F 2019 Session 2, Workshop 4: Literacy As a Vehicle For Connecting and Caring About Community, 4-8
JoEllen McCarthy & Torrey Maldonado
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JoEllen, a dedicated educator for 20+ years, is a self-proclaimed “literacy geek.” Her considerable knowledge of effective literacy practices and child development, coupled with her passion and expertise for children’s literature, makes her a significant resource in the school districts with which she works. A proud member of the NerdyBookClub, she can be found tweeting daily about reading, writing, and learning together at @JoEllenMcCarthy as well as occasionally blogging at McCarthyJoEllen.blogspot.com.
Growing up, Torrey Maldonado hated reading. No. He hated boring books and books that seemed to hate or dismiss him and where he was from. With books failing him in a failing school, he unplugged so hard from books that he repeated a grade, almost three times. Luckily, he was introduced to NOT boring and culturally responsive books. It inspired him to become a middle school teacher and author. For nearly 20 years, he has used the formula that hooked him to books. Provide mirror and window books for readers to love, they will love those books back, and book-lovers and writers will grow. He still teaches in the Brooklyn neighborhood where he was born and raised and uses his students’ & his experiences to write what readers say “don’t feel like books”. Voted a “Top 10 Latino Author” & best Middle Grade & Young Adult novelist for African Americans, he was spotlighted as a top teacher by NYC’s former Chancellor. His writing is praised for its current-feel, realness, & universal themes. Learn more at torreymaldonado.com.