UWA presents “Building Bridges to Other Cultures” conference for educators and librarians

The University of West Alabama’s Julia Tutwiler Library and College of Education has announced a half-day conference for area educators and librarians. “Reading Across the Curriculum: Building Bridges to Other Cultures” will feature a slate of professionals from both fields, including two presenters. The workshop is set for Friday, Nov. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the UWA campus.

The first workshop on reading across the curriculum will be led by Dr. Amanda Pendergrass, assistant professor of early childhood education at UWA. A second workshop will focus on story time and storytelling techniques and will be led by Mr. Benji Martin, elementary librarian at St. James School in Montgomery, Ala.

The workshop is designed for educators interested in utilizing children’s literature to promote cultural awareness in the classroom and library. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available to participants. The event is open to the public, with registration of $5 for UWA students and $25 for others. Lunch is included.

Pendegrass will focus on incorporating trade books in an integrated learning environment. She has 13 years of experience as an educator, including a year spent teaching in Okayama, Japan.

Over the course of her career Pendergrass has implemented a constructivist philosophy of education in her classrooms. This philosophy has been strengthened and refined through her international travel and study in Reggio, Emilia, Italy.

Pendergrass received a master’s degree in elementary education and a doctorate in early childhood education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Martin’s workshop will provide tips and techniques for captivating a younger audience during story time. He is a kid lit blogger at “Tales of and Elementary School Librarian” and is currently a fiction picture book judge for the Cybils Awards.

Martin holds a master’s degree in library information studies from the University of Alabama and lives in Prattville, Ala.

For more information on the event, call 205-652-3453 or email sross@uwa.edu