Keynote Speakers

Saturday, July 13, Opening Session Speaker

Catherine Compton-Lilly is a John C. Hungerpiller Professor of Education at the University of South Carolina. She teaches courses in literacy studies and works with professional development schools in Columbia, South Carolina. Compton-Lilly has published a series of books (2003, 2007, 2012, 2017) in which she follows eight of her former first grade students through high school. Her articles have appeared in Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, The Reading Teacher, Journal of Early Childhood LiteracyWritten Communication, and Language Arts. Her interests include examining how time operates as a contextual factor in children’s lives as they progress through school and construct their identities as students and readers. In an ongoing study, Compton-Lilly is working with a team of graduate students to follow children from immigrant families from primary school through high school.

Thursday, July 11, Preconference Workshop Speaker
Friday, July 12,  Opening Session Speaker

Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning teacher, researcher, and blogger. He is currently a professor of educational leadership and policy studies and the director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento. He also serves as the California NAACP Education Chair. His current research includes quantitatively and qualitatively examining how high-stakes testing, accountability-based reforms, and market reforms impact urban minority students. His research interests also include issues of access, diversity, and equity in higher education. The sum of his scholarship is nearly 60 articles, reports and chapters, published in journals such as Harvard Educational Review, American Journal of Education, Teachers College Record, Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Journal of Educational Administration. He has also published in five law reviews and coauthored seven book chapters and four peer-reviewed handbook articles. His work has been cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, USAToday, Education Week, Huffington Post and other print and electronic media outlets. He has also appeared on local and national radio and TV including PBS, NBC, NBCLatino, NPR, Univision, Al Jazeera and MSNBC.

Saturday, July 13, Closing Session Speaker

Valerie Kinloch is the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the School of Education and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Her scholarship examines the literacies and community engagements of youth and adults inside and outside schools. Author of publications on race, place, literacy, and equity, Kinloch’s books include: Still Seeking an Attitude: Critical Reflections on the Work of June Jordan (2004), June Jordan: Her Life and Letters (2006), Harlem On Our Minds: Place, Race, and the Literacies of Urban Youth (2010), Urban Literacies: Critical Perspectives on Language, Learning, and Community (2011), Crossing Boundaries: Teaching and Learning with Urban Youth (2012), and Service-Learning in Literacy Education: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning (2015). Her book Harlem On Our Minds received the 2012 Outstanding Book of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association, and her book Crossing Boundaries was a staff pick for professional development by Teaching Tolerance Education Magazine. Additionally, Kinloch is recipient of the 2018 NCTE Rewey Belle Inglis Award for Outstanding Women in English Education. Currently, she is completing articles and book projects on literacy, justice, race, engagement, and leadership.

Friday, July 11, Luncheon Speaker

Lester L. Laminack is professor emeritus, Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where he received two awards for excellence in teaching. He is now a full-time writer and consultant, working with schools throughout the United States and abroad. He is an active member of NCTE and has served in various editorial roles over the years, for NCTE’s journals and others. Most recently, he was editor of the writing department for the ILA journal Reading Teacher (2017). Laminack has served on various literacy organizations’ governing boards, including the Whole Language Umbrella, and was consultant to Literacy Volunteers of America. He is widely published, with academic books spanning his career, including Learning with Zachary (Scholastic), Spelling in Use (NCTE), and myriad contributions to collections including The Writing Workshop: Working Through the Hard Parts (NCTE), Reading Aloud across the Curriculum (Heinemann), Climb Inside a Poem (Heinemann). Laminack’s children’s books include Three Hens and a Peacock (2012 Children’s Choice K–2 Book of the Year Award) and The King of Bees, in addition to a forthcoming nonfiction poetry collection, Voices for Civil Rights, all published by Peachtree. His newest books for teachers, The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource: Making Every Moment Intentional and Instructional with Best Friend Books (Scholastic) and The Best Friend Fiction Collection (Scholastic) are available now.


Early registration closes July 1, 2019
After July 1 registrations will be accepted onsite (meal tickets will not be available after July 1) 

WLU/NCTE Member $225
NCTE Member only $250
Nonmember $300
Student Member $100

Classroom Teacher Discount–$45 off registration rates
(use code Classroom2019)

Preconference Workshop $75*
Friday Luncheon $35
Saturday Delegates Assembly Lunch $0 (registration required)



*To register for just the preconference workshop, on the registration form

  • click on “I would like to add items without a registration”
  • answer the two questions about attending the event before and level of interest
  • click on the green “continue to step two” button
  • select the preconference workshop, add it to the cart, and proceed to checkout.


All Summer Institute activities will take place at the Embassy Suites Columbia-Greystone.

Special Group Rate $142.00

Book A Room


Hotel reservations can also be made by phone at 1-800-Embassy (362-2779) and ask for the “NCT” block. June 25 is the deadline to receive the special group room rate.

Embassy Suites Columbia-Greystone
200 Stoneridge Drive
Columbia, SC 29210


  • Literacy and Literature
  • Language and Culture
  • Digital and Visual Literacies
  • Reading and Miscue Analysis
  • Multiple Languages and Literacies
  • Social Justice and Political Action
  • Community Literacies
  • Early Childhood

Informational Flyer


See the online agenda for the 2019 Summer Institute.

NEW! See the full program for the 2019 Summer Institute.


Things to Do in Columbia:

  • The Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden are across the interstate.
  • The Farmer’s Market is on Saturday morning on Main Street.
  • There are free tours in the capital building every Saturday.
  • The Art Museum is close to Main Street.
  • Lake Murray State Park
  • Experience Columbia:  Things to Do and Events
  • and more!



There are three downtowns in Columbia: Main Street, Vista, and Five Points with a large variety of restaurants! Vista and Main Street are within 5 miles of the hotel. There are many options in the Harbison area, too (about 6 miles from the hotel).


Maps & Directions:

If you are flying into the Columbia regional airport, you can take the hotel’s complimentary courtesy bus: 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; phone (803) 252-8700 to make your reservation. (To meet the shuttle at the Columbia airport, as you leave the baggage area walk to the side door, near the rental car desks, and out to where the taxi cabs are located.)

If you are flying into the Charlotte airport, you can

  1. rent a car (about 1 hour and 30 minutes driving);
  2. take the airport shuttle. Single trip is $55. You have to reserve it first as it runs by reservation and you may need to wait for more passengers. It means it takes some waiting time. It may take 3 hours or more from the terminal/hotel to the hotel/terminal.
  3. take Uber. Single trip is about $110. It may be a better choice if you travel with someone else or can meet someone at the airport.



There is a complimentary shuttle at the hotel to anywhere within 5 miles.

Save the Date Flyer

Pre-Conference Workshop

Thursday, July 11, 2019 • 1:00–5:00 p.m.

Workshop Registration: $75 (lunch included)

The Preconference Workshop has a two-decade long history of raising awareness about social and racial justice issues and encouraging education activism at national and local levels. The international climate has given rise to an upsurge in racially motivated acts of violence, harassment and hate speech in our schools and communities. This year’s Preconference Workshop will focus on how educators can work together with others to create safe spaces in schools and communities for critical reflection, resistance, organizing, and action. Local educators and activists from the Columbia, SC area will serve as workshop leaders and panelists to share their strategies for addressing racial justice issues in the local area. Break out session topics will include supporting Black and Brown children caught in the crossfire, a class analysis of the rise of racism in schools, using extra-curricular activities to address social and racial injustice, understanding and confronting anti-semitism, using historical sites as texts, and exploring and acting upon racial and social justice through literature studies. Author and educational activist Julian Heilig will serve as our keynote speaker. Join us for an exciting and motivating half-day of thinking, planning, and organizing for actions within classrooms, schools, communities, and beyond.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig


Use #wlu19 when tweeting about
the Summer Institute!


WLU Scholarship Fund

WLU Scholarships assist teachers who embrace whole language practices in their classrooms. Scholarships are available each year for teachers to attend the Literacies for All Summer Institute. The scholarship supports registration costs and one year of WLU/NCTE membership. Each award is valued to be no more than $300. Scholarship application deadline: May 20, 2019

Scholarship Application


Special thanks to the sponsors who help to make the Literacies for All Summer Institute possible.


Center for Expansion of Language and Thinking (CELT)

Early Childhood Education Assembly (ECEA)

Past WLU Literacies for All Summer Institutes


2018 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 12-14, 2018, Baltimore, Maryland
Sustaining Joy in Our Learning Communities during Challenging Times

2017 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 20-22, 2017, Tucson Arizona
Global Literacies, Global Conversations: Celebrating Our Connections

2016 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 14-16, 2016, St. Louis, Missouri
Literacy That Matters: Curriculum, Creativity, and Critical Action

2015 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 9-11, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia
Sharing Our Stories: Re-visioning Our Worlds: Reading, Writing, and Taking Action

2014 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 17-19, 2014, Pasadena, California
Making Meaning: Teaching and Learning Together

2013 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 18-20, 2013, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
Authentic Literacy Events and Social Actions: Celebrating Relationships and Partnerships

2012 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 19-21, 2012, St. Louis, Missouri
Reclaiming Joy in Teaching, Learning, and Research

2011 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 21-24, 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada
Teachers, Students, and Families Together: Nurturing Literate Communities

2010 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 8-11, 2010, Indianapolis, Indiana
Reflecting on Our Practice: Pathways and Possibilities

2009 Literacies for All Summer Institute
July 9-12, 2009, Columbia, South Carolina
Learning in the Company of Others: Reading, Writing, and Inquiring in the 21st Century