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Shepherd to host April 8 literacy conference

ISSUED: 24 March 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Fifth Annual Literacy Leaders Conference sponsored by Shepherd University and the Jefferson County Reading Council will take place Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in Erma Ora Byrd Hall. The conference, titled “Literacy and the Real World,” offers continuing education hours and graduate course credits. Anyone who preregisters online through April 4 will receive a discounted price.

Dr. Elvira Sanatullova-Allison, chair of Shepherd’s Department of Education, will deliver the keynote address, “Welcoming the World in Your Classroom, School, and Community: English Language Learners.” Allison will discuss how classrooms across the country are becoming more culturally and linguistically diverse and English language learners are the fastest growing demographic in U.S. schools. She will talk about how all teachers and counselors share the responsibility of helping these students learn English and academic content.

Allison was born in Azerbaijan and lived in Russia for more than 20 years. She is multilingual and studied in Russia, Uzbekistan, France, and the United States. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in administration, curriculum, and instruction, specializing in language acquisition and literacy. Allison is a former K-12 teacher in Russia and the United States and has been a teacher educator for the last 20 years in Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

The conference will offers sessions on topics that include how to start a student-led book swap, how to incorporate different cultures into the curriculum, using resources from PBS and West Virginia Learning Media, and seven strategies of highly engaging teachers, and many more.

The cost for the conference is $20 for those who preregister through April 4; $40 for those who register the day of the event; and $10 for teacher candidates. Those wishing to receive graduate credits need to pay an additional $147 to Shepherd and complete an assignment after the conference.

For more information, visit or contact Karen Rice, director of continuing education and lifelong learning, at 304-876-5135 or

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