For the first time ever, the IDA Branches of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Kansas/Missouri are working collaboratively to hold the first-ever Readers All Conference at the iWireless Center, in Moline, Illinois on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21, 2012
Informal discussions that started in the Spring of 2010 ultimately led to an incredible partnership that combines the expertise of four successful branches. Initially, Richard Bradford, President of the Iowa Branch, and Maureen O’Connor, President of the Illinois Branch discussed the idea of holding a regional event. Both left the conversation intrigued and interested in making the concept a reality.
Assessing speaker interest began shortly thereafter and culminated with inviting renowned experts, Dr. Maryanne Wolf and Dr. Marilyn Jager-Adams to participate. Both were eager to support this joint effort by accepting invitations to serve as the conference Keynote Speakers.
IDA branches are no strangers to collaborative conferences. In fact, the Iowa Branch held a very successful conference in 2008 in Sioux City, Iowa along with the Nebraska and Upper Midwest branches, as well as the LDA of Iowa. The Readers All Conference planning committee is utilizing the success of that conference by applying the same planning model. Operationally, the Illinois Branch Business Manager, Maria Logan, has played an invaluable role in the planning process.
There are many advantages to regional conferences. One obvious advantage is to be able to combine resources to provide top-notch speakers to a larger pool of attendees. This results in greater attendance which subsequently benefits and serves the mission of the organizations. Subsequently, the Exhibit Hall is beaming with impressive regional and national companies and organizations. Additionally, branches are given the opportunity to share their mission with an audience outside of their normal reach. Everyone benefits!
The conference is geared to a wide audience including classroom teachers, special educators, speech language pathologists, tutors, parents, school administrators, psychologists and adults with dyslexia. While the featured keynote presenters, Dr. Marilyn Jager Adams, Visiting Scholar, Brown University on Friday morning and Dr. Maryanne Wolf, Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University on Saturday morning, are sure to engage and educate, our hope is that the wide range of sessions on Friday and Saturday leave attendees excited and ready to implement strategies in their own classrooms, homes and offices.
For more information or to register for the conference visit www.readersallconference.com or call the Illinois Branch at 630-469-6900.
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