Monday, June 27, 2016

My @Scholastic #ReadingSummit Experience

Last year I had the pleasure of attending my very first Scholastic Reading Summit in San Antonio, Texas.  And I loved it!

This year I had the honor of being asked to present at two of them.  The one in San Jose, CA and the upcoming one in San Antonio, TX.

These Reading Summits are phenomenal.  A "must-go-to" if there's one in your area.

Donalyn Miller and John Schu got me hooked.  If you haven't connected with, or don't know, these two people, you are truly missing out.  Not only are they some of the kindest people that I know, but they're also some of the most passionate advocates for kids and reading that there is.  Plus I got to see my buddy Brandon Blom who is a force to be reckoned with and a GREAT person to talk to if you're interested in getting rid of AR (his school just did and you can read about it HERE!)



I was also beyond impressed by everyone at Scholastic who put this event on.  Usually you don't get to meet the people behind everything.  But since I was presenting this year, I did!  And man, was I blown away.  Scholastic has people in charge who are in love with reading.  In love with sharing books with everyone and finding ways to get others to fall in love with reading.  It's one of those organizations that really speaks from the heart.

As the day started, I got to listen to the opening Keynote of Kwame Alexander (author of Booked, Crossover, and more).  He talked passionately about his journey as a reader.  About the power of poetry.  It was moving, entertaining, and had me rushing to buy his books immediately.



Now, I don't teach reading.  I never have.  I'm a principal.  But I LOVE reading and ever since reading Donalyn Miller's book, "The Book Whisperer", I have been on a mission to make sure we do right by kids when it comes to reading.

I then spent a lot of my day presenting over how we have worked as a campus to get our kids to fall in love with reading (which I'll be presenting on again in San Antonio!)

The day ended with a keynote from Jewel Parker Rhodes (author of Ninth Ward, Towers Falling, and more).  Wow.  I don't even know where to begin.  She even made me cry!  I had heard of Jewel and her books before, but had never read them myself. After hearing her speak I went and bought all of them, and have already devoured two (Ninth Ward and Towers Falling).  Jewel has a huge heart, powerful life story, and a real passion for writing and sharing her stories.

I even got to spend the end of the day signing books right down from Donalyn and Jewel! How crazy is that?



I hope you'll get the chance to attend a Scholastic Reading Summit this summer.  And if you can't it's ok too!  Follow the hashtag #ReadingSummit or get ready to attend one next summer!