Opening Session – Celebrating Student Voice

9:45-10:45AM EST

Opening Remarks: Christopher Lehman, Founding Director of The Educator Collaborative

Opening Keynote: Celebrating Student Voice

We are so lucky to be joined by authors Phil Bildner and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and spoken word poet Elizabeth Acevedo for this opening session on celebrating and supporting the voices of all children.


☟⬇︎ Watch HERE ⬇︎☟


Phil Bildner is the author of numerous children’s picture books including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize winning Marvelous CorneliusMartina & Chrissie, Twenty-One Elephants, The Soccer Fence, The Hallelujah Flight, and The Unforgettable Season. He is author of A Whole New Ballgame and Rookie of the Year, the first two books in the middle grade Rip & Red series, and he is also the co-creator of The New York Times Bestselling middle grade chapter book serial, Sluggers. A former middle school teacher in the New York City public schools, Phil spends much of the year visiting schools around the country conducting writing workshops and talking process with students. He lives in Newburgh, New York with his husband and dog.

Elizabeth Acevedo is the youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from the George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She has been an educator for several years having taught eighth grade English, creative writing and composition at the university level, and as a youth program’s coordinator who worked directly with youth poets in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area.  Acevedo has two collections of poetry, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) and winner of the 2016 Berkshire Prize, Medusa Reads La Negra’s Palm (Tupelo Press, forthcoming). The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018) is her debut novel.

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the author of the novel 8th Grade Superzero, co-author of Two Naomis and the forthcoming And Two Naomis Too, with Audrey Vernick. She​ writes for Brightly and has written for Heinemann’s Digital Campus; she has contributed to The Journey Is Everything: Teaching Essays That Students Want To Write for People Who Want To Read Them, Imagine it Better: Visions of What Schools Might Be, Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices, and Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself.  She is a We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) and Brown Bookshelf team member and teaches writing at The Loft and Gotham Writers.  Olugbemisola lives with her family in NYC where she writes, makes things, and needs to get more sleep. She loves to visit with readers and writers like you; until then, find her online at

Today’s Adopted Charities



Free, Online, Day of Workshops and Edu-Joy.

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