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CLC Session Descriptions

Session 1: (8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.)

Presented By: Paul Zelinsky

Audience: All Attendees


Session 2: (10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.)

Presented By: Dr. Kathleen Beining

Session Title: Interactive Read-a-Louds: Design, Deliver and Extend Picture Books and Informational Texts

Session Content: Research supports early literacy achievement and future academic success among young children is strongly related to language development (Lennox, 2013). Interactive read-a-louds support the practice of providing opportunities to enhance the comprehension related abilities of language development. This workshop presented by Dr. Kathleen Beining, Instructor of Education at St. Vincent College, will identify what a read-a-loud is, why and how to incorporate in an early classroom, and the importance of developing pedagogical knowledge. Participants will engage in the delivering of a fiction and non-fiction mentor text read-a-loud and classroom extensions through small group participation. Through deconstruction of the read-a-louds groups will work through the design process. Take away includes: mentor texts list, guide to constructing read-a-louds, lesson outline and extension template, and resource and reference lists.

Audience: Educators, Librarians, and Higher Ed Faculty; Focus is geared towards Pre K -2 classroom teachers or higher education instructors of Pre K-2.


Presented By: Dr. Fred Bortz

Session Title: Dr. Fred's Favorite Science Stories

Session Content: Since the publication of his first book, Superstuff! Materials That Have Change Our Lives, in 1990, Dr. Fred Bortz has been recognized for his ability not only to describe science and technology, but also to provide the human backstories that keep his readers connected to the subject matter. His books have been recognized on several best books lists, including Junior Library Guild book and series selections, the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, and two titles designated best grade 7-12 science book by the Society of School Librarians International. Now with 39 titles to his credit on topics ranging from scientific biography to planetary science, to catastrophic failures (including nuclear meltdowns), to weather, to DNA, to the Large Hadron Collider and Higgs Bosons, Dr. Fred looks back to his favorite science stories in those books and ahead to those he hopes to tell in works proposed or in progress.

Audience: Educators, Librarians, Writers


Presented By: Danielle Henzler

Session Title: Fractured Fairy Tales

Session Content: The timeless tale of Rapunzel and the harrowing adventures of Hansel and Gretel have captivated children for generations.  But have you heard the story of how Dame Gothel simply felt that Rapunzel needed a haircut?  Or the story of what happens when Hansel and Gretel walk out of their fairy tale and into another?  Join this session presented by Danielle Henzler, Curriculum Center Director and Adjunct Faculty Member at Duquesne University, to explore how our traditional tales have been transformed into fractured versions and how you can bring these tales into your classroom to ignite creativity and turn the traditional upside down and inside out!

Audience: Educators and Librarians


Presented By: Kathy Maron-Wood

Session Title: Bringing Literature to Life Through Storytelling

Session Content: Experience the joy and wonder that the oral tradition of storytelling can bring in this session presented by Kathy Maron-Wood, Senior Librarian in the Children’s Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh!  Hear and learn stories that will have you captivated and enlightened.  You will be surprised by those stories that use audience participation, and tools such as paper, scissors and even your own hands which you will be able to tell the next day!  The art of storytelling is a powerful tool that is fun and can be used with any age group.  A bibliography and power point hand-out will be provided.

Audience: Educators, Librarians, Storytellers, College Students, Parents


Presented By: Marcy Canterna & Nora Thompson

Session Title: Text and Illustration - Hand-in-Hand to Comprehension

Marcy Canterna, writer, and Nora Thompson, writer/illustrator, will discuss the interdependent roles of text and illustration in popular picture books.  Educators can use the illustrations to enhance comprehension, creativity, and higher-level thinking. Numerous examples of published books will be shared for teachers and librarians to encourage students to look more closely at the book covers and illustrations so as to improve understanding of the text, and to use the illustrations to enhance their own creativity. Which illustrator hid his father’s profile in his book? Which author refused permission for the publisher to include character illustrations in the book or on the book cover? How can illustrations be used to encourage students to choose a good book? 

Audience: All attendees, especially teachers and librarians who work with students in grades K-6.



Session 3: (12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.)

Presented By: Jeff Kuntz

Session Title: 60 Books in 60 Minutes: Must Have Picture Books for Teaching Math

Session Content: Participants will leave this session (presented by classroom teacher Jeff Kuntz) with a wealth of activities centered around sixty must have picture books. Several math specific books as well as many mainstream classics will be used as the basis for math activities that help to meet the PA Core State Standards. Participants will receive an extensive handout detailing the activities presented.

Audience: : Educators and Librarians, especially those teaching math and/or working with students in grades 3-6


Presented By: Dr. Mary Beth Spore

Session Title:  Understanding History Through Biography: Analysis of the Obituaries in Gantos’ Dead End in Norvelt

Session Content:  Obituaries serve as a valuable resource for researchers yet are seldom encountered in young people’s literature; we will examine the obituary form as an innovative technique for historical fiction and as a literary genre in Gantos’ Dead End in Norvelt.  Means of teaching and learning, as well as the ancillary materials utilized, are open to greater innovation with the canon of literary works broadening into areas of memoir, biography, graphic novels, and witness accounts. In this session and its paper, Dr. Mary Beth Spore, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Communication, and Education at St. Vincent College, will examine the nature of obituary in its traditional form and as it is presented in Jack Gantos’ Dead End in Norvelt as a means to communicate an often overlooked literary genre and history, both personal and national. She will pose questions and invite discussion.

Audience: Educators and Librarians


Presented By: Ellen Hasbrouck

Session Title: Introducing Books to Young Children

Session Content: Are you looking for practical, innovative ways to introduce your students to various books?  Then this workshop is for you!  We will explore over 40 ways to grab your students' attention and prepare them for the story ahead.  Techniques include balloon art, magic, drawing stories, graphic organizers, planting, and many others. All techniques are inexpensive and suitable for children in grades K through 2.

Audience: Librarians and Educators, especially those working with students in grades K-2


Presented By: WPA SCBWI (Marcy Canterna & Nora Thompson)

Session Title: Introducing the SCBWI Class of 2015-2016

Session Content: Most children think that authors only live in New York or California.  Pennsylvania has a wealth of talented authors and illustrators, and we want to share their newest books with you.  We will discuss each recently published book, and we will talk about the story, the author, and the illustrator.  Then, we will share some suggestions of ways to include the stories in your classroom, at a variety of grade levels and in many curricular areas.  Presented by the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (WPA SCBWI).

Audience: Librarians, Educators, Writers


Presented By: Ashley Barrowman & Anna Dolter

Session Title: A Deeper Look: NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center Position Statement

Session Content: The discussion based training will examine and discuss the NAEYC/Fred Rogers position statement, help you reflect on your current practices, and assist you in creating a deliverable message about the position statement to teachers, administrators, and families.  Ashley Barrowman and Anna Dolter, School Outreach Specialists with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, present this professional development course designed for educators to critically examine and develop a deep understanding of the intentions and guidance of the NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center position statement.  The course will encourage reflective practices to positively influence teaching, policy development, and dialogue about young children and technology.  For more information, visit:

Audience: Educators and Librarians



Session 4: (2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)

Presented By:  Jack Gantos

Audience: All Attendees