Past Events

Colleen Cruz

Colleen Cruz

“One Teacher – Thirty-Two Needs”

Successful Strategies for Reaching Diverse Writers

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Executive Hotel: 4201 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby


Colleen Cruz tackles one of the most significant issues in writing instruction today: How to reach the needs of struggling writers. Teaching the skill of writing is viewed by many educators as a major objective; teaching the will of writing is too often an afterthought. Through her humourous personal experiences and her practical suggestions for teaching writing in the classroom, Colleen Cruz inspired teachers and gave them the tools to help their students to become enamoured with writing.


Ms. Colleen Cruz is a dynamic writer, educator, and consultant, who serves as an instructor at Columbia University in New York, where she teaches at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Through the Project, she works as a staff developer in New York City public schools, as well as a literacy consultant nationally and internationally. Author of many teachers’ resource guides and the young adult novel, Border Crossing, Colleen shares her love for reading and writing, as well as her experience teaching writers with diverse needs in a witty, fun, and powerful way.




8-8:30 Registration and “Kidsbooks” display

8:30-10:15 Keynote: “One Teacher – Thirty Two Needs”

10:15-11:15 Break (tea, coffee, and snack will be served)

11:15-12:30 “One Teacher – Thirty Two Needs, Topics, and Plans”



1:30 – 2:45 Teaching Writing Through Pop Culture


Registration Information:

Full Day:

IRA Members: $90

Non-members: $100

Morning Only:

IRA Members: $60

Non-members: $70

Discount for Group of 8 (full day only):

$686.50 ($85.80 per person)




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Steven Layne

 The BC Council of the International Reading Association

Welcomes Dr. Steven Layne

on October 19th, 2012

We invite you to learn more about

Dr. Layne and to visit his website at:

Steven Layne


“Confessions of a Reading Arsonist”
Successful strategies for building lifelong readers: great ideas you can put in place tomorrow!
With his trademark combination of humor and heart, Steven Layne tackles one of the most significant issues in reading instruction today: how to engage reluctant readers. Teaching the skill of reading is viewed by many educators as a major objective; teaching the will of reading is too often an afterthought. Dr. Layne's charismatic blend of anecdotes and practical suggestions for the classroom are sure to fan the flame of literacy into a raging inferno, inspiring teachers as well as their students to keep the bedside lamp on just a little bit later into the night.
Dr. Steven L. Layne serves as Professor of Literacy Education at Judson University in Elgin, IL, USA, where he teaches graduate courses and directs the School of Education’s Master of Literacy program.  Dr. Layne is a respected international literacy consultant, motivational keynote speaker, and featured author throughout the world.  Author of 23 books, Steve is currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association.



IRA Membership Number

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Fall Conference 2012
By April Chan, Kingswood Elementary School, Vancouver, BC

Thank you Dr. Steven Layne!

Wow!  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard or have been so moved at a Professional Development conference.  Dr. Layne, on behalf of the BC Literacy Council of the International Reading Association, and all those who participated in our conference today, I would like to thank you for sharing your insights with us, and for reminding us what is most important in teaching.

Through your stories and experiences, you have shown us how quickly a tiny spark can become a flame, and that it is so important to foster a culture that promotes reading.  We need to provide an opportunity for our students to fall in love with books.  Whether we are starting a bon fire, a flash fire, or a wild fire, it is up to us to help our students become educated people.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be inspired by you, and I am so excited to take my students shopping in the library.  I hope to inspire members of my community to join the “Fire Starters Club”, and we will strive everyday to work towards becoming the Dream School.

Today, you have given us the confidence and skills to motivate our students to become life-long readers and life-long learners.  Thank you for an inspiring presentation and for reminding us about raising the bar for the children in our classrooms.

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Getting Graphic: Effective Literacy Learning with Comics and Graphic Literature
By Bev DeMonyƩ

Our recent October 21 professional development event, Getting Graphic was attended by over 150 educators. They came from school districts throughout the province and we were excited to have approximately 30 students!  Our four presenters did a fabulous job of offering participants a wonderful balance of information.

  •  Jo-Anne Naslund, Instructional Programs Librarian, University of British Columbia, reviewed criteria for the selection and evaluation of graphic texts for teaching purposes and independent reading.
  • Kathie Shoemaker, Author/Illustrator, addressed the process of creating graphic literature.
  • Margot Filipenko, Senior Instructor, University of British Columbia, brought new meaning to the term graphic literature as a multimodal genre and explained why teachers should use comics and graphic literature in the classroom.
  • Dionne Risler, Grade One Teacher from Collingwood elementary, explained how she uses graphic literature with her students to teach both reading and writing.


This was truly an event that had wide appeal to many educators at different levels and in different teaching situations!

As an added bonus, Vi Hughes, President of CWILL (Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC Society) arranged for a group of BC authors to attend the conference and provide participants with an opportunity to review their publications that have a highly visual aspect and relate to current curriculum.   For more about CWILL, go to

Kidsbooks provided an on site store for the convenient previewing and purchasing of books. For further information about the books at our conference go to

Next year on Friday, October 19th, 2012 (Provincial Professional Development Day) we will be sponsoring another event at the Executive Inn in Burnaby.  We have arranged for Dr. Steve Layne to be our presenter.  Dr. Layne is on the International Reading Association board of directors and is a world renowned speaker.  Visit his website at  

For more information go to the Upcoming Events section of our website.

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Using Information Books to Teach Reading

Dr. Ray Reutzel, Emma Eccles Jones Endowed Chair Professor of Early Literacy
Utah State University, joined the British Columbia Literacy Council of the International Reading Association and conference attendees on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 for the Provincial Professional Day.  We spent a truly engaging day learning from, and being entertained by Dr. Reutzel.  Many of us took away successful strategies, supported by recent research, to use in our classrooms - the most popular being The Picture Walk.

For more information about the content of the day's events, and with many thanks to Dr. Ray Reutzel for allowing us to post the Power Point Presentation, see below.

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