The 17th Annual Literacy Symposium, coming up April 3rd on the UCF campus, has an expanded and impressive lineup of speakers this year, covering topics from curriculum to digital writing to student engagement and more. Four keynote presentations are among the many highlights planned for the symposium, covering a range of subjects relevant to teachers and future educators.

Dr. Troy Hicks is associate professor of English at Central Michigan University, and his work centers on teaching writing, literacy, and technology. As director of CMU’s Chippewa River Writing Project, Dr. Hicks has direct experience with the changing nature of writing and the advent of digital literacy, and he synthesizes that information into his teacher training and student lessons.

Author, educator, and international speaker Alan Sitomer offers a presentation focused on engaging students, especially those students who are the most disengaged from the classroom or the subject.

National education consultant Cheryl Ellis of Zaner-Bloser will offer a unique and informative presentation on Examining the DNA of Writing – digging into the real building blocks of literacy to help students advance their skills and their interest.

Dr. Katherine McKnight, author and distinguished literacy professor, will offer attendees a framework for engaging learners in reading and writing for the 21st century.

In addition to these presentations, several sessions centered around writing and literacy are planned, including preparing students for the new Florida Standards Assessment, principles of effective writing instruction, teacher and peer feedback on student writing, assistive technology tools for writing, and many others.

Executive director Wendy Stevens and deputy director Laurie Lee from Just Read, FL! will present a fascinating talk on how to read like a writer – and how to get your students to do so too. Renowned literacy scholar and author Jerry Johns and educational consultant and author Roberta Berglund are preparing a talk on the Florida language arts standards, and arts educator Mary Palmer will speak to how the arts can be a pathway to successful reading and writing instruction.

2015 Florida Teacher of the Year Christie Bassett’s presentation will focus on reading, writing, and literacy in specific content areas, while 2014 Florida Teacher of the Year Dorina Sackman will share with attendees the winning recipe for developing literacy and content learning for students in 6-12 grades.

Additional presenters include senior research fellow at UCF’s Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government Terri Fine, Florida DOE writing specialist Julia Somers-Arthur, award-winning children’s author/illustrator Ethan Long, education director Evan Lefsky, and reading educator, author, and symposium organizer Vicky Zygouris-Coe.

The 17th annual Literacy Symposium takes place April 3rd at the Education Complex and Teaching Academy buildings on the UCF campus. To find out more about the Symposium or to register, visit the event website.