Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Literacy Retreat has been canceled.

In the days since COVID-19 caused schools to close, it has become clear that teachers need help delivering instruction remotely, and they need help now. 

For this reason, we are pivoting our focus and re-tooling our operation for the foreseeable future in order to help how we can. Instead of developing new professional development for teachers, our team will now dedicate 100% of its efforts to creating Literacy Lessons, videos that teachers and families can share with children – for FREE.

If you had registered for this year's event and have questions, click here.

Raise Achievement in Reading & Writing
Spend two days at the Literacy Retreat and you'll acquire the tools and the motivation you need to address some of today's biggest challenges in teaching reading and writing. This professional "getaway" provides an opportunity to relax and recharge while learning best-practice literacy strategies that will make a direct impact in your classroom.


Check out the 2021 Dates & Locations
French Lick Springs Hotel
French Lick, IN
June 8-9, 2021
Shipshewana Event Center
Shipshewana, IN
June 15-16, 2021
Hilton Columbus/Polaris
Columbus, OH
June 21-22, 2021
Drury Lane Event Center
Chicago, IL
June 24-25, 2021

Each year the strategies get better and better and make me feel confident going back into the classroom to teach reading and writing.
Erica Shadley, teacher at Ada Elementary School (OH)

Attending the Literacy Retreat each year gives me a boost of enthusiasm and excitement to start the next year. I feel rejuvenated as a professional.
Barb Mahnesmith, teacher at Prairie Trace Elementary (IN)

Attending a Retreat with Kristina is like no other PD I've ever experienced. The entire presentation is professional, fast-paced, and fun.
Maureen Wehmeier, teacher at Greenwood Middle School (IN)

As I enter classrooms and see these strategies implemented, I frequently see the light bulbs above students' heads turn on and brightly shine.
Candy Kramer, Principal at Sward School (IL)

Meet Your Guide

Kristina Smekens
President & Lead Consultant
After learning from Kristina, you'll feel excited and ready to apply new ideas in your own classroom. This is because she has a gift for making the complex seem simple. You will learn how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and practical classroom-tested strategies that get results!
Kristina Smekens

Relevant Strategies for Your Classroom
✔ 2-6 Classroom Teachers
✔ 6-12 Language Arts Teachers
✔ 2-12 Special Education Teachers
✔ ELL Teachers
✔ Literacy Coaches/Coordinators
✔ Curriculum Directors
✔ Title I Teachers/Directors
✔ Principals & Assistant Principals


Pricing and Group Rates

1 Registration


3+ Registrations


Save $10 per person.

10+ Registrations


Contact us to receive 10% discount.

Frequently Asked Questions
What's the daily schedule?

What's the daily schedule?

Day 1
7:05 a.m. - Registration & Breakfast
8:05 a.m. - Retreat begins
11:30 a.m. - Lunch
3:30 p.m. - Day 1 concludes

Day 2
7:05 a.m. - Breakfast
8:05 a.m. - Day 2 begins
11:30 a.m. - Lunch
3:00 p.m. - Retreat concludes

What is the cancellation policy?

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations occurring 10 days or more prior to the workshop will result in a refund, minus a $50 service fee. Cancellations occurring less than 10 days prior to the workshop do not qualify for any refund. Substitutions may occur at any time.
Will I receive Continuing Education Credits?

Will I receive Continuing Education Credits?

Retreat attendees will receive a certificate of participation at the conclusion of the event and may utilize it to demonstrate participation in 11 hours of professional development (in Indiana, 11 PGPs). More information about how this workshop fulfills your state’s unique continuing education requirements can be found on our continuing education page.
Illinois Continuing Education Credit Available!
Thanks to a partnership with the Regional Office of Education #19, all Illinois teachers attending our June 24-25, 2021 session in Chicago are eligible to earn state-approved continuing education credit for 11 hours of training. Smekens Education is an approved subcontractor for ROE #19.
Can I earn Graduate-Level Units?

Can I earn Graduate-Level Units?

University of the Pacific

For an additional fee, educators who attend the Literacy Retreat are eligible to pursue one, two, or three graduate-level university semester units from the University of the Pacific, Center for Professional Development and Continuing Education. Please check with your district to determine course acceptability.

Smekens Education and the University of the Pacific/Benerd College take pride in working together to make available the opportunity for educators like you, to earn graduate-level university semester units.

For an additional cost of $62 per unit, we can help you meet your salary advancement and/or recertification requirements. All University of the Pacific courses offered through Smekens Education are graded, graduate-level semester, professional development courses, designed as professional growth for educators. (These are post-baccalaureate professional development semester units of non-degree graduate level and are not applicable to a degree at University of the Pacific.)

The University of the Pacific is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Units are intended primarily for the use of salary advancement and recertification. Graduate-level units require workshop attendance and additional coursework.

Have a Question?
Fill out this form or call (888) 376-0448.