Previous slide
Next slide

SAVE THE DATE! MAY 6th-7th 2024

Welcome to the highly-anticipated annual Show-Me Science of Reading Conference, proudly hosted by Dr. Erica Lembke and Dr. Jill Dunlap Brown in Columbia, Missouri! 

As we continue to navigate the evolving landscape of literacy education, this conference is more important than ever. Join us each year for a dynamic and engaging event filled with thought-provoking documentaries, illuminating guest speakers, and an array of breakout sessions showcasing the very best practices in Science of Reading implementation.

Throughout the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals, share ideas, and gain invaluable insights into the latest developments in literacy education. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting in your career, the Show-Me Science of Reading Conference is an event you simply can’t afford to miss. 

Conference price – $200 (Conference t-shirts included!)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions!

  1. The conference will be held at 2201 W Nifong Blvd Columbia, MO.
  2. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on May 7th. There will be no food provided on May 6th.
  3. You will be able to enter a credit card for payment or you can choose to be invoiced. 
  4. If you need a W9, contact 
  5. Hotel Room Block Information! Group rates are available at The Tiger Hotel ($159) and Courtyard by Marriott at 3301 Lemone Industrial ($124).

Conference Agenda: 

Monday, May 6, 2024: 

12:00-2:15 pm Welcome and Kick-Off! Keynote Speaker: Dr. Holly Lane (lunch is not provided on this day)

2:15-3:30 pm: Breakout Sessions

4:30-6:00 pm Evening Reception-Details coming soon!

Tuesday, May 7, 2024: 

8:00-9:00 am Check-in and Breakfast

9:00-10:15 am: Keynote with David Chalk (featured in the documentary, The Truth about Reading)

10:30-11:30 am: Breakout sessions

11:45-1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00-2:15 pm Keynote with Dr. Kymyona Burk

2:30-3:30 pm: Breakout Sessions

3:30-3:45 pm: Wrap-Up of the Conference 

Breakout Sessions:

Big Bang from Small Groups: Hear the whys, and more importantly, the hows of small group instruction. Participants will “enter my structured literacy classroom” to see all the components of small group instruction. This session starts with phonemic awareness, moves into various engaging phonological awareness activities and wraps up with decodables. 

Presentation by: Virginia Quinn Mooney

Literacy as a Right – The Science of Reading and Equity: Literacy should be a right, not a privilege. However, when you have a population of students with diverse backgrounds and/or living in poverty, many schools struggle with providing adequate support. Leaders can directly influence this inequity in schools struggle with providing adequate support. Leaders can directly influence this inequity in schools by implementing the Science of Reading in their schools. Training all staff in the Science of Reading will positively impact not only student growth in test scores, but also teacher motivation, and even parent support. This presentation will focus on the equity issues of reading instruction theories, and how schools can change practices to ensure ALL students learn to read.

Presentation by: Jill M. Wright

Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices: Participants will develop an understanding of the literacy instruction needs of students in grades 5-12. Topics will include: adolescent literacy defined, research on effective reading and writing instruction across multiple tiers of instruction, a literacy assessment model for grades 5-12, teaching strategies for content literacy in all subjects (vocabulary, comprehension, writing about content), causes of difficulty for older students, and recommendations for interventions that target individual student needs.

Presentation by: Shauna Cotte

UFLI, I Fly, We All Fly – Become the next UFLI expert!: Hear from two coaches in two districts of different sizes that have been using UFLI for Tier 1, 2, and 3 instruction in K-5 classrooms across the span of a year. We will be taking you on our journey starting with the training process to support teachers, our own learning, and ways we have continued to adjust the support and learning to meet the needs of our teachers and students to ensure adherence and quality of instruction. Some key aspects of the presentation will be focused on differentiation in whole group and small group, progress monitoring, and data based decisions. In addition to this, participants will take on the role of learners while we model a whole group lesson.

Presentation by: Ellen Tucker and Natosha Hullett

Data Demystified: Data teaming plays an integral role in making student centered decisions. Like most districts, we have made changes with the implementation of approved state assessments, student success plans and science of reading implementation. Over the last several years, we have spent time understanding what the assessments mean, how we make instructional decisions for small group, RtI and what best practices we can use with our students. In order to make meetings as effective and efficient as possible, organizing all the data and information into a system that is easy to find, read and use during meetings has been a critical component to our success. We will talk about our district’s journey to implement data teams, share assessments and resources we use and how we organize all the documents to keep our meetings running as efficiently as possible.

Presentation by: Boonville R-I School District

Beyond Dyslexia: Empowering Students With Multimodal Instruction: In this session, we will define dyslexia. We will also dive into what dyslexia looks like in the classroom. We will also discuss the multimodal approach and why it is essential for dyslexia learners but beneficial for all learners. We will conclude the session with exploring multimodal tools that can be used in the classroom to enable dyslexia learners and ALL learners to become successful in the classroom.

Presentation by: Dr. Karyn Tomkinson

How to Implement All 5 Pillars of Literacy with Multimodal Instruction: In this session, all 5 pillars of literacy will be addressed as we begin with sound wall instruction and move to decodable text. The pillars will be defined, and we will have an interactive lesson with hands-on learning for each pillar.

Presentation by: Keegan Wilson

Educate to Elevate Reading in Missouri! What is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and why does Missouri schools need them?: Investing in training that leads to certification as a CALP or CALT is a game-changer for educators who want to make a real difference in the up to 20% of students in your school with dyslexia. By becoming an expert in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques grounded in the Science of Reading research, you’ll be equipped to identify and support students with dyslexia effectively. Moreover, you’ll be a leader within your school, providing valuable insight to colleagues and contributing to the development of effective dyslexia intervention programs. Seize the opportunity to transform the lives of those with dyslexia. Commit to training in a pathway to CALT or CALP certification and become a leader within your school and the dyslexia therapy community.

Presentation by: Cynthia L Meeks, CALT-QI

Strategies for Building Fluency: Many students struggle with reading fluency and automatic word recognition. We know that fluency is highly correlated to reading comprehension and that students with poor fluency experience frustration when they have to read lengthier texts independently. During this session, participants will learn about the brain networks used for fluent, automatic word recognition and will leave with a list of instructional activities and resources they can use in their classrooms to help their students increase reading rate, accuracy, and prosody.

Presentation by: Debbie Shroer

Bridge the SOR Gap, Build an Implementation Team: “Students cannot benefit from interventions they do not experience” (Fixsen et al., 2005). The primary charge of educators is to ensure all students have access to high-quality instructional programs, materials, and supports. However, there is a pervasive and persistent implementation gap in bringing evidence-based practices into the classroom. We have a ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ gap. We know what to do, yet it does not translate into the day-to-day practices of educators. Despite the best of intentions, the impacts of these adoptions are often uneven, haphazard, or abandoned. During this session, hear from Klamath Falls City Schools about their successful implementation of evidence-based practices. Learn about the use of an implementation team and framework and begin to develop an understanding of the critical tools, strategies, and design principles at the heart of successful implementation. Unlock the power of your community to build truly equitable reading systems.

Presentation by: Jenice Pizzuto

Walking the Path to SOR Integration: In the 2021-2022 school year, the Warrensburg School District (WSD) began their journey into the Science of Reading when four teachers attended LETRS training through the Regional Professional Development Center. Since that time, WSD has engaged fully with the Science of Reading journey including training over 50 Pre-K-5th grade classroom and special education teachers in LETRS using an in-district facilitator, adopting and implementing new reading curriculum advised by LETRS participants, and partnering with the University of Central Missouri to integrate credits for prior learning from LETRS training into the Masters of Science in Literacy degree. While still ongoing, the impact of the journey is evident as teachers grow their knowledge of best practices in reading instruction and students reap the benefits of the instruction. The session will be led by Katie Ritter, EdD (WSD first grade teacher, LETRS Coordinator, and in-district Facilitator) and Michelle Amos, EdD (UCM Literacy Program Coordinator).

Presentation by: Katie Ritter

Reading Comprehension: Why Some Children Fail to Understand and How Teachers Can Use Effective Instruction to Facilitate Comprehension Development: This session will highlight the features of developmental language disorder (DLD) across adolescence and address the language skills needed for reading comprehension from two speech language pathologists. This session will then expand on these ideas, and participants will be shown how on district has developed Tier I instruction to facilitate stronger metacognitive skills needed for reading comprehension across content areas. Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of DLD, the language skills needed for reading comprehension, and how to immediately begin embedding these skills into their curriculum.

Presentation by: Maggie Block

Rethinking Spelling Instruction: People with dyslexia not only have difficulty learning how to decode words, but also learning how to spell them. Spelling is a critical component of expressive language and needs to be explicitly taught. Understanding the types of spelling errors can inform and transform instructional practice in helping build neural pathways for students to spell more accurately. Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of an instructional model for teaching encoding that can be immediately implemented and aligns with the Science of Reading. They will learn ways to assess and analyze students’ spelling skills as well as leave with spelling interventions that can be used in the classroom, in the special education room, and at home.

Presentation by: Dr. Shelley Blackwell

Coaching for Whole District Support: With Missouri emphasizing large scale changes in literacy, coaching starting at the top helps to get the ball rolling in a common direction.

Presentation by: Stephanie Tuck

Penning the Path to Literacy: Why Writing is the Critical Link in the Science of Literacy:  During this presentation participants will learn why writing must become an integral aspect of every Science of Literacy classroom, examine the most important components of a writing-focused school culture, and learn a tips and techniques to start integrating more writing into their schools. Participants will leave with a newfound understanding of the importance of writing and the confidence to infuse a few of the best strategies to cultivate articulate, adept, and analytical readers and writers.

Presentation by: Amber Parks

Supporting SOR – How to Plan and Fund Success: To successfully Implement SOR, a change in district and building visions and goals is sometimes required. Changes like this can also necessitate revisions in plans, fund allocations, and programming. This session will provide knowledge of funding opportunities to implement the SOR for student success. Discussion will also include how to support programming, staffing, professional development and other necessary components. Creating an organizational structure for making SOR a positive change for districts and buildings can be challenging but also an exciting opportunity. Come think with other leaders about the “how-to’s” of making SOR work for you!

Presentation by: De Frink-Hedglin

Presentation by: Dr. Matthew Burns  COMING SOON!

Presentation by: Dr. Holly Lane  COMING SOON!

Presentation by: Dr. Valentina Contesse  COMING SOON!


David Chalk

David’s inspiring journey into adult literacy, featured in last year’s documentary, promises to be a conference highlight this year. Don’t miss his valuable insights on the enduring spirit of learning.

Dr. Holly Lane

Dr. Lane, Director of the University of Florida Literacy Institute, focuses on effective reading instruction and teacher development. She is the author of UFLI Foundations: An Explicit and Systematic Phonics Program.

Dr. Kymyona Burk

Renowned policy fellow Dr. Kymyona Burk, dedicated to advancing literacy education, shares transformative insights from her acclaimed work in Mississippi, shaping the future of education.

Dr. Valentina Contesse

Valentina Contesse is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida.

Dr. Matthew Burns

Dr. Matthew K. Burns, with 200+ publications, influences K-12 practices and mentors education leaders. Renowned for assessment expertise, he collaborates on interventions and has edited School Psychology Review.


CALE Education and Company Logo