Tuesday, Nov 7, 2017, 8:00 - 3:30

Join nonprofit and government agencies, community advocates, volunteers and parents to network, develop new skills and share promising practices. 

Purchase your tickets here

This literacy event offers a wide range of sessions presented by local, state and national educators. Sessions are designed to provide you with new ideas and hands-on strategies that you can put to work for your program and students. Sessions promise to be interactive and are sure to help expand your knowledge on a variety of topics related to education, literacy, advocacy and parent engagement.

This year's event features Dr. Shawn Ginwright, author of "Hope and Healing in Urban Education" and "Black Youth Rising, Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America" among others. See video of Dr. Ginwright's keynote address at the National Summer Learning Association's Conference below.


Schedule of Events*

8:00 - Registration
9:00 - Welcome
9:15 - Keynote, Dr. Shawn Ginwright
10:15 - Literacy Mid-South Address
11:00 - Out-of-School Time

  • Volunteer Recruitment, Utilization, and Retention for Community-Based Literacy Programs
  • TBD with John Barker
  • Vision, Litearcy, and Community Impact: Moving the Needle on Literacy Through Vision Care

12:00 - Lunch
1:10 - Healthy Readers

  • Engaging Parents to Encourage Academic Achievement of Inner City Youth
  • TBD with Jamilica Burke
  • Early Literacy Promotion in Primary Care

2:20 - In-School Time

  • MTR Camp: Promoting a Love for Learning
  • Embracing Teachers as a Vital Literacy Resource: An International and US Perspective
  • The Impact of Family Literacy on Early Learning (LENA)

3:30 - Conclude


Confirmed Breakout Sessions


Out-of-School Time


Volunteer Recruitment, Utilization, and Retention for Community-Based Literacy Programs

Refugee Empowerment Program
Cam Echols, Jaquan Lindsey, and Jesika Davidson

Refugee Empowerment Program (REP) has relied on volunteers to help carry out our mission since our inception 15 years ago. Experience has taught us that, just like we do for our students, we must give our volunteers attention, support, and respect (and gain their buy-in) if they are to thrive and help us accomplish our mission. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of how REP recruits, orients, utilizes, and retains volunteers for our STARS reading program.

John Barker


Vision, Literacy, and Community Impact: Moving the Needle on Literacy Through Vision Care
Southern College of Optometry
Marie Bodack, OD and Cecily Freeman

About 80% of learning is done visually. Studies have shown a link between uncorrected vision problems and early literacy deficits, with children in low-income and minority communities disproportionately affected. Representatives of Southern College of Optometry will share details about the impact of vision on learning and literacy, how vision problems may present as other kinds of challenges, and how the College is working to reduce the rate of uncorrected vision problems and increase school success among Memphis area children.


Healthy Readers


Engaging Parents to Encourage Academic Achievement of Inner City Youth

Emmanuel Center, Inc.
Rev. Colenzo Hubbard and Charon Hubbard

The primary goal of Emmanuel Center Inc. is to provide a safe and stimulating education environment to help children maintain academic continuity during after-school hours and through the summer break. In partnership with Literacy Mid-South and our parent meetings, we feel this sustained year-round contact and family engagement with youth and their parents is a critical factor in their social and academic success. Studies and evidence prove that year-round approach to academic achievement is proven to help disadvantage youth access their full potential.

Seeding Success
Jamilica Burke


Early Literacy Promotion in Primary Care
LeBonheur Childrens' Hospital and University of Tennessee
Dr. Jason Yaun, MD

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that literacy promotion is an essential component of primary care pediatric practice. Reach Out and Read is one well-established, evidence based, literacy promotion program for primary care offices. Through this intervention physicians give children books at well-child exams and discuss the importance and benefits of early literacy development with families and caregivers. Providing books, talking with families, and forming community partnerships are just some ways pediatricians can leverage their unique position to promote early literacy in the office and beyond.


In School Leaders


MTR Camp: Promoting a Love for Learning

Memphis Teacher Residency
Candace Obadina

MTR Camp exists to reduce summer learning regression, promote a love for learning and expose college students to urban education. After 5 summers, many lessons have been learned and this workshop will highlight a few quality improvement measures that MTR Camp has implemented to ensure it is effective in meeting its goals. At MTR Camp students are daily encouraged to value learning. I hope that you leave this session excited about summer learning and empowered to implement some of the ideas shared. 

Embracing Teachers as a Vital Literacy Resource
University of Memphis
Mark Conley

This session will share ideas about how teacher leadership in literacy boosts achievement and improves entire educational systems in countries that perform at the top of international assessments in literacy (the US is in the middle of the rankings). The session will describe efforts in the US, through the National Center on Education and the Economy and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, to build a national career ladder system. The purpose of this system is for teacher leaders in literacy to gain expertise and grow into more responsible roles with appropriate compensation throughout their careers. Doing this will address rising teacher shortages across the nation, as well as attract more talented individuals into careers as teachers.

The Impact of Family Literacy on Early Learning (LENA)
Seeding Success and Literacy Mid-South
Kyle Cheney, Stacy Early, Troy Wiggins

Children begin learning language from their interactions with the world around them from their first days. The adults in a child's life have a significant impact on a their early learning. This impact can be adversely affected by the adult's literacy and reading ability. This session will provide an overview of some of the adult-, parent-, and family-focused programs offered in Shelby County designed to increase adult literacy and awareness of the impact it can have on early learning. 


*The schedule and breakout sessions are subject to change.

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