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To Light the World: Stories of Hope & Courage for Challenging Times Conference at JFK Library

April 3, 2014 @ 8:00 am - 2:30 pm


To Light the World: Stories of Hope & Courage for Challenging Times

A conference for classroom teachers and librarians of grades 3-8

Presented by John F. Kennedy NHS and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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 inspirational counterbalance.

This year’s conference features conversations with award-winning authors whose books inform and inspire young readers. Workshop sessions present strategies and resources for helping students engage with issues of concern, encouraging them to believe that they, too, can make a difference in the world.

Registration form and payment must be received by March 12, 2014.


Featured Speakers:

Susan Campbell Bartoletti is a Newbery Honor recipient and Sibert Award winner who taught 8th grade English for eighteen years before devoting herself to writing full time. Her carefully researched historical narratives on challenging topics, including the Ku Klux Klan and Hitler Youth, highlight the choices and actions of young people. She hopes that her books give readers “…courage to question and to think critically about history…and, most of all, courage to stand up.” For more information, visit Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s website:

Suzy Becker is an artist, author, educator, and entrepreneur. Since her childhood days operating a lemonade stand for UNICEF, she has also been a social activist. In 2010, Yankee Magazine named her an “Angel Among Us” for her community service initiatives. Ms. Becker writes and illustrates humorous, thought-provoking books for adults and children, including Kids Make It Better, an action-packed workbook designed to engage young people in creative problem-solving. To learn more, visit Suzy Becker’s website:

Mary Ann Cappiello is a professor of language and literacy at Lesley University. Her passion for children’s books as a source for learning about the world was nurtured through her years as a public school English language arts teacher. She is co-author, with Erika Thulin Dawes, of Teaching with Text Sets and the forthcoming Teaching for Complexity. Mary Ann Cappiello is also co-creator of The Classroom Bookshelf blog and writes about nonfiction for the School Library Journal. For more information, read these faculty bios:

Walter Dean Myers, celebrated as “a giant among children’s and young adult authors,” served as the 2012-13 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Many of his books feature urban teens dealing with serious issues. Mr. Myers often shares stories of his own troubled youth in Harlem, telling young people how his love of books and writing rescued him from despair. He advises, “Read everything you can, looking for the ideas that give you hope and expand your horizons.” To learn more, visit Walter’s website:

Doreen Rappaport taught in a Mississippi Freedom School in the 1960s and has been drawn to stories of courage and justice ever since. Her stunningly illustrated series of biographies introduce children to history makers through carefully selected quotes and lively narrative. In her young adult book Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, she recounts the heroic acts of ordinary people in the most challenging of circumstances. For more, visit Doreen Rappaport’s website:

Concurrent Sessions Presented by:

Mary Ann Cappiello & Erika Thulin-Dawes

Ron Adams

Read what The New York Times has to say about Ron and his students

Katie Smith Milway & Helen Rosenfeld

Watch Katie’s TEDx New England presentation

Learn more about Helen

Judith Steinbergh

Read Judith’s biography

Watch a video interview with Judith

For detailed conference information and registration form:

PDF of full brochure formatted for web viewing

PDF of 8.5 x 11 brochure formatted for printing



April 3, 2014
8:00 am - 2:30 pm
Event Categories:
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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum with the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site


John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125 United States
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