Baylor School of Education To Host Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading Conference

Oct. 11, 2006
News Photo 3853Pat Mora

- Friday sessions focus on literacy for English language learners, instruction differentiation for all learners, improving reading instructions from pre-K through 12th grade -

by Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

Baylor University's School of Education will host educators and reading specialists from more than 40 Central Texas schools, school districts and universities for the 2006 Regional Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading (TAIR) Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, on the Baylor campus.

Registration for the conference is $55 and is limited to space available. Sessions will be held in the Draper Academic Building.

"This year's conference theme is 'Opening the World of Reading,' which is reflected in the wide variety of presentations that will be offered during the conference," said Margaret Thomson, lecturer in curriculum and instruction at Baylor and TAIR coordinator. "In our breakout sessions, fellow professionals will share ideas from their classrooms and personal experience and scholarship that encourage the love of reading and help students become lifelong readers with high-quality literature and the latest research-based ideas about how to teach reading effectively."

The TAIR Conference at Baylor will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Bennett Auditorium with a keynote address on "Bookjoy: A Literacy Lure" by Pat Mora, the award-winning author of numerous books for both children and adults.

Mora's book, "Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart," was twice honored by the American Library Association (ALA) with the 2006 Pura Belpré Award for Hispanic Literature for its illustrations and the honor book award for its narrative. She will be a major presenter at this year's National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual conference.

Mora's many works include children's and young adult books of poetry, biography, memoir and folklore, including "Tomas and the Library Lady," an IRA Teachers' Choice and Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection, as well as "Confetti," "My Own True Name," "A Library for Juana" and "The Rainbow Tulip." Her memoir, "House of Houses," reveals her interest in family and her Chicano heritage. She is a university professor, popular speaker and children's advocate who helped establish April 30 as "Día de los niños/Día de los libros," a yearly celebration of childhood, books, languages and cultures. A native of El Paso, Mora lives in Santa Fe, N.M.

In addition to her keynote, Mora will sign copies of her books from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. and noon to 12:45 p.m. on the second floor of the Draper Academic Building. To find out more about Pat Mora, visit

Breakout sessions on multiple topics will be held concurrently from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., 11 a.m. to noon, and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Click here for a full list of breakout session topics.

The TAIR Conference also will feature a special breakout session by Dr. Ricardo Garcia, a traveling scholar for Phi Delta Kappa International, on "The Art and Practice of Hispano Storytelling." At 9:45 a.m. in Bennett Auditorium, Garcia will demonstrate how teachers can use storytelling in a variety of ways and for multiple subjects, such as science, social studies, cultural studies, English-as-a-second language, foreign languages and language arts.

An education professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and award-winning writer, Garcia won the National Poetry Award in 2001 for his book, "On the Way to San Francisco Bay" (Salmon Run Press, 2001). He also is the author of two well-known professional education books, "Teaching for Diversity" and "Teaching in a Pluralistic Society."

An interesting note to the conference: Teachers rarely get off campus to eat, so by request of previous attendees, teachers are free to have lunch on their own, on the Baylor campus or at Waco-area restaurants.

The conference will conclude with a final session from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium.

For more information, contact Margaret Thomson, TAIR coordinator at Baylor, at (254) 710-6135 or

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