Hamline News

23rd Annual Summer Literacy Institute


Teachers are about to take over Hamline’s St. Paul campus.  From July 15 - 18, 300 teachers will attend the School of Education’s 23rd Annual Summer Literacy Institute.  This program is designed for elementary school teachers who strive to improve and re-think literacy in their own classrooms. 

“The Summer Literacy Institute explores a wide-range of literacy issues at the elementary level through presentations by national experts and local practitioners,” Professor Terri Christenson, Summer Literacy Institute committee member, said. “Participants engage in a collaborative learning environment where teachers can connect and network with others, and it offers a balanced and comprehensive approach to the teaching of reading, writing, and children’s literature.”

Professor Marcia Rockwood says that literacy is an ever-evolving issue in the educational system, and navigating the changing face of literacy is a main goal of the institute.

“In the past, literacy was typically defined as the ability to read and write, it was viewed as ‘functional,’” Rockwood said. “Students today need critical-thinking and communication skills to keep pace with technological advancements.”

The Summer Literary Institute is a nationally recognized professional development opportunity for teachers and attracts top presenters in the field of literacy, both locally as well as nationally.  This year’s presenters include Debbie Miller, Kathryn Pierce, Michael Opitz, Lauren Stringer, and Sheree Fitch. Sessions will cover a variety of topics including: creating a classroom culture of thinking, sustaining professional conversations about student work, exploring the potential of talk, integrating fitness and reading, the essentials of making a picture book and the oral tradition of storytelling. 

Teachers who attend the institute come from both the United States and internationally, and often come back year after year to re-charge and energize for the upcoming fall school year. 

“We need to be flexible in our teaching with both our head and our heart,” a 2012 participant said. “Creating a balance is our job as educators.”

For more information, please visit the Summer Literary Institute web page. You can also follow @HamlineLiteracy on Twitter and use #HUSLI13.