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Literacy Expert Michele DufresneLiteracy Expert and author Michele Dufresne is presenting a concurrent session entitled, "Solving Words on the Run" during the October Institute on Reading Recovery and Early Literacy, hosted by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Approximately 900 literacy educators are attending the conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Michele's presentation is scheduled for today. Her focus will be working with beginning readers to solve words. Michele describes the basics of the presentation this way:

"Beginning readers need to learn to use multiple sources of information when reading novel text. Sometimes students will need to do some extensive solving work at the word level to discover what the new word is. We will consider helpful ways to encourage visual analysis of words both in reading and in writing. Video clips from Reading Recovery and small group intervention lessons will be used to illustrate teaching and learning for students."

We have posted handouts to go with Michele's presentation.

Follow Michele Dufresne on Twitter.

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CEO Michele Dufresne sits down at the Inc. 500/500 Conference to talk about Pioneer Valley Books.

Related Post: In First Person: The Inc. 500 Conference

Follow Michele Dufresne on Twitter.

Find Pioneer Valley Books on Facebook

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In First Person: The Inc. 500 Conference

Sep 28, 2011 12:23:58 PM

Michele and Bob Dufresne having a little fun at the Inc. 5000 Conference in September 2011.

My husband Bob and I were thrilled to make Inc. magazine's 2011 list of the top 5000 list of fastest-growing companies and that we got to attend the Inc. Conference and Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. While I have attended many conferences for teachers, this was my first business conference. I feel so new to the world of business and entrepreneurship, but I was amazed that I found so many connections to teaching while I was there. Here are some of the connections I made:

1. Build trust.

Patrick Lencioni, founder and president of The Table Group, Inc., discussed the importance of building trust with your business team. Only when there is trust between the leader and team will ideas truly flow. As I listened to Patrick, I thought how the same is true for teachers and their students. For learning to take place, it is essential for teachers to build a trusting and safe place for students to learn in.

2. Position yourself as successful – it will lead to success.

Real estate expert Barbara Corcoran told us delightful and funny stories about how she presented herself as being knowledgeable and successful and it became reality. The same is true for the students I have taught. I believe telling children they are smart and good at things will lead to them believing in themselves and achieving success.

3. Connect with social media.

Gary Vaynerchuk, a wine seller and social media expert, gave us many amusing examples of how our culture is shifting and social media is changing marketing forever. Business owners, teachers and parents need to embrace this change, as our children are already very comfortable with it. We need to find ways to connect to our students through social media. (And I am going to try to update my Facebook page more often!)

4. Be socially responsible.

Seth Goldman of Honest Tea echoed thoughts we have at Pioneer Valley Books about the importance of socially responsible business practices. Scott Harrison took his beliefs a step further as founder of charity: water. His story of how he went from a nightclub promoter to building an incredible non-profit organization that brings clean water to people in developing nations was mesmerizing. I have promised to give up my birthday this year in support of his cause. As educators, I believe we must help children grow up to be socially responsible.

Overall, we had a great time! We met some wonderful people and came back full of many great ideas. Thank you to all our fans who have helped us get to where we are today.

Follow Michele Dufresne on Twitter. Find Pioneer Valley Books on Facebook

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Pioneer Valley Books donation to RRCNA

At the 2011 Reading Recovery Conference held in Columbus, Ohio, Pioneer Valley Books offered to match $20,000 to donations raised for the Reading Recovery Council of North America. Literacy expert Michele Dufresne said recently, “Reading Recovery has the power to change children’s lives. While the data from Reading Recovery is compelling, my commitment to the program comes from my personal experience of seeing children go from passive and tangled, to enthusiastic and confident readers in 20 weeks or less." Throughout the conference, a bulletin board was set up for everyone to pledge a donation. Conference attendees came up to the Pioneer Valley Books booth to thank us for the matching pledge. According to the executive director of the RRCNA, Jady Johnson, by the last day of the conference, $20,505 was raised, for a grand total of $40,505! 

It's always a good time to support the RRCNA. Your donation goes a long way to support children learning to read. Here are ten good reasons for giving to the Reading Recovery Fund.

Comments | Posted in Conferences By Kristen Beam

Daisy at the Reading Recovery National Conference in ColumbusPioneer Valley Books was lucky to have Michele Dufresne, her husband Bob (AKA "Dad") and her son Nick (a character in many books, including "Triathlon") along for the trip to the National Reading Recovery Conference held in Columbus, Ohio. Michele also brought one of the stars of Jack and Daisy. That's right! Daisy came along and was a delight for the teachers, many of whom had their picture taken with her. In the photo to the right, Daisy is posing with the Jack and Daisy bookset.

Michele Dufresne and teacher in Columbus 2011









Above, Michele and Daisy pose with Marjorie Rowe of Hudson, Massachusetts, the 2011 recipient of Pioneer Valley Books' Teacher Leader Scholarship. Marjorie is being trained by the East Central Vermont Literacy Consortium. She will train at Lesley University. When her training is complete, she will join the ECVLC, which has been implementing Reading Recovery since it started in the United States 20 years ago. The Consortium is comprised of 13 districts with 39 schools. 

In our next post, we'll tell you another special reason why Michele was at the conference. Stay tuned!

Comments | Posted in Conferences By Kristen Beam
During the recent Institute of the Reading Recovery Council of Michigan, I had an interesting talk with a group of teachers from Detroit. These teachers are deeply invested, personally and professionally, in reaching the low-income students in their school district. This group of teachers was extolling the benefits of the Reading is Fundamental, or RIF, program.Read More
Comments | Posted in News Conferences By Lauri Yanis

The Reading Recovery Council of Michigan hosted the 2011 Institute in Troy, Michigan last week. About 350 teachers gathered for three days packed with opportunities to learn new techniques, discuss teaching strategies, socialize with colleagues and benefit from days dedicated to learning.

Throughout the three days, we heard lots of great feedback about the sessions that teachers were attending. One presenter we heard a lot about was Mary Rosser, Director of Professional Development at the University of Maine. If you haven’t had a chance to hear Ms. Rosser at a conference, I recommend you take advantage of the next opportunity you have. Ms. Rosser is a delight to listen to with her lilting Australian accent and her keen perception of literacy education will provide inspiration to teachers at all levels. Ms. Rosser presents at conferences throughout the year, and wherever she speaks, her name comes up again and again when I ask teachers to tell me about a session that they have gotten a lot out of.

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Conference Dispatch: Lending a hand

Nov 19, 2010 11:03:43 AM

Resources for Reading, Providence, Rhode Island

At the recent Literacy for All Conference, Eric Black of Resources for Reading needed to pack in a hurry for personal reasons. Reps from 5 different companies jumped in to help him out. It's a community of caring in the literacy publishing world, and we are proud to be part of it.

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Comments | Posted in Conferences By Pioneer Valley Books
The 21st Annual Literacy for All Conference focused this year on “21st Century Literacy Skills.” To this end, the keynote presentation by David Booth, was entitled “Why is my iPhone Sitting on a Pile of Books?” Dr. Booth is Professor Emeritus, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE University of Toronto. What that long title doesn’t say is that Dr. Booth is witty and engaging as a speaker and presented a keynote address that was relevant to literacy teachers ranging from pre-K through high school.Read More
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Triathlon Man Nick Dufresne signs autographs at the Literacy For All Conference 2010

Monday at the Literacy for All Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, Pioneer Valley Books' very own Triathlon Man was on hand to sign autographs. Nick is the star of several Pioneer Valley Books, including Triathlon, My Dog, The Little Cousins Visit, and many more titles. Nick is not to be confused with Matt from Matt Drives the Car or Gabby Runs Away. Matt is Nick's younger brother.

Today is the last day of the conference. Make your way to the exhibitors' hall to see all new titles and characters at the Pioneer Valley Books booth!

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Conference season begins

Nov 9, 2010 12:38:14 PM

Conference season is here and Pioneer Valley Books has already hit the road. We always look forward to this time of year because it gives us a chance to see all of the wonderful teachers around the country. We love having the chance to hear ideas from experienced and rookie teachers about what they are trying in their classrooms.Read More
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