School of Education plans a literacy conference with a passion

“For the Love of Reading” hopes to help teachers such as Kenzie Norris, pictured, to inspire children to love reading. Paula Rogel/UVU Review

The Forum on Engaged Reading is looking forward to inspiring people to share with children and teens its passion for reading at their upcoming literacy conference.

This year, the conference, appropriately named “For the Love of Reading,” will be held off-campus March 11-12 at the Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah. Organizers are excited about the new venue, the schedule of events and the well known authors coming to speak.

According to organizers, the event is more than just a literacy conference for authors. This year, the program is focused on inspiring anyone who cares about wanting to encourage children and teens to read for their lifetime, including teachers, librarians and parents.

Organizers hope those who attend will instill a passion for reading in the children whose lives they touch.

“We want to influence peoples’ attitudes to believe they can make a difference in the lives of their children and students with reading,” said Nancy Peterson, conference organizer and professor in the Elementary Education department.

In order to accomplish their goal to inspire those who attend, organizers have planned a high-profile list of keynote speakers, including well-known children’s authors and literacy education experts who will introduce the best new books and practices, all for the love of reading.

Organizers were hoping to get authors who had “written books we knew had inspired engaged reading in us, in our students, in children and adults,” Peterson said. “The [scheduled] authors were at the top of our list, but we never dreamed we could actually get them to come.”

Among the impressive line-up of authors are Christopher Paul Curtis, Patricia Reilly Giff and Steve Jenkins.

Curtis is a winner of multiple Newbery and Coretta Scott King awards for children’s literature and believes every child deserves to fall in love with books as someone else reads to them.

Giff is a two-time Newbery award winner for young adult books. She was a teacher for 20 years and understands how to reach into the hearts of her readers.

Caldecott Honor recipient Jenkins is also an illustrator who has a way of making non-fiction books for children come alive.
Other presenters include well-known storytelling festival performer Debi Richan and KSL 5 television news co-anchor and Read Today advocate Nadine Wimmer. Wimmer said she is excited to take part in the conference.

“The key is not only to help children become strong readers, but to create a life-long love of reading,” she said. “And that’s the goal organizers have in mind.”

Several of Utah’s own famous children’s authors will be in attendance, as well as many professionals in the field of children’s and young adult literature.

Students, faculty and staff can register for the two-day conference at a discounted rate.  For more information about the conference and registration, visit or call 801-863-8894.