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Why attend the Literacy Retreat?
The Literacy Retreat is a professional "getaway" for teachers…a time to rethink and recharge…a chance to learn from experts who are passionate about teaching reading and writing. But what makes this event worth your time and money?
This is no pie-in-the-sky, theory workshop. The Retreat offers down-to-earth, practical strategies that can be applied right away.
Teachers will walk away with a clearer understanding of Common Core literacy standards and strategies to achieve those requirements in the classroom.
Retreat topics apply to teachers from kindergarten through high school. Each session includes skills, strategies, and examples from a broad range of grade levels.
The Literacy Retreat inspires teachers and provides them with the tools and confidence to implement new ideas within their own classroom instruction.
Over the course of two days, attendees collect brand new strategies for teaching reading and writing during eight distinct sessions. Sessions are yet to be determined for 2015 but will address relevant instructional topics for reading and writing. Each day will include a continental breakfast and a lunch buffet.
Pick your destination
This year's Literacy Retreat will be offered at three unique venues, perfectly suited to provide a balance of learning, relaxation, and fun.
French Lick Springs Hotel--June 9-10, 2015
Established in the mid 1800s, French Lick Springs Hotel attracted guests from around the world to experience the "miracle waters" of its nearby sulfur springs. Now this classic hotel and its beautiful gardens have been restored to their famed charm and grandeur.
Each guest room includes cable TV, free wireless Internect, in-room coffee, a hair dryer, iron and ironing board. Guests can choose from 6 different on-site dining venues ranging in style from upscale to burgers. Whether you want to spend your free time relaxing or participating in activities, the hotel has something for everyone, including a fitness center, bowling alley, spa, indoor and outdoor pools, gift shops, golf courses, historic tours, riding stables, and a 24-hour casino.
Drury Lane Conference Center--June 16-17, 2015
Home to one of the area's premier theatres, the Drury Lane Conference Center is conveniently located in Chicago's western suburbs, just minutes away from O'Hare International and Midway airports.
The conference hotel, the Hilton Suites, is just a few steps from the Drury Lane Conference Center. The hotel offeres comfortable and spacious two-room suite accomodations with a private bedroom and a separate living area. The living area includes a 32-inch TV, sofa bed, and a large work desk, as well as a wet bar with a microwave and refrigerator. The private bedroom includes one king-sized bed or two queen-sized beds and a 37-inch TV.
Essenhaus Inn--June 23-24, 2015
Located in the heart of Indiana's Amish country, the Essenhaus campus includes a beautifully furnished hotel with a world-class restaurant and various shops in the "Essenhaus Village."
Guests rave about the Essenhaus Inn & Conference Center where they enjoy old-fashioned quality with all the modern conveniences. Unique decor reflecting the local culture adds to the comfort and hospitality you expect in Amish Country.
Each guest room contains high-speed wireless Internet, cable TV, in-room coffee, refrigerator, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, separate vanity, lavatory, and dressing area. All overnight guests may choose to enjoy the indoor swimming pool, exercise room, game room, and complimentary continental breakfast, in addition to walking paths and access to the Village Shops.
|"After the 'never-ending' school year, my 'pilot light' was almost out! Coming to this Retreat made my light full power again. I want to run right home to plan, plan, plan for next year!"
|“This is an invaluable experience. Whether it’s your 1st or 20th year, you will learn so many new techniques, ideas, and strategies that you can take back to your classroom. And you get free stuff!!”
|"It is an exciting, practical workshop with a lot of information and ideas. It helps you rejuvenate and get excited about the upcoming year."
|“It’s the best reading/writing conference I’ve ever been to. It is highly organized, and the materials are visually marvelous and concise.”
|“This retreat is a game changer! Be prepared to feel inspired and recharged! Best experience ever!"
|"The workshop is full of realistic things to do with your students. It's totally do-able!"
|“The giveaways make the workshop very enjoyable. The content was relevant, presented efficiently and immediately useful. I love the energy and the time management."
|“Each time I attend a workshop by Smekens, I feel it transforms my teaching! Tremendous ideas! Exceptional organization! Exemplary presentations!”
|“Teachers don’t usually have such nice treatment – (it’s) great to be respected and celebrated!”
|“It is incredibly intense, but you leave so enthused and ready to spend the summer working!”
~ J. Payne
|“The strategies you learn can be used in ANY subject area. You will leave a better teacher.”
|“Enthusiastic + entertaining + knowledgeable + fashionable + creative = Kristina Smekens”
~ S. Laudig
|“Presenters are extremely knowledgeable and energetic. I was very impressed with how well rehearsed they were, how organized they are, and the level of thought put into the handouts.”
~ E. Floyd
|“This workshop had more fun and innovative ideas of how to improve my teaching techniques than any other workshop I’ve attended in the last 6 years! By far, this is the best!”
With prior approval from the attendee’s school district, participants may receive credit for 11 hours of professional development for attending the Literacy Retreat. More information about how this workshop fulfills your state’s unique continuing education requirements can be found on our continuing education page.
For every 15 hours of training from Smekens workshops, participants may earn one hour of university-level graduate credit. Beyond the training time, participants must also write a reflective paper about the experience. These are non-degree credits which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. (Check with your district or employers to determine their policies for pay increases.)
Registration information will be shared during the 10 a.m. break of each workshop. After the workshop, attendees have 2 weeks to apply their training hours to the program. The cost of graduate credit is separate from the cost of attending a workshop.
Call Smekens Education toll free to learn more.(888) 376-0448
Early Bird Registration: $399
NOTE: Early Bird Registration must be received no later than March 1, 2015.
Dates & Locations
|June 9 & 10, 2015 French Lick Springs Hotel|
|June 16 & 17, 2015 Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center|
|June 23 & 24, 2015 Essenhaus Inn & Conference Center|
Title I Teachers
K-12 Gifted & Talented Teachers
K-12 Principals & Assistant Principals
"100% valuable! 100% motivating!"D. Carlson
"Great for all grades—even K!" K. Niepokoj
"Great for all grades—even K!"