• Conferences & Events

LeVar Burton, Rick Riordan, and Mo Willems Keynote 2013 Annual Convention

November 5, 2012

LeVar Burton, Rick Riordan, and Mo Willems are just a few of the education luminaries speaking at the International Reading Association (IRA) 58th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, from April 19 to 22, 2013.

Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan

LeVar Burton
LeVar Burton

Mo Willems
Mo Willems

The opening general session on Saturday, April 20, features San Antonio’s own Rick Riordan, author of the bestselling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and experienced English teacher. Riordan will discuss what he’s learned from his students, his readers, and his own sons about turning kids into avid book lovers.

Actor and producer LeVar Burton’s career in entertainment includes roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Roots, but perhaps he is best known as the host and executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning PBS children's series Reading Rainbow. Burton recently launched an interactive Reading Rainbow App for the iPad which became the No. 1 educational app in the iTunes store within the first 36 hours. A staunch advocate for children's literacy, Burton says he's most proud of Reading Rainbow's ability to use the medium of television to help create "human beings who are passionate about literature." Burton gives the general session keynote on Sunday, April 21.

Author Mo Willems, the April 22 closing general session keynote speaker, is the winner of the Caldecott Honor, Geisel Medal, Geisel Honor, and Carnegie Medal. He has written and illustrated a multitude of picture books and early readers to great acclaim. Willems’ latest books include Don't Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book! and That Is Not a Good Idea! 

The new annual convention website at offers information on these keynote speakers as well as the popular Teaching Edge series with Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, Irene Fountas, Gay Su Pinnell, Richard Allington, and Ellin Oliver Keene; invited speakers Ruth Culham, Greg Tang, Steven Layne, Danny Brassell, Debbie Diller, Cris Tovani, Lucy Calkins, Stephanie Harvey, and Kelly Gallagher; featured IRA authors Regie Routman, Maureen McLaughlin, Brenda J. Overturf, Linda Kucan, Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, and Lori D. Oczkus; and luncheon speakers Jane O'Connor, Joan Bauer, and Chris Soentpiet. Details on full-day, preconference institutes on April 19 will be added to the website soon. IRA is still accepting exhibitors and sponsors for this event that draws upwards of 10,000 literacy professionals.

Once more program information is added, the website will allow users to use research presentation topics and develop convention schedules using the online itinerary planner. Online registration will open in early December. The IRA Annual Convention also has its own Twitter hashtag, #IRA2013, as well as its own Facebook page.




IRA Annual Convention Schedule at a Glance

Annual Convention Housing and Travel



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