Top 10 Reasons to Attend the KSRA 45th Annual Conference at Seven Springs on October 27 – 30, 2012

 10. Saturday Institutes
  • Kelly Gallagher – educator, author and speaker is passionate that we cannot let test preps kill our students’ love of reading and writing. Kelly’s ideas have influenced how many teachers, elementary as well as middle and high school, teach. He is a speaker not to miss!
  • Dinah Zike – educator, author, and international speaker, is known for Foldables® which are hands-on manipulatives that show students how to organize and chunk data and can be utilized in all subject areas. Teachers who spend time with Dinah are inspired and empowered and have greatly helped their students by using these powerful tools for developing academic success.
  • Ian O’Byrne & Greg McVeery – educators, presenters, and researchers with the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut. The focus will be on effective and authentic integration of technology into the classroom. Learn about technology programs and strategies that will enhance your teaching and motivate your tech savvy students! BYOD!
  • Katie Garner – nationally recognized speaker, author, and educational consultant. Katie provides educators with practical classroom applications for aligning Curriculum and Instruction with the cutting-edge research models showing how our brains actually learn best! This brain-based BAG-OF-TRICKS for easy and accelerated literacy skill mastery is guaranteed to become one of the most relied-upon pieces of any K-3 teaching-repertoire!

9. A plethora of keynote, workshop, and featured speakers – Carrice Cummins, Mary Bigler, Barbara Marinak, Judy Willis, The Bag Ladies, Jerry Johns, Donalyn Miller, Vicki Gibson, Rita Bean, Richard Long, Maureen McLaughlin, Jane Feber, Rose Cappelli & Lynne Dorfman and many more, all of whom have motivated thousands of teachers.

8. Awesome Authors – Jerry Palotta, Shelley Gill, Steve Swinburne, Lee Harper, John Manders, Ralph Masiello, Judy Young, Fred Bortz, Kathy Miller, and many more.

7. Wonderful Exhibitors – who make this event possible through their tremendous support. Spend time in the Exhibit Hall; the exhibitors have much to offer!

6. Hot Topics – Common Core Standards, brain research, technology, online tools, RTII, comprehension, mentor texts, vocabulary, writing, differentiated instruction, motivation, and more.

5. Networking – always a unique opportunity to meet with other dedicated professionals and become energized and inspired.

4. Great hotel accommodations – much brighter, newly updated rooms. Don’t miss cookies and peanut butter fudge at the Gingerbread Dreams shop.

3. Renovated convention center – presentation rooms with a new attractive look and now you can get to each floor of the convention center by riding the new elevator.

2. Fabulous food – the meals are always wonderful at Seven Springs, don’t miss the breakfast buffet, or the crème brûlée!

And the number one reason:
1. This conference will be a wonderful learning experience and a lot of fun! Enjoy the light! We all need to READ and SHINE!

Click here for information about registration, hotel reservations, speakers, and general conference updates.

Keystone to Opportunity Grant Information

The Keystones to Opportunity Grant (Striving Readers) is a $38million grant that was awarded to the state of PA, in large part to an active member of KSRA- GRC representative Cindy Anderson. Cindy, along with JoBeth McKee, and Roseanne Javorsky began this process through creating the Pennsylvania Comprehensive Literacy Plan (attached) with the support of reading experts across the state, including Rita Bean and Janet Bufalino. KSRA was also represented in developing the plan- in addition to Cindy, Mary Laub, Janet Friel and me were also part of the team.

As a result of this work, Cindy, Standy Strunk and JoBeth McKee applied for, and were awarded the federal “Striving Readers” grant. PA was one of only 6 states awarded the grant. As a result of the hard work of this team, as well as the continued hard work of the KtO team and the sub-grantees (school districts attached) we have potential to make a difference in the literacy lives of hundreds of thousands of students., you can become part of theKeystones to Opportunity Grant (Striving Readers) Learning Community (Login at, go to “teacher tools,” the “my communities,” and search Keystones to Opportunity Grant (Striving Readers) – click “join” and you will be a member, providing you with TONS of extremely valuable information. There are over 1,000 members thus far).

What can you do?

As members of KSRA, we have access to amazing network of professionals within Early Childhood (ECE), professors of many universities, members who work in a myriad of capacities, grade K-12. All of the award recipients need to develop a Local Comprehensive Literacy Plan- Birth to grade 12, which is intended to provide seemless literacy instruction and support. Local KSRA councils can support this through creating “Community Involvement” grants, and “Council Initiative” grants that are geared towards supporting our LEAs (districts). Create a connection with your LEAs and ask how we can support! Provide networking opportunities for your LEAs through KSRA meetings. Show them theKeystone Reader, PA Reads, and our position papers. Connect with your local Intermediate Units (IUs)- they are responsible for much of the training and assistance to the LEAs. These are just a few examples, but we can make a difference.

What if our districts were not awarded?

Approximately 350 of the 500 LEAs in Pennsylvania applied for this rigorous grant, so these districts see the value in literacy. Education funding in PA is at an all-time low. We, as a group of volunteers, can support LEAs in making a difference in children’s lives through many of the same suggestion above: Local KSRA councils can support this through creating “Community Involvement” grants, and “Council Initiative” grants that are geared towards supporting our LEAs (districts). Create a connection with your LEAs and ask how we can support! Provide networking opportunities for your LEAs through KSRA meetings. Show them the Keystone Reader,PA Reads, and our position papers. We can support districts in being proactive in literacy instruction.
Bottom Line: We are educators of children of all ages in PA. We need to ensure that we support our LEAs in being successful. This success could ensure the continuance of public education in the US. USDOE will be looking carefully into what PA does with this funding and the outcome. We need to be part of the change we wish to see in the world (Ghandi).I am here to support you in any way I am able. Please feel free to email, text and/or call me anytime. I am usually a rather quick responder, please understand that sometimes life happens, but I will always get back to you.

Thank you for your devotion to literacy and learning,

Bethann M McCain

2011-2012 KSRA President

Celebrating the Life of Frances “Murph” Crawford

KSRA has lost a dear friend and long-time KSRA leader. Frances “Murph” Crawford passed away on December 10, 2011. Murph was a long-time Regional Director who contributed to KSRA in many, many ways. She was also a past president and decades-long member of the Delaware Valley Reading Association Advisory Board. Her legacy will live on in the lives she touched and mentoring she did of many still involved in KSRA.

Frances Nelle “Murph” Crawford

FRANCES CRAWFORD Frances Nelle “Murph” Crawford age 79, a resident of the Rydal Park Retirement Community and Hallowood Acres, East Stroudsburg and formerly of Baederwood died peacefully, surrounded by her family and friends, on December 10, 2011. Born on June 13, 1932 in Lansdale, PA, she was the daughter of the late James O. Crawford and the late Frances “Susie” Gose Crawford. She earned her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University and later earned her Masters degree in Reading from Temple University. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in Dormont, PA. In 1956, she moved to Abington and began teaching second grade at Highland Elementary School. She retired, in 1996, as Chairman of the Reading Department at Abington Junior High School. Know to all as Murph, her infectious laugh, extroverted personality and commitment and dedication to family, friends and her chosen field of reading, made her a respected leader, caring listener, devoted friend and mentor to all her know her. As a committed volunteer, she made many contributions to the Abington Civic Club, Abington Presbyterian Church as an Elder, Deacon and Chair of the Older Adult Committee. She was a member of the International Reading Association, held offices in the Keystone State Reading Association and the Delaware Valley Reading Association, where a conference was named in her honor. She was the loving sister of Janet A. Crawford of Pittsburgh, PA, and James O. Crawford of Virginia Beach, VA and was the devoted aunt of James Crawford and Casey Morris of Glenside and Patrick Kent Morris of Pittsburgh and the proud great-aunt of Emma Lily, Chloe Anne and Charlie Nelle Morris. Memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, December 16, 2011 at Abington Presbyterian Church, 1082 Old York Road, Abington, where friends will be received from noon until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Delaware Valley Reading Association, c/o Kelly Doyle, 84 E. Rose Tree Road, Media, PA 19063 (Reference-Murph Crawford Reading Conference) Arrangements were by Baron Rowland Funeral Home in Abington.

Make Plans Now for 2012 Conference

Read and Shine!

45th Annual KSRA Conference

Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Champion, PA

October 27-30, 2012

KSRA is heading west for its 45th annual conference. In all of its fall splendor, Seven Springs Mountain Resort will be aglow with special speakers, authors, exhibitors, teachers, and guests! The remodeled facilities are warm and inviting, and there’s always great food at Seven Springs!

The new program format, beginning on Saturday afternoon and concluding on Tuesday, is designed to accommodate various schedules. The conference committee is planning a shining conference. There is always so much to learn and we all need to feel good about our accomplishments. Our goal is for students as well as teachers to love reading and become lifelong readers: to read and shine!

Please plan to join us. It will be a fabulous time to read and shine.

President’s Update

Educators are an interesting bunch. As the summer ends, I find myself like many other educators looking forward to the start of school. What will the school year bring? How can I make sure that I am giving my students everything they need academically and emotionally? What will my students bring to the learning environment?

It’s easy to become frustrated with the current climate of education, but this year I give you a story and a challenge.

When I was a young parent, we had limited funds for Christmas gifts. I remember crying for days because I knew that I couldn’t get my girls all of the “stuff” that other kids would get. Sure, they knew how much I loved them; I told them every day and showed them every day, just not with “stuff.” On Christmas morning, an interesting thing happened – my children loved their gifts! They didn’t care if their dollhouse people looked like giants in the secondhand dollhouse. In fact, they made more elaborate stories and creative ways to make what I thought would be a sad Christmas, one of the best Christmases we have had together. Although we had limited finances for that Christmas holiday, we made the best of a bad situation. And as it turned out, it was better than I ever expected.

My challenge to you is to remember that although we may not have enough supplies, our students are counting on us to have the best school year ever. We need to be creative in our teaching and develop plans to ensure that all students can be successful.  We need to make the best of a bad situation. Our students need to see every day how much we care for them. I believe it was Lorraine Monroe, and I am guessing numerous others who said, “Kids care about how much you care before they care about how much you know.”

Education isn’t too different from holidays – sometimes you have a lot, and sometimes you don’t feel as though you have enough; but if you care and you show your students that you care, it will be better than you ever expected.

I look forward to a wonderful year with you. May your school year be filled with success!