2018 Annual Conference
Literacy Drives the Future!
Join us for an unforgettable MRA conference with inspirational speakers, educators, authors and special events!
Please note there is no Friday Pre-Conference this year.
MRA Author Luncheons have a fresh new format! Take a break from sessions to enjoy a meal while you engage with ground-breaking national authors, Marc Brown (Saturday) and Jason Reynolds (Sunday).
Round off your conference experience by meeting author and illustrator, Marc Brown. Why is Arthur the aardvark on TV? During Saturday’s luncheon, Marc will discuss the road that Arthur took from book format to the screen, and how print and television mediums can be used together to further enhance the reading experience for children. Don’t miss out on this exclusive ticketed event. Marc Brown, creator of a hit PBS television show, will only be speaking at the Saturday Author Luncheon. The cost of the luncheon is $30.00. A book signing will follow the luncheon in the exhibit hall.
Expand your MRA experience by meeting author Jason Reynolds. Jason is a New York Times bestselling author, a National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. His debut novel was When I Was the Greatest and was followed by Boy in the Black Suit and All American Boys (co-written with Brendan Kiely), As Brave As You, Jump Anyway, and the first two books in the Track series, Ghost and Patina. Don’t miss out on this highly engaging and spirited event. Jason Reynolds will only be speaking at the Sunday Author Luncheon. The cost of this luncheon is $30.00. A book signing will follow the luncheon in the exhibit hall.
Join Nerdy Book Club co-founders, Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp, at this year’s Nerdy Book Club Luncheon. The Nerdy Book Club blog believes that every reader has value and voice in their community. Nerdy is a community blog that invites teachers, librarians, and authors to share their enthusiasm for engaging students with reading. Attendees will discuss new books and resources, and reflect on their reading experiences. Each attendee will receive a copy of Nerdy Book Club co-founder Colby Sharp’s debut book The Creativity Project. The cost of this Saturday luncheon is $32.00.
Come enjoy a night of Motown Music, petite desserts, friends, and honored MRA guests. The Michigan Reading Association would be honored by your presence at this exclusive event. After a full day of education, it is time to let loose and relax with 100 Motown musical hits, desserts, and a cash bar. Past Presidents of the Michigan Reading Association, and our 2018 award recipients, will be honored at this party, so you do not want to miss out! Please come and socialize with our MRA Board members, Conference Committee members, sponsors, authors, and presenters. Don’t miss out on your next professional opportunity and interesting connection. Register today! Immediately following the last General Session on Saturday. The cost of this reception is $15.00.
An original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit movie, Freedom Writers, Manny Scott has energized almost two million leaders, educators, volunteers, and students worldwide with his authentic, inspiring messages of hope. From inner-city youth to business executives, Manny has learned to speak, and command, the language of his audiences with relevant, riveting, and compelling messages, moving them from cheers, to laughter, to tears, and go-forward determination.http://www.mannyscott.com
One of the most compelling voices of our time, Byron V. Garrett is Chairman of the National Family Engagement Alliance (NFEA); a nonprofit dedicated to transforming education through meaningful family engagement. Byron serves as the Director of Educational Leadership & Policy for Microsoft and a consulting author for Scholastic. An accomplished writer, Garrett is the author of several books including the highly popular, The ABC’s of Life. Sponsored by Scholastic Education.https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/authors/byron-v--garrett
Dr. Mike Schmoker is a former administrator, English teacher and football coach. He has written six books and dozens of articles for educational journals, newspapers and for TIME magazine. His most recent book is Leading With Focus which follows his earlier best-seller FOCUS: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning. Dr. Schmoker is the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals for his publications and presentations.http://www.mikeschmoker.com
In 2007, at age 23, Captain Barrington Irving became the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world in a single-engine airplane. He made the trip to show other youth that if he could achieve his dream, they could too. Now recognized as a pioneer in education, he is preparing to revolutionize online learning by piloting the world’s first Flying Classroom. On this flight, he will combine air, land, and sea expeditions with a digital curriculum to engage millions of children throughout the world. Sponsored by Scholastic Education.https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/authors/barrington-irving
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.https://educationcloset.com
Harvey “Smokey” Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. Smokey works with elementary and secondary teachers offering demonstration lessons, workshops, and consulting, with a special focus on creating, sustaining, and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students’ reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers.http://www.harveydaniels.com
Nell Duke, Ed.D., is a professor of language, literacy, and culture and faculty associate in the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. Duke’s work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education.http://www.heinemann.com/authors/3704.aspx
Patricia Edwards is a Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education, and a Senior University Outreach Fellow at Michigan State University. A nationally and internationally recognized expert in parent involvement, home, school, community partnerships, multicultural literacy, early literacy, and family/intergenerational literacy, especially among poor and minority children.http://www.edwards.wiki.educ.msu.edu
Sharroky Hollie is the Executive Director of the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing stellar professional development for educators desiring to become culturally responsive. He is a co-founder of the nationally acclaimed laboratory school, Culture and Language Academy of Success in Los Angeles. Dr. Hollie is also the author of numerous publications and professional resources. Sponsored by Teacher Created Materials.https://www.culturallyresponsive.org
Kathy Bumgardner is a consulting author for READING WONDERS (McGraw Hill Education.) Her specialty is “real world” best practices in literacy instruction that works in grades Pre-K-8. She provides resources that include hands-on engaging literacy tools for strategically and successfully implementing the CCSS areas Reading & Writing. Sponsored by McGraw Hill Education.http://www.kbumreading.com
John Slagle currently serves Senior National Consultant for Literacy at McGraw-Hill Education. His daily work involves developing partnerships with school districts across the nation focused on providing curriculum resources and facilitating professional development opportunities. His recent work has centered on operationalizing the ELA Common Core State Standards. His passion is focused on increasing student/teacher engagement through effective instruction. Sponsored by McGraw Hill Education.https://www.cosa.k12.or.us/content/john-slagle-senior-national-consultant-literacy
Donalyn Miller has taught in the Fort Worth, Texas area and was a finalist for 2010 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year. In her popular book, e Book Whisperer, Donalyn reflects on her journey to become a reading teacher and describes how she inspires and motivates her middle school students to read 40 or more books a year. Her articles about teaching and reading have appeared in publications such as Education Week, Teacher, The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership, and The Washington Post.https://www.bookwhisperer.com
Best known as Arthur’s creator, author/illustrator Marc Brown has been working with the beloved aardvark for over twenty-five years. Born one night when Brown was telling a bedtime story to his son, Arthur soon evolved into the book Arthur’s Nose, published in 1976. Since then, Brown has written and illustrated more than thirty Arthur and D.W. books, and has illustrated many other books, including one with his wife, author/illustrator and psychologist, Laurie Krasny Brown.http://www.marcbrownstudios.com
Jason Reynolds is crazy. About stories. He is a New York Times bestselling author, a National Book Award Honoree, a Kirkus Award winner, a Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. His debut novel was When I Was the Greatest and was followed by Boy in the Black Suit and All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave As You, Jump Anyway, and the first two books in the Track series, Ghost and Patina.http://www.jasonwritesbooks.com
Lois Lowry’s first book, A Summer to Die, was published in 1977. Since then, she has written over twenty novels for young adults and has won numerous awards, including two prestigious Newbery awards, one for Number the Stars and the other for The Giver. Her books portray sensitive, intelligent, witty protagonists who are faced with challenges and choices in life.https://www.loislowry.com
Sharon M. Draper is the author of over 30 award-winning books, including Out of my Mind, which remains on the NYT bestseller list. She served as the National Teacher of the Year, has been honored at the White House six times, and was chosen to be a literary ambassador to the children of Africa as well as China. In 2015 she was honored by the ALA as the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award.http://www.sharondraper.com
Patty is a mom and engineer, as well as an author and experienced educational consultant, trainer, and speaker, with a new passion in life, bringing engineering to children. She wrote Engineering the ABC’s after not finding books that could introduce engineering to her young children. She encourages children to hear, see, and read engineering.http://www.pattyobriennovak.com
Roxane Orgill worked as a music critic for more than twenty years, starting as a freelance with the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and ending as a freelance with The Wall Street Journal, with a couple other jobs in between. She started writing about music in college as a way to bring her two passions, writing and music, together. Her first book was If I Only Had a Horn, a picture book about young Louis Armstrong, in 1997. More biographies, both single and collective, followed.http://www.roxaneorgill.net
Francis Vallejo is an award-winning artist, who has created artwork for a host of notable clients including Candlewick Press, Snapple, VIBE, and CamelBak. He has shown in The Anchorage Museum, The Society of Illustrator’s Museum of American Illustration, Gallery Nucleus, and Pixar studios. Vallejo recently debuted Jazz Day, written by Roxane Orgill and published by Candlewick Press, winning the 2016 Boston Globe Horn Book award for Best Picture Book. He is an Assistant Professor of Illustration at the College for Creative Studies.http://http://www.francisvallejo.com
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the author of the novel 8th Grade Superzero, co-author of Two Naomis and the forthcoming And Two Naomis Too, with Audrey Vernick. She writes for Brightly and has written for Heinemann’s Digital Campus. She has also contributed to The Journey Is Everything: Teaching Essays That Students Want To Write for People Who Want To Read Them, Imagine it Better: Visions of What Schools Might Be, and more. She is a We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) and Brown Bookshelf team member, and teaches writing at The Loft and Gotham Writers.https://olugbemisolabooks.com
Ruth McNally Barshaw wrote and illustrated The Ellie McDoodle Diaries, six highly-illustrated middle grade novels with Bloomsbury. She illustrated the picture book Leopold the Lion for Sleeping Bear Press, and is author of four short stories available on Amazon Rapids, a digital app encouraging children to read.https://www.ruthexpress.com
Aimée Bissonette grew up with her suitcase never fully unpacked—her family moved many times and she attended 8 different schools before graduating from high school. Aimée earned her Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and her Law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. She has worked as an occupational therapist, teacher, lawyer, and small business owner. In her legal practice, she works with numerous children’s book authors and illustrators. In addition to her books for children, Aimée has published a book for K-12 teachers and administrators on the legal issues associated with technology in schools.http://www.aimeebissonette.com
Gale is an established author and has written five books with two upcoming books. Her children’s book Learning, Recycling, and Becoming Little Heroes depicts the strength of the Flint children during the water crisis. In addition, her Reach Higher Ed Series helps kids get prepared for higher education. To add to her many accomplishments, Gale has started a nonprofit called Flint Kids Matter which focuses on improving literacy, getting kids prepared for higher education, developing workforce skills, and recovering from the effects of the Flint Water Crisis.https://www.amazon.com/Gale-Glover/e/B01ATM98OW
Linda McLean, author of Wanda and Winky, is a former teacher and Library Media Specialist retired from the Walled Lake School District. Linda co-authored a series of books for teachers titled Reading Buddies Bloom, published in 1997. Her first children’s book, The Heidelberg Project - A Street of Dreams was published in 2007.http://www.lindakmclean.com
Kate Willows loves drawing and coloring things on her computer. She creates animals and cartoons for everyone to enjoy, including all the Lindie Lou characters. Willows graduated from the Ohio State University, with a degree in Art and Technology, and a minor in Design. Kate also works for a gaming company and does amazing drawings.http://www.lindielou.com/illustrator.html
Katie Garner, M.Ed. (author of the best-selling book, Secret Stories® Cracking the Reading Code with the Brain in Mind!) is an internationally known speaker, author and literacy consultant with twenty five years of experience in elementary grade classrooms, and a passion for infusing neuroscience into literacy and learning. Her “backdoor-to-the-brain” approach to phonics skill acquisition via the affective (social emotional/feeling) domain shifts the paradigms associated with traditional literacy skill instruction, and has gained national recognition with the No Child Left Behind, Reading First, and MTSS Initiatives.https://www.katiegarner.com