Professional Development Opportunities


At Literacy Connects, we are a community of learners! We strive to provide ongoing learning opportunities for all volunteers so that we can continue to learn and grow together.



Professional Development Opportunities

Reading Seed workshops are open to all learners and practitioners.

Literacy Connects Volunteers: No charge
Literacy Connects Partners: $5
Non-Literacy Connects affiliates: $10

To register, click on the link at the end of this table.


Workshop Topics for the Next Month


The Big One – Comprehension

Comprehension is the purpose of reading, but how can you tell if your student actually “gets it”?  Coaches who attend this training will learn the seven reading comprehension strategies, the art of using Think Alouds, and how to have meaningful discussions about the books read with students. This workshop is applicable to all grade levels and teaches strategies that could be used at every session.

Target Audience: Anyone who works with young readers in a one-on-one setting.

Wednesday, October 18th 10:30 – 12:00 PM Literacy Connects
Wednesday, October 25th 1:30 – 3:00 PM Literacy Connects
Friday, October 20th 3:30 – 5:00 PM Murphy Wilmot Library (East Side)

Who Needs Words? Using Wordless Books to Increase Comprehension

Participants will engage in writing activities, engaging discussions and practical comprehension strategies that can be applied to any one-on-one session. Wordless books are great for those students who are intimidated by books with a large amount of text or kids who have yet to discover how to read for meaning. Don’t miss this great workshop!

Target Audience: Anyone who works with readers in a one-on-one setting.

 Frirday, October 20th 3:30 – 5:00 PM Murphy Wilmot Library (East Side)
Tuesday, October 31st 3:30 – 5:00 PM Literacy Connects

Speech and Language Support

Join Rui Motoyoshi of the University of Arizona’s Speech and Language Pathology Department as she walks attendees through different speech and language issues that students may face and ways to support them.

Target Audience: Anyone who wishes to learn more about speech and language issues in relation to reading.

Monday, November 6th 10:00 – 12:00 PM Literacy Connects

Working with 3rd – 5th Grade Students

This workshop will combine information from New Coach Training and the Comprehension workshops to provide strategies for how to help your students focus on meaning while reading a story.

Target Audience: Anyone who wants to learn about ways to support older elementary-aged readers

Monday, November 13th 1:00 – 3:00 PM Literacy Connects
Thursday, November 30th 2:00 – 4:00 PM Murphy Wilmot Library (East Side)

Diverse Books: Honoring Lives Through Book Choice

Jessica presented this workshop at the National Center for Families Learning conference in October and is bringing it to Literacy Connects. Join us to learn more about diverse books and how to think critically about selecting books that honor the lives of ALL learners.

Target Audience: Anyone who wants to learn more about the movement to increase diversity in books and reflect on their own book choices.

Thursday, November 30th 1:30 – 2:45 PM Murphy Wilmot Library (East Side)

PDF versions of the Power Point presentation are available via email for the following workshops:

  1. Working with K-1 Students
  2. More to be added soon.
Monthly Events
Book Talks with Violet

Join Violet, our Library Coordinator in a discussion of different children’s books available in the library. She will spend the hour reading through fun children’s books that follow a specific theme. Everyone is welcome!

Target Audience: Anyone who wishes to be introduced to great books!

Dates and Topics

3:30 – 4:30 PM at Literacy Connects

  • Wednesday, October 18th – Mo Willems
  • Wednesday, November 15th – High Interest, Low Level
  • Wednesday, December 20th – Non-Fiction
  • Wednesday, January 17th – Scary Books
  • Wednesday, February 21st – Humor
Library and Book Resources

Join Violet, our Library Coordinator as she guides you through useful library and book resources available to all Literacy Connects volunteers.

Target Audience: Anyone who wants to learn more about the resources available in the Lending Library and Free Book Area of Literacy Connects.


2:00 – 4:00 PM at Literacy Connects

  • Wednesday, November 8th
  • Wednesday, December 15th
  • Wednesday, January 10th
  • Wednesday, February 14th

New Coach Coffee Hour

Join experienced coaches in a casual setting to learn about their tips and tricks for the beginning coaching sessions. Coaches guide this casual session designed to help new coaches become more prepared and informed. Can’t stay the whole two hours? No problem. Come and go as needed.

Target Audience: New Reading Seed Coaches that have completed at least one day of New Coach Training. Returning coaches are also welcomed if they wish to gain new ideas for coaching.

Next One TBD



 Click here to register!


Professional Development workshops are planned by Jessica Dennes, a graduate of Texas A&M University, former reading teacher and educational consultant in South Texas.  Jessica began teaching through Teach for America in her hometown before moving to Tucson in August of 2013. She holds a Master’s degree in Teaching and Teacher Education with an emphasis in literacy and early childhood from the University of Arizona.