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PUBLIC INVITED TO CHILDREN'S LITERACY CONFERENCE

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March 6, 2003 – Teachers, parents, day-care providers, librarians and anyone else who deals with children in kindergarten through third grade are invited to a Children's Literacy and Literature Conference on Saturday at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.
Sponsored by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands Kids Count program, it runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Diane Moody, head librarian at Enid M. Baa Library, said there is a need to spread the word about how to teach children to read. "Reading is so important to school and jobs," she said.
St. John resident Cristina Kessler, the author of several children's books and a guest presenter for reading and writing projects at Julius E. Sprauve School, is the keynote speaker, Moody said.
Other speakers include Moody and UVI faculty members Patricia Harkins-Pierre, Linda Thomas and Linda Wymer. Moody and Harkins-Pierre will speak about the practical aspects of helping students learn to read. Thomas and Wymer will discuss issues relating to literacy.
St. Thomas resident Phillis Gershator, the author of numerous nationally recognized children's books, will be on hand to discuss books for youngsters, Moody said, and Elaine Jacobs and Harkins-Pierre will do some storytelling.
Moody said she hopes that those who attend the conference will be inspired to develop a network of people interested in helping youngsters learn to read well.
There is a registration fee for the conference of $5 in advance or $10 at the door. The Caribbean Writers Project will pay the $5 fee for the first 20 teachers who pre-register. For information about registering, call Moody at 777-6244 or 774-0630, or e-mail her at D. Moody.
She said the registration fees will go toward the Community Foundation's Dictionary Fund, which pays for dictionaries for students.

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