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About Reading Across Rhode Island
The 2004 Literacy Conference: The Place to Be(e)

What determines which bee will become queen? In what diverse ways has the theme of “freedom” been expressed in art? Does The Secret Life of Bees perpetuate a particular vision of black-white relationships?

These are just three of the questions explored in the six workshops offered January 17, 2004 at the Reading Across Rhode Island Literacy Conference. Over 100 teachers, librarians and discussion group leaders participated in the event at the Warwick campus of the Community College of Rhode Island.

Louise Moulton, Community Services Coordinator of the Providence Public Library, welcomed those attending at 9:15 a.m., after registration and a “Southern Style” buffet breakfast warmed the conference participants. Lieutenant Governor Charles J. Fogarty, returning for his second year as the Honorary Chair of Reading Across Rhode Island, welcomed the attendees to the conference and Diane Schaefer, Director of the Office of Instruction, brought an endorsement of the project from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Following the plenary session, each attendee had the opportunity to enjoy two workshop sessions, to share ideas with other participants over a morning break and to find out how to order multiple copies of the novel from Beth O’Day, representing the new Barnes & Noble Store in Middletown.

A nice surprise for everyone: Penguin Books, publisher of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, provided a complimentary copy of the book for each person attending.

It was the perfect way to start a wonderful year of reading!