Join us for our annual professional development opportunity at the 2024 CLiF Community Literacy Conference! And great news that we are BACK to in-person so we can enjoy all the benefits of being together in the same physical space!!! The Community Literacy Conference, designed around broad themes connecting to literacy, offers the chance for personal learning combined with meaningful connection.

Date: April 12, 2024
Location: Lake Morey Resort; Fairlee, VT
Cost: $55 with scholarships available – simply email Cassie to request a comp code (

We invite all CLiF partners – librarians, teachers, school staff, administrators, out-of-school time providers, early educators, informal educators, mentors, supporters, and other friends of CLiF. Certificates of professional development will be provided upon request after completion of the conference. This conference will be offered a low cost; all are welcome and no one will be denied access due to funding.

This year’s conference will include all the beloved aspects of the CLiF Community Literacy Conference:

  • Presentations with ideas you can use in your classroom, learning space, or library with opportunities to share with the group and ask questions of the presenters and attendees.
  • Book giveaways! One of the most popular features of the conference is a giveaway for attendees.
  • High-quality presenters who offer a wonderful mix of experience.


  • 9-9:30: Arrival, check-in, breakfast
  • 9:30-9:45: CLiF announcements and news
  • 9:45-10:45: Keynote with Kekla Magoon
    • Revolution in Our Hands: Embracing our Power as Changemakers
  • 10:45-11: Coffee break & stretch your legs
  • 11-12: Panel discussion on youth resiliency through literature
    • Featuring Author Amy Makechnie, Principal Robin Whitney, and Therapist/Author Kathy Brodsky
  • 12-12:45 Lunch & networking
  • 12:45-1:30: Workshop block 1 (select 1 out of 4; workshop descriptions here)
    • Literacy Moves Outdoors: Five Approaches to Try in Any Environment with Valerie Bang-Jensen
    • Using Picture Books To Build Racial Literacy with Sarah Norsworthy
    • “But That’s Not ‘Real’ Reading!” Advocating for Comics and Graphic Novels for Readers of All Ages with Shawna Coppola
    • Early Education and Literacy with Wendy Martin/VELI and special public library guests Amy McMullen, Cavendish Fletcher Community Library ; Brenda Stanley, Enosburgh Public Library; and Sam Howard, Rockingham Free Public Library
  • 1:45-2:30: Workshop block 2 (select 1 out of 4; workshop descriptions here)
    • Deepening Our Ability To Use Picture Books In Affirming & Sustainable Ways with Sarah Norsworthy
    • Exploring Science Concepts in Children’s Literature with Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz
    • “Now What?” Tools & Strategies for Assessing the Comics Our Students Create with Shawna Coppola
    • Sparking Curiosity with Play in Young Learners with Deborah Dutcher
  • 2:30-3: Wrap-up and book raffle

*Agenda is subject to change. Please note that we are unable to accommodate any special dietary requests; gluten-free and vegetarian options will be available.


Payment options are check or credit card. Refunds will not be permitted after April 1, 2024. Email Cassie to request a comp code if cost is a barrier to attendance or if you require an invoice for payment (

Keynote: “Revolution in Our Hands: Embracing our Power as Changemakers” with Kekla Magoon

Kekla will discuss her award-winning nonfiction book about the Black Panther Party, the importance of reading and writing as a tool for social change, and our individual and collective power to transform our learning spaces and communities.

Kekla Magoon writes novels and nonfiction books for children and teens, often exploring themes of identity, community, empowerment, and social justice. Her acclaimed young adult and middle grade titles include The Season of Styx Malone, How It Went Down, The Rock and the River, and Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People, which was a Michael L. Printz Honor winner and National Book Award Finalist. Kekla’s nonfiction books for younger readers include The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life Leadership and Legacy and She Persisted: Ruby Bridges, written with Chelsea Clinton. Kekla received the 2021 Margaret A. Edwards Award, a body-of-work recognition for a significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature, as well as the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the John Steptoe New Talent Award, three Coretta Scott King Honors, the Walter Award Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and been a finalist for the National Book Award. . She lives in Vermont with two energetic orange cats. Find her online at

CLiF has served over 350,000 children since 1998.

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