The keynote speaker was Dr. Howard Liebman, who addressed the topic, "Better Understanding and Addressing Educational Trauma to Re-Engage Students Back into the Educational System". There were four strands of classes, with six tracks of topics to choose from. The topics included comprehension, phonics, math, problem solving, vocabulary, technical tools, grammar, and more. Over 180 attendees were overwhelmingly positive about the event.
One attendee took the time to write the following to Valerie Hardie, the Conference Chair and READ/San Diego's Program Administrator:
I would like to thank you for admitting me entrance into my first tutor conference. It was such an amazing event! I talked to brilliant professionals with an eager passion to teach and spread knowledge.
I would also like to take the time to tell you how much READ has helped transform my life. My mother passed away in February. At a time when I put my schooling on pause and turned down an employment position, I began to feel my entire life was put on pause. As time passed, I began to feel shame for not putting my efforts into anything. My family and friends reassured me that I was doing the right thing to take time for myself, mentioning that I had already done so much for my mother, father, and brother. I couldn't stand the days going by without having a "purpose" each morning. I remembered having only one tutor training session left before becoming an official READ tutor. I pushed myself to find the phone number and attend my final training. I was ecstatic when I heard from Nancy that I had gotten paired. My student is amazing, and only recently did I share with her the deep gratitude I have for her. The program gives me a purpose and has pulled me away from feeling sad, helpless, and unmotivated.
Thank you and your staff for working day after day to make sure READ is a reality. You are touching and changing lives in such amazing ways. I just wanted to share my appreciation with you this lovely morning.