We met up with John Bennett (2016 NEH Visiting Scholar and director of Return to the Hidden Planet at SUNY Potsdam) for a tour, dinner and theater, getting a true taste of the city as we ended our time in Liverpool.
Then we trekked to Glasgow, Scotland - a lovely, though soggy four hour drive - to attend the UK Literacy Association International Conference. Three days long, UKLA is large enough to host speakers of note, yet intimate enough for attendees to have a good chat with them. A highlight for us was meeting Shirley Brice Heath, one of our favorite literacy writers and having the opportunity to immerse ourselves in long days of literacy research. We shared our own story with a small group in our forty minute session.
Lynn and I had a chance to walk around our neighborhood of Glasgow at several points. The architecture is pretty amazing and the people friendly. The architectural highlight was the UKLA dinner at the Kelvingrove Museum.
Did you know that reading promotes health and well being?
The Reading Organisation in Liverpool, UK was a treat to visit. Kate McDonnell, Head of Reading Experience, spent the better part of an hour introducing us to their innovative community program. Unlike other groups that we have seen, Reader Organisation groups are oral reading studies of everything from poetry to the classics. Well-trained volunteer facilitators host an equitable environment in which folks of all abilities can access and enjoy great literature and discuss important ideas. These groups, which concentrate on the social and health benefits of shared reading, include patients at pain centers and dementia units, asylum seekers and busy parents looking for some respite. On the way out we bumped into founder Jane Davis, headed to celebrate their latest grant award and got a picture with her.
We just got word that the UK Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough has an exciting day planned for us tomorrow. Hint: it involves professional football.