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Literacies for All Summer Institute

Keynote Speakers

Thursday, July 9

Grace LinGrace Lin is the author and illustrator of picture books, early readers and middle grade novels. Grace's 2010 Newbery Honor book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was chosen for Al Roker's Today Show Kid's Book Club and was a NY Times Bestseller. Ling & Ting, Grace's first early reader, was honored with the Theodor Geisel Honor in 2011. An Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee for the US, most of Grace's books are about the Asian-American experience because she believes, "Books erase bias, they make the uncommon everyday, and the mundane exotic. A book makes all cultures universal."

Photo: Alexandre Ferron

See more about Grace and her work at

Grace Lin will speak during the Opening Session on Thursday evening from 7:00-9:00 p.m. about The Extra Adjective.


Friday, July 10

JoBeth AllenJoBeth Allen is Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia in Language and Literacy Education, where she taught courses on writing pedagogy, poetry, family-school partnerships, and critical pedagogy, and conducted collaborative action research with teachers on issues of educational equity and social justice. She has written about family-school partnerships in Creating Welcoming Schools: A Practical Guide to Home-School Partnerships with Diverse Families (2007, Teachers College Press) and Literacy in the Welcoming Classroom: Creating Family-School Partnerships that Support Student Learning (2010, Teachers College Press). Her books in collaboration with teacher researchers include the “engaging” trilogy (Engaging Children, Engaging Families, and Engaging Teachers); Class Action: Teaching for Social Justice in Elementary and Middle School; and in 2014, A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers: Lessons and Resources from the U.N. Rights of the Child (2013, Teachers College Press). She and Red Clay Writing Project teachers Jennifer Beaty, Angela Dean, Joseph Jones, Stephanie Smith Mathews, Jen McCreight, Elyse Schwedler, and Amber M. Simmons recently published Family Dialogue Journals: School-Home Partnerships That Support Student Learning (2015, Teachers College Press). The co-authored book, based on a three-year study, details strategies and benefits when K-12 teachers, students, and families communicate about what students are learning each week in Family Dialogue Journals. JoBeth loves farmers markets, cooking, reading contemporary fiction, any beach anywhere, and her five delightful grandchildren whose pictures she’d be happy to show you.

JoBeth Allen will speak Friday morning from 8:30-9:30 a.m. about Family Dialogue Journals: Partnerships that Support Student Learning.


Saturday, July 11

Candace Kuby and Tara Gutshall RuckerCandace Kuby is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Missouri. She received her PhD in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education from Indiana University. Her scholarship focuses on: 1) critical, inventive, hybrid, and multimodal literacies, and 2) innovative qualitative research methodologies. Candace is the author of Critical Literacy in the Early Childhood Classroom: Unpacking Histories, Unlearning Privilege (2013, Teachers College Press) and co-editor of Disrupting Qualitative Inquiry: Possibilities and Tensions in Educational Research (2014, Peter Lang). Journals in which her scholarship appear include: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education; Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice; and Young Children. Candace teaches courses on early childhood literacy and qualitative research.

Tara Gutshall Rucker is in her 8th year as an elementary teacher in Columbia Public Schools, Columbia, Missouri. She received her MA in Curriculum and Instruction through the Teaching Fellows program at the University of Missouri and is currently working on an Elementary Mathematics Specialist Certificate at Mizzou. Through the Fellows program Tara began her journey as a teacher researcher. Topics of her research studies have included: literacy learning through partnerships, talk in the curriculum, and student-centered inquiry. Publications by Candace and Tara appear in Talking Points; NCTE’s Early Childhood Education Assembly Yearbook; Language Arts; and the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. Candace and Tara are currently writing a book about their five years of co-researching in a multimodal Writers’ Studio (2016, Teachers College Press).

Candace Kuby and Tara Gutshall Rucker will speak on Saturday morning about "Embracing the Uncertainties of Literacy Desirings: Sharing Our Stories from a Multimodal Writers’ Studio."


Saturday, July 11

Peter JohnstonPeter H. Johnston is Professor Emeritus at the University at Albany. His recent research has focused on the consequences of teachers' classroom talk for the ways children learn and experience themselves and each other, and how engaged reading influences children's social, emotional, moral, and academic development. He is a member of the Literacy Research Panel and the Reading Hall of Fame of the International Literacy Association (formerly the International Reading Association). Recent awards include the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activities and the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association for his book Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children's Learning (2004, Stenhouse), for having demonstrably and positively influenced literacy teaching in classrooms and districts nationally. His newest book is Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives (2012, Stenhouse).

Peter Johnston will speak at the Closing Session on Saturday afternoon from 4:00-5:00 p.m. about "Engagement, Achievement and Ecologies of Classroom Talk."

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