TTU's College of Education hosts Literature Conference March 24

An award-winning author, Tennessee's own poet laureate and the wife of a former Challenger astronaut are a few of the guests who will headline the upcoming Tennessee Tech University's College of Education's Literature Conference on Saturday, March 24.

"Celebrating Multicultural Literature for Children of All Ages" is set for Saturday, March 24, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Roaden University Center. Registration will be on the first floor in the main lobby and the various seminars will be held in different rooms in the RUC.

Admission to the conference is free and open to the public. The cost of lunch is $8 and luncheon reservations must be made by Monday, March 19. To pre-register for the conference and/or make reservations for lunch, call (931) 372-3791 to get a registration form. For those who do not want to eat lunch, there will be a poetry reading session.

Award-winning author Robert San Souci is the speaker of the first general session, which will be held from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. His books reflect his careful research into the culture, traditions and background of folktales. He is the author of numerous award-winning books, such as The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South, winner of the prestigious Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award.

Tennessee poet laureate Maggi Vaughn will speak at the second general session, from 11 a.m. to noon. She is the author of many poetry books and has collaborated with author Carole Knuth to write a children's book entitled The Birthday Dolly set in the coal mining area of West Virginia.

Other speakers will be:

Tracy Barrett, who will focus on two historical multicultural selections: the award-winning Anna of Byzantium and The Trail of Tears.

John Ferrell, who incorporates music and storytelling into his instructional strategies for the McGraw-Hill reading series.

June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Challenger Astronaut Dick Scobee and a developer of the Challenger Learning Centers. She is also the author of Silver Linings Ð Triumph of the Challenger 7.

Interest sessions on such topics as African American literature in grades K-8, using literature for youth with problems, exploring the world of Harry Potter and literature for ESL students will also be held throughout the day. There will also be book signings by the authors.