• Summer Literacy Institute: 2013 Presenters

    Debbie Miller

    Debbie MillerDebbie Miller taught and learned from children in the Denver Public Schools for thirty years. She is the author of Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades, 2nd Edition (2012), Teaching with Intention: Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practice, Taking Action (2008), both published with Stenhouse, and she co-authored Comprehension Going Forward (2011) with Heinemann.

    Debbie and her students are also featured in the video series Happy Reading! and The Joy of Conferring. Debbie now presents workshops across the country and internationally, and works extensively with schools and districts on long-range planning and development of literacy initiatives. She speaks on comprehension, readers’ workshop, the gradual release of responsibility instructional model, inquiry teaching and learning, long and short-term planning, and instilling the spark of agency within our students and ourselves.

    She worked for many years with the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC) and has been an adjunct professor at the University of Denver and Regis University. She lives with her husband, Don, in Littleton, Colorado, where they always find time to read and play with their four adorable grand babies!

    Kathryn Mitchell Pierce

    Kathryn Mitchell PierceKathryn Mitchell Pierce has been teaching for over 30 years at the elementary, middle school and college/university levels. In addition, she provides professional development for teachers across the country on the topics of reading, literature study, writing, and literacy curriculum. Currently, Kathryn serves as her District Literacy Curriculum Coordinator for PreK-12 and as a middle school writing specialist, working with students and teachers to support writing across the curriculum. Kathryn’s work in literacy has been featured in an Annenberg Foundation/CPB videotape series for middle school teachers and in several professional books and journals. She enjoys reading books, writing professionally and for her family, and talking with students about books and writing. She feels it is important for students to use books to imagine new possibilities for themselves and others, and to use writing to spread these ideas to others.

    Michael F. Opitz

    Michael OpitzMichael F. Opitz is the author or coauthor of numerous books on literacy education including the Heinemann titles Good-bye Round Robin, Updated Edition; Do-able Differentiation; Books and Beyond; Listen Hear!; Reaching Readers; Rhymes and Reasons; Comprehension and English Language Learners; and Accessible Assessment. A former elementary school teacher and reading specialist, he is a professor of reading at the University of Northern Colorado and consults and presents nationally and internationally.

    Lauren Stringer

    Lauren StringerLauren Stringer is an artist, author, and theatrical designer living in Minneapolis. Her first picture book, Mud, by Mary Lyn Ray, won a Minnesota Book Award, IRA Children’s Choice, and Crayola Kids Best Book of the Year. She has illustrated many award-winning picture books, including Scarecrow and Snow, by Cynthia Rylant, Fold Me A Poem, by Kristine O’Connell George, and Tell Me About Your Day Today, by Mem Fox. Her book, Winter is the Warmest Season, was a Booklist Editor’s Choice. Her newest Book—When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot—received a McKnight Fellowship and was released this spring to much acclaim and many starred reviews.

    Sheree Fitch

    Sheree FitchSheree Fitch, is a storyteller, educator, and literacy activist and the author of award winning poetry, picture books, nonfiction, plays and novels for all ages. Her first publication was the children’s book Toes in my Nose. (Doubleday 1987.) Her second children’s book Sleeping Dragons All Around (1989), won the Atlantic Bookseller’s Choice Award in 1990. Subsequent awards include the Mr. Christie Book Award, (There Were Monkeys in my Kitchen), The Young Canada Reads award (The Gravesavers) and the Vicky Metcalf award for Children’s Literature in 1998 for a body of work inspirational to Canadian children.

    Fitch holds a B.A. from St. Thomas University, an M.A. from Acadia University, and honorary doctorates from St. Mary's, Acadia and Saint Thomas for her contribution to Canadian literature and issues affecting women and children. She’s taught writing workshops around the globe and in universities, including the Faculty of Education at the University of New-Brunswick and children’s literature at St. Thomas University.

    Sheree Fitch has been a goodwill ambassador for Unicef and her work as a poet and literacy educator has taken her to the Arctic, Bhutan, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Belize, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mexico. Fitch is currently the Honorary Spokesperson for the New-Brunswick Coalition for Literacy, and each year she sponsors a writing competition for New Brunswick Youth. In addition, she is Honorary Spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Read to Me Program. Her ventures in literacy education include completing a three-year summer writer in residency for Somebody's Daughter in Nunavut. She still spends some of the year speaking and touring schools and various libraries, both in Canada and abroad. Fitch and her husband, Gilles Plante currently live in River John Nova Scotia.

  • rATES 

    • $445 Early-bird conference rate
          (Register on or before June 9th)
    • $495 Regular conference
    • $150 Two graduate credits

    If space remains, one-day registrations may be accepted at $150 per day.


    Parking is free in all university lots during summer (except for the Anderson Center ramp, which has an hourly charge). Please observe the restricted or no parking spaces. Street parking is available on the side streets adjacent to Snelling.