Preliminary Program 2009
Arkansas Reading Association Fall Conference
November 19 ‐ 20, 2009
Keynote Speaker ‐ Thursday, November 19
Timothy Rasinski is a professor of literacy education at Kent State University. He has
written over 150 articles and has authored, co-authored or edited over 15 books or curriculum
programs on reading education. He is co-author of the award winning fluency program called
Fluency First, published by the Wright Group. His scholarly interests include reading fluency
and word study, reading in the elementary and middle grades, and readers who struggle. His
research on reading has been cited by the National Reading Panel and has been published
in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Reading
Psychology, and the Journal of Educational Research. As well as publishing numerous best-
Keynote Speaker ‐ Friday, November 20
Jack Gantos, remembers playing a lot of “pass the chalk” in Mrs. Neiderheizer’s
class in first grade. He was in the Bluebird reading group, which he later found out
was for the slow readers. To this day he’d rather be called a Bluebird than a slow
reader. By fifth grade he had managed to learn 90 percent of what he knows to this
very day. The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he
read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged
his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school,
mostly from standing outside the teachers’ lounge and listening to their lunchtime
conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories. While
in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture
books and published Rotten Ralph, in 1976. This began Jack’s career as a
professional writer. He is known nationally for his educational creative writing and
literature presentations to students and teachers.
Jerry Pallotta's curriculum‐based books focus on reading, wiring, math and science, with just the right does
of humor and the unexpected.
Shelley Gill's books on Alaska and the Pacific Northwest have sold more than a million
copies world wide.
Steven Kroll is the author of more than fifty picture books, chapter books, and young adult novels.
Sarah Weeks has written more than thirty books for children and teens, including Jumping the
Scratch, Up all Night, and So B. It.
Authors Readers Theater
Avi has been honored with the Newbery Medal for Crispin: Cross of Lead and a Newbery Honor for
Nothing but the Truth. Avi is the acclaimed author of several works of historical fiction.
Richard Peck writes books on such important teen‐age problems as suicide, unwanted pregnancy,
death of a loved one, and rape.
Michael Shoulders is the author of N is for the Natural State, Natural Numbers, and numerous
picture books including Say Daddy. He is known for his engaging presentations.
Michelle J. Kelley and Nicki Clausen‐Grace, authors of Comprehension Shouldn't be
Silent, provide ideas and resources to improve comprehension.
Justin Minkel was 2007 Arkansas Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for the 57th National
Teacher of the Year. A Milken Educator, Justin has provided a path to opportunities for his students at
Harvey Jones Elementary School in
Janice Almasi is an Endowed Professor of Literacy in the College of Education at the University of
Kentucky. Dr. Almasi serves on the Board of the International Reading Association.
Lori Jamison is an educational consultant and the author of four professional books. She
has also written numerous journal articles, teaching guides and other materials for teachers.
Lori has served on the International Reading Association (IRA) Board of Directors.
Valerie Ellery, author of Creating Strategic Readers, is a National Reading Consultant who
has dedicated two decades to the field of Literacy. She is a national Board Certified Teacher,
Curriculum Specialist, mentor, Staff Developer, Reading Coach, and
Debbie Diller is a literacy consultant who specializes in literacy work stations, meaningful
independent practice, and differentiated small group instruction.
Bruce Coville is an author of children's and young adult novels. He is most famous for his Unicorn
Chronicles series, My Teacher is an Alien, Aliens Ate My Homework, and Magic Shop series.
Kathy Headley, is an Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, and Professor
of Reading Education at Clemson University. Dr. Headley began her career as an elementary
classroom teacher and reading specialist in Georgia. She has served as a member of several
editorial review boards, including The Reading Teacher and The ALAN Review. She is one of
three co editors of a new book published by IRA ‐ Adolescent Literacy, (Field Tested) Effective
Solutions for Every Classroom.
Linda Dorn is a professor of reading education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock,
where she is the director of the UALR Center for Literacy. She teaches graduate classes in literacy
theory, research, classroom practice, and literacy leadership.
Ken Stamatis is an assistant professor at Harding University where he directs the graduate
Wednesday 5:00 ‐ 7:00
Rotunda Statehouse Convention Center
Award‐winning author Grif Stockley will
read and sign his new book Ruled by
Race: Black/White Relations in Arkansas
from Slavery to the Present. This is the
first comprehensive history of race
relations in Arkansas.