Mount hosts 24th Annual Conference on Literacy: Arts-Based Literacy

April 10, 2017

Illustrator and author Susan L. Roth during the 24th Annual Conference on Literacy: Arts-Based Literacy.


With a few snips of her scissors, a little glue, and her imagination, illustrator and author Susan L. Roth began her keynote speech during the 24th Annual Conference on Literacy by turning a few pieces of scrap paper and plastic mesh into a collage figure of a smiling girl.

The conference, titled “Arts-Based Literacy,” was sponsored by the Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL) in Mount Saint Mary College’s Division of Education. It was attended by approximately 200 educators and Mount teacher candidates, as well as several dozen pre k to eighth graders who participate in the “Around the World in Stories” program put on by the Mount through the Newburgh Armory.

During her speech, Roth explained how she originally became an illustrator, what drew her attention to collage as her medium, and where she gets inspiration for her illustrations and stories.

“I get inspiration from everywhere. I get inspired at the supermarket, while making supper, while out for a walk, anywhere,” said Roth. “The fact is, many ideas fly into my head in unexpected places and times, even when I am not even thinking about books.” The important thing, she added, is to be ready and willing to explore ideas and inspiration. “Always be prepared because inspiration can hit you at any time.”

The conference featured more than a dozen workshops covering a broad range of topics, a book sale, and autograph sessions with Roth.

Nicole Zazzero ‘14, MSE ‘16, and Alison Nasta MSE ’16, were presented with the Sister Frances Berski Memorial Award for their graduate work in the literacy program. This award is given in memory of Sister Frances who was instrumental in the development of the Master of Science in Literacy Program.