School of Education to host first in a series of Maryann Manning Family Literacy Center symposiums

Nationally and internationally recognized family literacy expert and UAB faculty will serve as featured speakers at the symposium.

Written by: Tiffany Westry

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symposium mmThe UAB School of Education will hold its first family literacy-focused professional development symposium, on Friday, Oct. 2, 9 a.m.-2:15 p.m. at the Junior League of Birmingham, 2212 20th Avenue S.

Nationally and internationally recognized expert Patricia Edwards, Ph.D., will be the keynote speaker. Edwards is a professor of teacher education at Michigan State University. She is a past president of the Literacy Research Association and the 2010-2011 president of the International Reading Association. Edwards has developed two nationally acclaimed family literacy programs: Parents as Partners in Reading and Talking Your Way to Literacy. She is considered an expert in parent involvement, community partnerships, multicultural literacy, early literacy and other related areas.

Stephanie Yates, Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB Collat School of Business and director of the school’s Institute of Financial Education, along with Sandra Sims, Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB School of Education’s Department of Human Studies, will serve as featured speakers in the areas of financial literacy and active education.

Lynn Kirkland, Ed.D., chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, says literacy is about the entire family.

“We are encouraging educators to also bring a parent with them,” Kirkland said. “If parents know how they can help their child in school, and teachers are sitting beside them learning how to better communicate with parents and caregivers, that’s a win-win situation. Every family is a culture within itself. It’s very challenging for a teacher who has dozens of students in a classroom to understand the culture of each one. This symposium is a way to help teachers think about ways to do that, and for parents to learn ways to effectively communicate with teachers.”

Session topics include: “Tapping the Potential of Parents: Moving Beyond Family Involvement ‘Activities’ to Authentic Engagement,” and “Leveling the Playing Field: Supporting Families of English Learners.”

Details and registration information are available online.