Write to Learn Virtual Speaker Series

Hi everyone,

If you haven’t heard about it, The Missouri Literacy Association is going virtual this year for the well known and popular WRITE TO LEARN conference. https://web.cvent.com/event/bf32ad3e-cd74-4eaf-87b3-ca33a66b00fd/summary.

“National-level keynote speakers, bringing you some of the best language arts teaching strategies for these challenging times. Whether your school is going face to face, 100% virtual, or using a hybrid model, these mini series of workshops will give you practical, actionable strategies you can use right away.”

I’m happy to note that two talented friends of mine, Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger, are the leaders of the November and December, 2020 series.

Chairperson Sam Bommarito provided this link to help you get started touring the program and learn more about how you or someone you know might participate. The series of workshops stretches from the first on October 1, 2020 through the final one on January 28, 2021.

If you have questions, the answers should be available on the links provided. I’m glad to see how beautifully this year’s conference has adapted to the needs of our current world. Way to go, Dr. Sam and all involved!

With gratitude to Ann Porter Gifford

Hi everyone,

This past week I heard from an old friend, Ann Porter Gifford, retired Professor of Education and Coordinator of Literacy at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and former president of Missouri Literacy Association (when it was still IRA).

Among Ann’s responsibilities at SMSU was the annual children’s literature festival. The year she invited me to be one of the three speakers, the other two were Walter Dean Myer and Jane Yolen. Ann picked us up at the airport in St. Louis for the long drive down to Cape and the four of us had a great conversation all the way.

Later Ann decided to write a series of interviews of me and submit them to a number of state IRA reading journals. Between 2001-2005 a total of thirteen were published Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, California, Arizona, South Carolina, Florida, Montana, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. You can imagine how delighted I was to hear from Ann. With her usual thoughtfulness she offered to send me some of the quotes about me/my work she had gathered while writing the articles, copies of some of the journals, and even the letter she wrote to nominate me for Missouri’s first poet laureate. I wasn’t selected but it was a swell letter!

So thank you, dear Ann, for all the good memories and wonderful things you did for me. I’m glad that you and that talented hubby of yours (Bob) are enjoying your retirement. With love, David

A wonderful surprise in the new issue of Missouri Reader

Hi everyone,

Today I express my gratitude to Sam Bommarito and Glenda Nugent, co-editors of Missouri Literacy Association’s journal, MISSOURI READER, for featuring me in the new issue that comes out this weekend. Sam is also going into the second year of his two-year term as Chairman of the MLA. For some reason the national organization, International Literacy Association, has decided the heads of state chapters should now be called chairmen instead of president.

Last year I celebrated the 50th year since my first book for children was published. Sam and Glenda honor me for that and more so I hope you will enjoy their article and of course the entire issue. Here’s the link. https://joom.ag/RCwe

If you would like to become a member of MLA and/or contribute to the organization, you can do it online at https://mla31.wildapricot.org/Join-MLA. State Reading associations are in need of support for the invaluable work they do in supporting teachers and their efforts to help their students develop literacy skills that lead to a fuller life.