The Nebraska Writing Project was pleased to once again partner with the annual Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival, which took place at Concordia University in Seward on Saturday, September 21.
Saturday's events included the adult conference, which featured breakout sessions by various authors, illustrators, and educational experts and a closing keynote delivered by acclaimed YA author Jacqueline Woodson. In addition to Woodson, authors presenting were Sarah Albee, Ben Clanton, Kate DiCamillo, Rita Williams Garcia, Lita Judge, Alan Katz, Kate Messner, Wendell and Florence Minor, Barbara O'Connor, Lin Oliver, Jayson Reynolds, Lori Richmond, Matt Tavares, Duncan Tonatiuh, and Stephen Savage. Additional sectionals were presented by Dr. Amy Foss, Matt Glover, Dr. Joan Jacobs, Dr. Kim Marxhausen, Penny Kittle, and NeWP's own Dr. Rachael Shah, who presented on strategies for teaching argument writing (C3WP).
The conference also featured a luncheon, during which several Nebraska teachers, including some from the NeWP community, were presented with National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)/Nebraska English Language Arts Council (NELAC) awards. Receiving the NCTE/NELAC Future Teacher of the Year Award was UNL pre-service teacher Taylor Golden. The Leadership Development Award went to NeWP board member Melissa Legate of Pierce High School. Dr. Laurie Lee of UNL received recognition for being a nominee for the Academic Freedom/Intellectual Freedom Award, as did Dr. Erika Bruening of Lincoln Public Schools. Middle School Language Arts Teacher of the Year went to Melissa Cody of North Bend High School, and the Secondary ELA Teacher of the Year was Stuart High School's Brenda Larabee, NeWP board member.
In addition to NeWP's being present through attendees and honorees at the conference, an information booth was set up where conference goers could learn more about NeWP and several of our upcoming programs, including the Summer and Advanced Institutes. A number of Nebraska teachers and librarians inquired here between sessions.