Local students to attend Young Readers' Conference at FHSU

09/24/12 jgm

HAYS, Kan. -- About 350 third- through fifth-grade students are expected to attend the Young Readers' Conference, Friday, Oct. 12, on the Fort Hays State University campus.

The conference gives students from western Kansas the opportunity to interact with six nationally known authors and/or illustrators.

This year's conference features Gary Hogg, noted storyteller and author of the "Spencer's Adventures" book series. He wrote his first children's book when he was 19, but it took years to get it published. After graduating from Brigham Young University, he started doing school visits. Since then, Hogg has inspired more than a million students to become better writers.

A special presentation by Hogg will be open to the public, but priority will be given to FHSU teacher education candidates, at 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

Hogg will also serve as the conference's keynote speaker on Friday, Oct. 12, in Beach/Schmidt followed by morning and afternoon concurrent sessions in FHSU's Memorial Union.

Erin Laurie, a registered dietitian and the executive director of Nutra-Net, will present technical text reading via recipe and a hands-on cooking activity. Students will learn how to make healthy snacks including pizza snack-time roll ups and fruit smoothies.

Laurie's presentation and the attendance of about 220 students and their sponsors from the Russell school district was made possible through a $3,950 Russell County Area Community Foundation Grant to promote the health and well-being of children.

Other sessions will be presented by Tammi Sauer, teacher and author of western picture books; Lisa Campbell Ernst, author and illustrator of "When Bluebell Sang," "The Gingerbread Girl" and "The Turn Around, Upside Down Alphabet Book"; and Mark Ludy, author and Illustrator of "The Flower Man."

Mike Artell, an award-winning children's book author, illustrator and TV cartoonist will be the luncheon speaker. Artell's work includes nationally recognized picture books like "Petite Rouge," wordplay books, how-to books and non-fiction books.

Artell has also written and illustrated several teacher and parent resource books on subjects as diverse as ecology, parties, cartooning and young authorship.

Books will be on sale throughout the day, which concludes with an autographing session by all presenters.

For more information on the conference, contact Dr. Beth Walizer, associate professor of teacher education, at 785-628-5579 or bwalizer@fhsu.edu.

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