SUNY Potsdam to Host 2017 Journey Into Literacy Conference

SUNY Potsdam Welcomes Authors, Educators and Students for 2017 Journey Into Literacy Conference Oct. 26 and 27

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SUNY Potsdam education students tutor schoolchildren during an afterschool mentoring program at the Rebecca V. Sheard Literacy Center.

POTSDAM, NY (10/18/2017) (readMedia)-- SUNY Potsdam will bring together area educators, professors, teacher education students and guest speakers for the 2017 Journey Into Literacy Conference, on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 26 and 27. The theme for this year's conference is "Applying a Diversity of Perspectives."

Organized by the literacy program at SUNY Potsdam's School of Education and Professional Studies, the 2017 Journey Into Literacy Conference will feature several accomplished authors and illustrators among the presenters.

Participants will get to take part in workshops, keynote sessions, roundtables, hands-on activities and book signings. Sessions will be held across campus, including in the Rebecca V. Sheard Literacy Center in Satterlee Hall, and in the Barrington Student Union.

About the guest speakers:

  • Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator, as well as an accomplished writer of more than 30 award-winning books for adolescents and teachers, including "Copper Sun," winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, the highly acclaimed "Jericho" and "Hazelwood" trilogies, and "Out of my Mind," which remains on the New York Times bestseller list. She served as the National Teacher of the Year, has been honored at the White House six times and was selected by the U.S. State Department to be a literary ambassador to the children of Africa, as well as China. In 2015, she was honored by the American Library Association as the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime literary achievement. Her newest novel is "Stella by Starlight."
  • Lisa Wilde is an artist, writer and teacher, who has taught English at J.V.L. Wildcat Academy, a second-chance high school in New York City, for the past 18 years. Her graphic novel about the school, titled "Yo, Miss: A Graphic Look at High School," was published in 2015, and will be reissued with an additional 32 pages in January 2018. Her work has appeared on the site, as well as in "Show & Tell: A Collection of Comics About Teaching and Learning," and the literary journals, The Writing Disorder and Kugelmass, among other places. She is a fellow of the Academy for Teachers.
  • Kate Messner is passionately curious and writes books that encourage kids to wonder, too. Her titles include award-winning picture books, like "Over and Under the Snow," "Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt" and "How to Read a Story." She has also authored novels, like "Capture the Flag," "Wake Up Missing," "All the Answers" and "The Seventh Wish," as well as Scholastic's popular "Ranger in Time" chapter book series, about a time-traveling search and rescue dog. Messner lives on Lake Champlain with her family and is trying to summit all 46 Adirondack High Peaks in between book deadlines.
  • Ciona D. Rouse is a poet, living in Nashville, Tenn. She curates many poetry experiences and reading series in the city. Her poetry has been featured on WPLN Nashville Public Radio, Nashville Public Television and Matter. Rouse's new poetry chapbook was recently released by Third Man Books.
  • Having taught science and math for 17 years, illustrator/author Henry Cole has gone on to pen several children's books that appeal to both young readers and adults. His characters have big hearts and compassionate spirits (they even receive second chances!). Children adore the infusion of nature and the abundant humor found in Cole's books, while his characters' sensitive and caring dispositions charm adults. "Spot, the Cat," "Unspoken," "A Nest for Celeste" and "Trudy" are just a few of his popular works.

The 2017 Journey Into Literacy Conference is sponsored by SUNY Potsdam's Center for Applied Learning, The School of Education and Professional Studies, the Rebecca V. Sheard Literacy Center, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES.

Additional sponsors include the St. Lawrence Valley Teachers' Learning Center, the St. Lawrence-Lewis School Library System, the SUNY Potsdam College Store, Candlewick Press, St. Lawrence University, the SUNY Potsdam Department of Elementary Education and the Office of the Provost.

To read the session descriptions, and find out more about the Journey Into Literacy Conference at SUNY Potsdam, visit

The School of Education and Professional Studies at SUNY Potsdam has been preparing educators for nearly 200 years. For more information, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. To learn more, visit