Parents, educators invited to reading, writing conference

12th Annual Denton Area Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading (TAIR) conference

sponsored by North Star of Texas Writing Project at the University of North Texas and North Texas Area TAIR

8 a.m. to noon
Saturday, September 28
Guyer High School
750 Teasley Lane, Denton, TX

Teachers, administrators and parents: $25 for early registration by Sept. 17 or $40 for late or onsite registration; Denton ISD teachers: free; UNT students: $10 or free if enrolled in Foundations of Bilingual and English as a Second Language or Cross-Curricular Literacy Materials and Resources


Critically acclaimed author Matt de la Peña — who is known for such young adult novels as "Ball Don't Lie," "Mexican WhiteBoy" and "We Were Here" — will speak Sept. 28(Saturday) at the 12th Annual Denton Area Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading (TAIR) conference, sponsored in part by the North Star of Texas Writing Project at the University of North Texas.

Thirty breakout sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, including a session on the process of writing led by UNT alumna Joan Curtis. Curtis, the Denton ISD coordinator for sixth through 12th grade language arts and world language, wrote a children's book, The Number Fairy, a book about celebrating birthdays.

The conference is open to those who work or plan to work as educators, and parents are encouraged to participate in the conference as well, said Carol Wickstrom, associate professor of teacher education and administration in UNT's College of Education. North Star of Texas Writing Project is a professional development network that provides many different services to support student writers and their teachers. Teachers conduct classroom research about how to help English learners build their academic writing skills.

"Parents are the first models," Wickstrom said. "They are the first teachers. And while they are at this conference, they will see the way teachers are willing to give up their free time to learn more about the craft of teaching."

Discussion about literature will be encouraged at the conference.

"It's powerful to hear others talk about reading and writing and making these connections to special books," Wickstrom said.

About the North Star of Texas Writing Project at UNT

The North Star of Texas Writing Project at UNT partners with schools in several North Texas school districts to support individual teachers. North Star works to empower students by empowering their educators through a professional community. For more information about the project visit www.northstaroftexaswritingproject.org/

-Natalie Caballero, URCM News Service