Greetings from ALA Chairperson Lyndsey Laster
I am honored to serve as Chair of the Arkansas Literacy Association. It has been a vivid dream of mine to lead Arkansas Educators in Literacy. Literacy isn’t a project for me; it’s a passion. My mother instilled a love of reading as a small child and encouraged and nurtured it throughout my life. My mother taught me, “reading is a way to use my imagination to go to new places, have new experiences, and gain new knowledge. Reading is dreaming with your eyes open.” As your State Chair, I am honored to lead with my passion and want you to join me in bringing a love of Literacy to our students.
This year's theme is "Constructing Lifelong Readers and Writers." My vision is for us to work together using the platform “Construction” as a way to entice readers/writers to want to dive into literature like a building project: building a literary foundation, building structure on reading and proper writing techniques, using their imaginations for design and completion of a reading and/or writing project. We want to help our students navigate through what types of books they enjoy reading or writing about. All great writers started as readers. We have opportunities to develop and encourage some amazing future writers and should do all that we can to motivate, educate, and inspire them.
I am excited to welcome you to our 51st Annual Literacy Conference this year! Your Arkansas Literacy Association Board members have been hard at work building this year's main event. We will be demolishing old, worn out strategies,and digging deeper into ways to help our students be successful. Keynote speakers are Kelly Gallagher and Jerry Craft who will pave the way with new ideas.
ALA will also host the Arkansas Book Award Luncheon as well as the Arkansas Author Luncheon featuring Trenton Lee Stewart, Roland Smith, Darcy Pattison, Eli Cranor, and Maria Hoskins. We will have several breakout sessions to help nail down strategies for increasing reading and writing skills. I hope you will leave our conference with a dump truck load of new knowledge.
ALA will continue to encourage Literacy across our great state by having our annual Student Writer’s Showcase, hosting book clubs, and bringing in top notch speakers to share their vast literary knowledge.
As you navigate through your lifelong learning journey, consider how a professional organization can support you. ALA’s mission is to develop literacy. If you are not a member of ALA, please take a moment to stop by our membership booth and sign up. Be a cheerleader of literacy at the local level. Invite someone new to tag along with you to a meeting. Be an inspiration to your students and fellow staff members. Take time to laugh and have fun with your students and show them by example how FUN reading can be! For some students, reading is the only comfort they have. Fill every day with literacy opportunities!
“There is no friend as loyal and comforting as a book.” Ernest Hemingway“The world belongs to those who read.” - Rick Holland