Concordia’s Summer Literacy Institute equips education professionals to encourage reading in the classroomConcordia’s Summer Literacy Institute equips education professionals to encourage reading in the classroom

A two-time Newbery Honor-winning author and National Book Award Finalist will visit the Concordia University Wisconsin campus this month as part of the university’s second annual Summer Literacy Institute.

Gary D. Schmidt will deliver a book talk, followed by a Q&A portion and book signing, from 3:30-5 p.m. on Thursday, June 15. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship on Concordia’s Mequon campus, 12800 N. Lake Shore Drive.

Schmidt’s most well-known works include “Orbiting Jupiter,” “Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy” and “The Wednesday Wars.” He received a Newbery Honor for each of the latter two, as well as a Printz Honor for “Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.”

“We’re thrilled to bring in Gary Schmidt and offer available to the community,” says CUW Director of Graduate Literacy Dr. Steven Witt. “Whether you’ve read Gary’s works or not, you’re sure to be inspired by his writing process and the real-life experiences that inform his writing.”

The author talk will cap the first day of the Summer Literacy Institute, which is put on by faculty from Concordia’s graduate education program. More than 50 Milwaukee-area private and public school teachers and administrators are scheduled to attend the two-day institute, which aims to equip educators with literacy instruction best practices and inspire them to make reading an integral part of their students’ classroom experiences.

“Reading plays a formative role in every student’s development,” says Witt. “What better way to motivate our educators than to let them hear and ask questions of someone who has devoted his life to creating stories that will inspire young children to love reading?”

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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