- by Mount Saint Mary College

Registration is now open for Mount Saint Mary College's 27th Annual Conference on Literacy, spearheaded by the college's Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL).

The theme this year will be "Connecting the World Through Literacy." The conference will take place on Saturday, April 17, 2021 via Zoom.

The registration fee is $20, or $10 for full-time students. The registration form can be found at

The schedule is as follows:

  • 9 - 9:10 a.m.: Opening
  •  9:20 - 10:10 a.m.: Workshop Session I
  • 10:10 - 10:20 a.m.: Break
  • 10:20 -11:10 a.m.: Workshop Session II
  • 11:20 a.m. - noon: Keynote Address

The conference will feature a keynote speech by Jane M. Gangi, a former full-time Education professor and current adjunct at the Mount; and Laconia Therrio, a professional storyteller, a chaplain, and a faculty member of the Family Medicine Residency Program of Stamford Hospital.

Jane M. Gangi, a former full-time Education professor and current adjunct at the Mount.Gangi has published several books on children's literature, including Encountering Children's Literature: An Arts Approach; Deepening Literacy Learning: Art and Literature Engagements in K-8 Classrooms with Mary Ann Reilly and Rob Cohen; and Genocide in Contemporary Children's and Young Adult Literature: Cambodia to Darfur. She is also a storyteller and won the Connecticut Storytelling Center Barbara Reed Award for her contributions to the storytelling community. Her current work-in-progress is a children's book, Katalin Karikó: Coronavirus Hero.

Therrio shares stories from across the globe. As a storyteller, he speaks in schools, libraries,Laconia Therrio, a professional storyteller. corporations, or wherever stories can be told. Believing that stories remind us more of our commonalities than our differences, his repertoire includes tales from the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Whether folktale, myth, fable, or horror, he invites the listener to discover the wonder of each tale shared.

Conference participants will also be able to choose two of the available 10 workshops, including "Poverty, Trauma, and Today's Classrooms: From Crisis to Creativity" by Sonya Abbye Taylor, associate professor of Education at the Mount, and Ludmila Smirnova, professor of Education at the Mount; "All the World's a Stage: Even in Elementary School" by Mount alumna Rebecca Quackenbush '05 and Pamela Cinque; and "Opening New Worlds with Comprehension Strategies" by Lisa Taravella.

Established in 2012, CELL provides tutoring and out-of-school literacy activities for children pre-school to grade 12 with a focus on reading, conversation, and activities. It explores multicultural books, offers family literacy programs, and more. Each semester dozens of Mount teacher candidates, graduate and undergraduate, help instill a love of reading in local youth as part of their community fieldwork requirement.


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