Talk of the Towns 9/13/23: Island Readers and Writers and the Dear Teacher Conference in October 2023

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard and Liz Graves
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:
What is the history and mission of Island Readers and Writers (IRW)? Offer some examples of how authors have connected with student readers, using their books to inspire student readers to become writers as well.
Where does reading and writing fit into the aspirations of pre Kindergarten to 8th grade education in Maine? IRW belief in essential role of reading to foster the healthy development of children as confident, curious, and engaged learners, and empathetic and active citizens.
How does IRW connect with classroom teachers and their schools? What is the engagement before, during and after the visit by authors?
What is life like for classroom teachers and their students in the present day? Expectations, aspirations and realities? How did Covid impact teachers, what are the lingering effects?
What are your hopes for the October 2023 Dear Teacher conference?

Kelsey Buckley, Director of Communications, Island Readers and Writers.
Alison Johnson, Director of School Programs, Island Readers and Writers.
Deb Jamison, Principal, Pembroke Elementary School.
Stephen Costanza, author of The King of Ragtime: the Story of Scott Joplin, illustrator and musician, toured IRW partner schools.


About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.