Past Conferences

images of art and artists are collaged in small bubbles

2015: Sources of Inspiration: History Through the Arts & Lives of Artists

John F. Kennedy was an eloquent advocate for the arts. He asked two renowned artists—poet Robert Frost and singer Marian Anderson—to participate in his inauguration, and honored many others during his presidency. JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy made the White House a center for celebrating and uplifting cultural life in America. In the classroom, can we use stories about artists to enhance the teaching of history and other subjects? How can a photograph, painting, play or other work of art open doors to the past? Spend a day with award-winning creators of children's nonfiction and outstanding educators to explore ways of integrating the arts into the curriculum and inspiring students' own creativity. Please click here for an annotated bibliography of books related to this conference. To view an agenda for the day, including speakers, please click here.


 
Child laborers protest their working conditions.
2014: To Light the World: Stories of Hope and Courage for Challenging Times

When bad news dominates the headlines and children are bombarded with frightening images from streaming media, we find ourselves looking for ways to explain and reassure. In these times, stories of hope, courage and resilience can offer an inspiration counterbalance—providing children with examples of people facing difficulties head-on and taking action to make things better. Click here for the conference brochure and agenda. Click here for an annotated bibliography of books related to this conference.


 
An African-American boy enters an all-white school for the first time.

2013: We'll Never Turn Back: Voices of the Civil Rights Movement

In 1963, the long struggle against racial discrimination in America intensified—with a children's crusade in Birmingham, the March on Washington and a landmark civil rights bill from the Kennedy administration. This year, we mark these and other milestone events from that time with a conference that celebrates the courage and resolve of those who sought to make the promise of freedom and justice a reality for all. Click here for the conference brochure and agenda and here for speaker biographies. Click here for an annotated bibliography of books related to this conference.

 
President Kennedy examines space capsule Friendship 7

2012: A Sense of Wonder: Stories of Nature, Science and History

In 1962, astronaut John Glenn's historic orbital flight captured the public's imagination and spurred and ever-growing fascination with rocketry and outer space on the part of America's youth. That same year, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring warned that overuse of chemical pesticides was endangering the web of life on planet Earth. Her book helped to launch an environmental movement, stirring young people's interest in ecology and in caring for the natural world. As we recall these landmark events of 50 years ago, join us to consider how stories of nature, science and history can be used to inspire today's students with a sense of wonder and conscientious stewardship. Click here for the conference brochure and agenda. Click here for an annotated bibliography of books related to this conference.

 
CrossingBorders2

2011: Crossing Borders Through Literature, Poetry & Personal Stories

President Kennedy's stirring call to service at his inauguration and his launch of the Peace Corps shortly thereafter inspired a new sense of global citizenship on the part of many Americans, especially young people. As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in 2011, this conference focuses on how to connect today's students with the world beyond our borders. Join award-winning authors and outstanding educators to discuss how literature, poetry and personal stories can expand students' horizons, deepen their understanding of other people and themselves, and prepare them to become engaged citizens of the world. Click here for the conference brochure and agenda. Click here for an annotated bibliography of books related to this conference.

Last updated: April 8, 2015

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