2021 Fall RAN Workshop

8:00 am - 3:30 pm

Seward Memorial Library

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Advance and Online registration – $35

Must be postmarked or submitted by October 29. Please mail a check or pay by credit card via PayPal. No PayPal account is needed.

Onsite registration – $40

Registrations received after October 29 will not include lunch.

Keynote Speakers:

Kathi Wagner

The Top Ten Reasons to Read Aloud with Others

From increasing vocabulary to strengthening listening skills, the benefits of reading aloud are incredibly important to our children and our society as a whole. Kathi Wagner-Most, author, librarian, and parent, will discuss the top ten reasons for reading aloud and the incredible importance of sharing the magical world of words with others.

Kim Jocelyn Dickson

The Invisible Toolbox: Why Reading to Your Child is One of the Greatest Gifts a Parent Can Give

Kim draws on thirty years in the elementary classroom, her own parenting experience, and the latest research in neuroscience, to explain the literacy crisis the U.S. faces and how it can be mitigated, one child at a time. She believes that every child begins kindergarten with a lunchbox in one hand and an invisible toolbox in the other. If a child has been read to from the beginning, their invisible toolbox will be equipped with all the foundational tools and motivation they need for success in school and beyond. (Zoom Presentation)

Amber and Andy Ankowski

How to Make Kids Love Books (Every Time You Open Your Mouth)

Did you know that there’s a sentence-swallowing, chapter-chewing, insatiably ravenous reader hiding inside every child? And the best way to lure it out…is with your voice! Join parenting authors Amber and Andy Ankowski as they explore the power of speaking to kids in ways that help them develop monstrous literacy skills, and a lifelong love of reading. Learn fun and easy techniques for turning read-alouds into conversations, seamlessly incorporating language learning into everyday activities, and choosing a balanced diet of book types that will keep kids clamoring for more! (Zoom Presentation)


Breakout Session 1

A. Plunge into Poetry!

Anne Alston, Program Director, Nebraska Arts Council
Take a deep dive into teaching poetry through resources presented in this session. Participants will learn about online sites that house some of the world’s best published poetry, along with poets’ biographical information, and lesson plans about reading, writing, and performing poetry. We will explore best practices and tips for teachers to engage students through poetry and introduce online materials that students can navigate for themselves. Hear from one teacher about how she has successfully employed poetry as a vehicle to engage her most reluctant students and prompt others to find expression through performance and writing. Discover what the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud, and Nebraska’s very own Poetry from the Plains have to offer!

B. Picture Book Read Alouds

Carla Ketner, PhD., Chapters Books & Gifts
Reading aloud is the single most important activity leading to language development, and that’s only one of the reasons to share great books with children. Carla will share high-quality, engaging new picture books to read aloud.

C. Read Aloud in Your Community

Ali Bousquet, Lincoln City Libraries Librarian
Reading aloud is the single most important activity parents can do to prepare their children for reading and learning. Learn how your library can promote reading aloud in your community. Get ideas for how to get started, make connections, and spread the word.

Breakout Session 2

A. How Reading Aloud Helps Illustrate Books

Ruth Harper, Illustrator of The Kissing Hand and other titles
Picture books are a child’s first exposure to creative language and also to art. Illustrators find the ‘perfect’ balance of words and images, by reading it over and over – aloud – so that when the book is read it can speak to all the ways different children learn. This is especially important for children with ADHD – enabling them to move, while hearing and seeing.

B. Non-Fiction for the Young Ones

Vicki Wood, Lincoln City Libraries Youth Services Coordinator
When people think of reading aloud, they often think of picture books and fictional stories. There’s a wonderful world of informational picture books for kids that are equally delightful. Vicki will share some of her favorites from the last few years.

C. NebraskaREADS – Developing Strong Early Literacy Skills

Abby Burke, Nebraska Department of Education
Reading with children outside of school is the best way to help them achieve strong early literacy. The Read at Home Plan from NebraskaREADS provides games and activities that can be played in non-school settings to help boost early reading skills. Many separate skills must be developed for a child to become a skilled reader. These can be taught in fun and creative ways.

Breakout Session 3

A. Reach Out and Read in Nebraska

Hear from a team working to spread and strengthen the presence of Reach Out and Read across Nebraska, a nonprofit that works to incorporate early literacy guidance and book sharing as a standard of pediatric well-care. Already an established program throughout the state, Reach Out and Read National has been working in partnership with the Nebraska Partnership for Mental Healthcare Access in Pediatrics and You Go Girl Omaha to provide enhanced support and sustainability to participating clinics while working to expand the program to reach even more families. Learn more about the impact of the program and work being done to serve Nebraska’s youngest children and promote reading from birth. (Zoom Presentation)

B. New Fiction Read Alouds for Older Readers

Youth Panel, Seward Middle School
Learn about some awesome fiction books for older readers directly from students in that demographic! Kayla Albright, Ethan Boggs and Addilyn Sugden, eighth grade students at Seward Middle School, will review books published in 2020 and 2021 and let you know which titles would make great read-alouds!

C. Enhancing Your Read Aloud while Engaging Students

Julie Kozisek, Ph.D.
Julie will talk about ways to catch your readers’ attention while focusing on the techniques of using your voice to enhance the read aloud and other strategies that could be used with students to get them engaged with the read aloud.

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