This weekend our team attended the annual English Language Teaching Fest, hosted by our partners in Turkey, Unlimited Education Services (UES). The theme this year was peace, and the two-day conference brought together 300 teachers from Turkey to give them an opportunity to share their experiences and learn from one another. There were several workshop opportunities focused on practices that teachers could adopt in their classrooms.
Highlights Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Christine Cully, attended the event on behalf of Highlights and was thrilled to speak about the importance of children developing a love of reading. Her presentation about instilling children with a “superpower” through a love of reading demonstrated the importance of reading at every stage of a person’s life, particularly from ages zero to five, which is the most important period of brain development. Cully discussed many strategies for how best to cultivate a genuine, lifelong love of reading that leads us to be more literate, empathetic, and civically-engaged people.
Vice President of Highlights International, Andy Shafran, and Senior Territory Specialist, Will Gordon, talked about building long-term reading habits and how this can foster curious, empathetic, and confident children. In addition, Shafran and Gordon talked about our digital reading platform, Highlights Library, and how it supports teachers while creating a joyful reading experience for their students. Gordon commented, “People love Highlights Library for the expanded access to reading and multitude of choices it provides, as well as its fun aesthetic that engages students to encourage them achieve their goals.”
“In the middle of the busy academic season, ELT Fest provides a time and space for teachers to celebrate and be celebrated,” said Gordon. “It is a time for teachers to connect with each other in an environment outside of their normal work environment, to think and reflect on their work, how they impact kids, and perhaps return with energy and insight to fuel their work for the rest of the school year (and beyond).”