 1, 2023
Hotel(s) offering your special group rate:
From: $154 USD /night
CONFERENCE OVERFLOW HOTEL:
Omni Resorts, Hilton Head
Start Date: Monday, February 20, 2023
End Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Last Day to Book: Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Group rate: From: $175 plus $20/night resort fee
Note: The Omni does not take personal, school or district checks.
Gerry Brooks has been an educator for 25 years, beginning as a third-grade teacher in Palm Bay, FL. He earned his master’s in administration and has been an elementary principal for 12 years.
Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College having been...
an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association William S. Grey citation of merit, an Exemplary Leader award from the Conference on English Leadership of NCTE, as well as a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design as well as books, such as The Restorative Practices Playbook, PLC+: Better Decisions and Greater Impact by Design, Building Equity, and Better Learning Through Structured Teaching. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor in Educational Leadership at San Diego State and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. She is a member of the International Literacy...
Association's Literacy Research Panel. Her published titles include Visible Learning in Literacy, This Is Balanced Literacy, Removing Labels, and Rebound. Nancy is a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California and learns from teachers and students every day.
With more than 20 years in education, has been a teacher, a literacy coach, and a consultant, working with children and teachers across grade levels, schools, and districts.
Co-sponsored by Stenhouse Publishers
Trevor Bryan (Educator, Author) has been an art teacher in New Jersey for over 20 years. Trevor’s first book, The Art of Comprehension: Exploring Visual Texts to Foster Comprehension,...
Conversation, and Confidence, was published in 2019 by Stenhouse Publishers. Since 2012, Trevor has presented his work which focuses on reading comprehension, writer’s craft (story-sharing) and arts integration at numerous national and state art and literacy conferences. Trevor has also consulted The Princeton University Art Museum and award-winning and bestselling author/illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds’ education company, FableVision Learning. Find Trevor on Twitter, @TrevorABryan, on Facebook through The Art of Comprehension page or through his Blog, Four O”Clock Faculty.
Kelly Gallagher (Educator, Author, Consultant) is a literacy education author and consultant, specializing in the teaching of English Language Arts for grades 4-12.
Informed by a 35-year teaching career working with culturally diverse, underrepresented students, Kelly has developed and shares an ever-evolving body of work that helps teachers engage and empower even the most reluctant readers and writers. Kelly is the former president of the Secondary Reading Group for the International Literacy Association and the singular author of several professional development books valued by educators and education schools worldwide, including Readicide and Write Like This. His most recent books include 180 Days and 4 Essential Studies, both co-written with Penny Kittle. Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyGToGo and visit him at kellygallagher.org.
Deion Jamison is the 2023 South Carolina Teacher of the Year and is a 9th and 10th grade ELA teacher at Legacy Early College in Greenville, SC.
He earned his undergraduate degree in Sociology from Clemson University and a Masters of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Jamison became interested in teaching as a child, but the career was solidified after recognizing the disparities in education in South Carolina between districts. As a Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar and product of Orangeburg County Schools, he ascribes to the proverb “to whom much is given, much is required,” further influencing his decision to teach. Jamison believes that education is liberation and teaches his students skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving to address the world’s most pressing issues. Jamison’s work has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally from organizations such as Teach For America and the National Council of Teachers of English. Aside from accolades, Jamison is most proud of creating brave, inclusive spaces for culturally and linguistically diverse students to thrive.
Frank W. Baker (Educator, Author) is an internationally recognized media literacy educator. He maintains the MediaLiteracyClearinghouse and CloseReadingTheMedia websites.
His lifelong work in media literacy was recognized in 2019 by UNESCO. He is the author of “Close Reading The Media” and “Media Literacy in the K-12 Classroom.”
C.C. Bates (Professor, Author, Consultant) is Professor of Literacy Education at Clemson University and the Director of the Early Literacy Center for South Carolina.
She has written 30+ scholarly publications and developed the Record of Reading app for oral reading assessment, which has been downloaded over 400,000 times. Bates is also the author of Interactive Writing: Developing Readers through Writing (Benchmark) and the co-author of The Next Step Forward in Running Records (Scholastic). She is married and has two children.
Tacardra Rountree is an educator, speaker, and author. She has her Bachelor of Science degree from Fort Valley State University and her Master of Education degree...
from the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Writings From Down Through the Years and Hello Queen. Writings From Down Through the Years is an inspirational book of poetry and readings. Hello Queen is her first children's picture book. Hello Queen is a poetic portrayal of what a Queen represents - beauty, intelligence, determination, and more. Rountree is a Multilingual Learner Coach with Lexington County School District Two.
Nathan Clemens is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Clemens studies reading difficulties in children and youth, particularly,...
Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Katie Kelly (Professor, Author) is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Literacy Graduate Program at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. As a former teacher and literacy coach,...
Katie’s teaching and research interests include engaging children in meaningful literacy experiences and practices to foster lifelong literacy, equity, and justice.
She is widely published in several peer-reviewed journals including The Reading Teacher and Voices from the Middle. She has co-authored three books: Reading To Make a Difference: Using Literature to Help Students Think Deeply Speak Freely and Take Action (Heinemann), From Pencils to Podcasts: Digital Tools to Transform K-12 Literacy Practices (Solution Tree) and Smuggling Writing: Strategies that Get Students to Write Every Day, in Every Content Area (3-12) (Corwin) and has a new book under contract. She can be contacted on Twitter @ktkelly14 and by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eric Litwin (Author, Musician) is a song singing, guitar strumming, # 1 New York Times best selling, award winning author who brings early literacy and music together.
He is the original author of the Pete the Cat series as well as the author of The Nuts, Groovy Joe, and The Poop Song. Eric is also the co-author of The Power of Joyful Reading: Help Your Young Readers Soar to Success, a popular professional development book for teachers.
His books have sold over 13 million copies, been translated into 17 languages, and won 26 literacy awards including a Theodor Geisel Seuss Honor Award.
Charles R. Smith Jr. is an award-winning author, photographer and poet with over thirty books to his credit. His awards include a Coretta Scott King Award...
for Illustration (2010) for his photographs accompanying the Langston Hughes poem, My People and a Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award (2008) for his biography on Muhammad Ali, Twelve Rounds to Glory. Many of his books have also garnered reluctant reader awards, proving that kids that don’t like to read, do like to read his books.
Charles’s interest in writing came first, years ago, growing up in Compton, California when he began composing simple poems and stories inspired by the books he read. "Reading books filled with stories and poems inspired me to write my own. And if I wasn't reading a book, I was playing a sport: I played everything, particularly basketball, and spent many afternoons on the court, perfecting my jump shot."
In high school, Charles’s love of writing led to him join the high school yearbook staff as a writer where he was also required to take photographs. Through trial and error, Charles soon found a new love in photography. "Right up until that point I wanted to be an astronaut, but after taking yearbook pictures nonstop for a year, I knew I wanted to become a professional photographer.”
Today, Charles combines his passions of writing and photography with a variety of subjects that spark his interest, from basketball with Rimshots, Hoop Kings and Hoop Queens to black history with 28 Days and Brick by Brick, to diversity with I Am America and I Am the World, to name just a few of his books. Many of those books have been brought to life with the launch of his YouTube channel centered around cultivating the mind, the body and spirit. From poetry performance, to favorite books, to photography how-to, to American Ninja Warrior and fitness training and more, Charles is harnessing the power of video to engage readers and educators in new ways.
Of the distinctive niche Charles fills with his books, he notes, "I want to show students, particularly boys, that there are many ways to pursue their interests, no matter what they may be."
Charles R. Smith Jr. was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He currently lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Clare Landrigan (Author) is a staff developer who is still a teacher at heart. She leads a private staff development business partnering with school systems...
to implement best practices in the field of literacy. She believes that effective professional development includes side by side teaching; analysis of student work; mutual trust; respect; and a good dose of laughter. She is the co-author of, It's All About the Books published by Heinemann and Assessment in Perspective, published by Stenhouse. Clare is on the board of The Book Love Foundation and you can find her online at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website, where she blogs about books and the art of teaching.
Linda Williams Jackson is the author of Midnight Without a Moon, which was an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, a Jane Addams Honor Book for Peace and Social Justice,
and a Washington Post Summer Book Club Selection. Her second book, A Sky Full of Stars, received a Malka Penn Honor for an outstanding children’s book addressing human rights issues and was a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. Her most recent book, The Lucky Ones, was honored by Common Sense Media with a Common Sense Selection Seal, which honors the best new books for families and teens and recognizes and champions entertaining, high-quality books that have enriching, relatable stories and/or positive messages and role models. The Lucky Ones was inspired by Robert Kennedy’s 1967 Poverty Tour of the Mississippi Delta and is loosely based on the author’s own family’s experiences. Southern born and Southern bred, Linda Williams Jackson still calls Mississippi home.
Melinda Long is the author of several picture books. Her books, HOW I BECAME A PIRATE and PIRATES DON’T CHANGE DIAPERS published through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt...
were New York Times Bestsellers. HOW I BECAME A PIRATE is also making its way around the country in the form of a musical, written by Mark Friedman and Janet Vogt. Their musical, JINGLE AARGH THE WAY, is also based on Melinda’s work.
Other books include THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN SOUTH CAROLINA and ART SMART, SCIENCE DETECTIVE: THE CASE OF THE SLIDING SPACESHIP, HICCUP SNICKUP and WHEN PAPA SNORES.
Melinda, a long-time pirate fan, lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband, Thom, and her three spoiled dogs. She has two adult children, and two beautiful granddaughters. She holds a B.A. in education from Furman University and was a teacher for 23 years. Melinda loves acting, yoga, reading, playing the ukulele, and of course, writing. She really enjoys talking to kids about reading and writing because she likes kids as much as she likes pirates.
New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Matt Tavares (Author) created his first picture book as his senior project in college. It eventually became Zachary’s Ball (Candlewick),...
which received a Massachusetts Book Award Honor, and was named one of Yankee Magazine’s 40 Classic New England Children’s Books. Since then, he has illustrated twenty-one more books, nine of which he also wrote. Three titles received Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, three were named ALA Notable Books, one was an Orbis Pictus Honor Book, and eleven were selected by the Society of Illustrators for their annual Original Art exhibit. His debut graphic novel, Hoops, will be released in March, 2023.
When Matt's not working in his studio on his latest book project, he travels the country speaking and drawing at schools, libraries, conferences, and bookstores. He has presented at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Eric Carle Museum, the White House Easter Egg Roll, and he's even done a few book signings at Fenway Park.
Matt lives in Maine with his wife, Sarah, and their two daughters.
Blair Northen Williamson spent much of her childhood off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina. This environment fostered a passion for sea life. Her love of nature, the ocean,...
and relating to others led to a decade of working for Global Expeditions Group. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Blair fulfilled her wanderlust by living and travelling worldwide. She is a wife, dedicated mother to two daughters, a sailing captain, and a PADI master scuba diver trainer. Williamson is familiar with the problems turtles have with plastic bags. Her imagination combined with a love of teaching led Blair to publish her debut children’s book to spread awareness about the danger of plastics in our oceans.
Sponsored by Plastic Ocean Project