Award-winning children’s author coming for May 2 Truckee conference |

Award-winning children’s author coming for May 2 Truckee conference

Matthew Gollub
Courtesy photo

If you go

What: 15th annual Child Development Conference

Where: Truckee Elementary School

When: Saturday, May 2, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Cost: $25, with scholarships available.

Contact and Registration: Call 530-582-2583 or email

Sponsored by: This conference is made possible with funding support from the First 5 Commissions of Nevada and Placer Counties, Communities 4 Kids and Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Parents and early educators are invited to enjoy a fun, educational and inspiring experience at the 15th annual Child Development Mini-Conference Saturday, May 2, at Truckee Elementary School.

This year’s keynote speaker and workshop presenter will be Matthew Gollub — storyteller, musician, literacy consultant and author of 15 picture books that have garnered 25 national awards and distinctions, including “Jazz Fly 1 and 2” and “Gobble, Quack, Moon.”

His keynote addresses and workshops are prized by parents and educators and informed by his extensive experience with young children. Matthew has performed at more than 1,000 schools, providing language arts enrichment to over half a million students.

He draws on his experiences as a storyteller, drummer, publisher and parent to help audiences find renewed pleasure in reading aloud to kids. He speaks English, Spanish, Japanese, and “Jazz”—a combination that teachers describe as “unbelievably dynamic.”

To help parents and educators better grasp the benefits of reading to kids, Gollub cites an eye-opening statistic: most conversation between adults and children consists of just 1,000 different vocabulary words. But in school, children will encounter 19,000 vocabulary words in printed text through the end of fourth grade,

“Television and movies won’t make up the difference. Those are visual media, which use short sentences and simple words. On TV, you hear sentences like, ‘Whoa! Wait up! I never said that. Yes, you did!’” Gollub said. “In a picture book, you’ll find sentences like, ‘Mother Duck looked right, then left, before bravely marching her brood of ducklings across the bustling sidewalk.’ That is the level of language that kids need to succeed in school.”

Matthew’s conference workshop, “Drumming Up Readers at School and at Home,” will demonstrate hand movements, chants and rhythmic clapping that will boost parents’ and educators’ creativity in reading out loud.

He combines practical read-aloud tips, eye-popping statistics, drumming and even puppetry to captivate parents and educators alike. Attendees will soak up powerful ideas — as well as a good dose of reading fun.

Attendees at the conference will also benefit from workshops on a topic that is intimately linked with early literacy and academic achievement — social-emotional development.

Research reviewed by the Child Mental Health Foundations and Agencies Network found that “children who do not begin kindergarten socially and emotionally competent are often not successful in the early years of school — and can be plagued by behavioral, emotional, academic and social development problems that follow them into adulthood.”

Children who enter school emotionally ready have the ability to control their behavior, listen to instruction and are able to tackle and persevere at challenging tasks.

With the importance of social-emotional development of young children in mind, the conference will feature workshops by local child behavior experts and licensed therapists, Christopher Mausolff and Christopher Old.

The workshops are based on Parent Child Interactive Therapy, a proven, research-based model with a two-part approach for parents, caregivers and educators of young children: first, build attached and nurturing relationships with children, then utilize positive behavior strategies and techniques to support healthy emotional development.

Workshop attendees will interact with one another and practice play-therapy skills and techniques for giving effective commands and enforcing rules with young children. The interactive style of the presentation will provide attendees the opportunity to experience and learn new skills that have proven to help build positive relationships with children and utilize them at their homes or classrooms.

Ruth Jackson Hall is Early Learning Coordinator with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

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