A Glance Back at the 2023 Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning® Institute
By Ryan Roberts, Director of Advocacy, and Dr. Carolin Purser, Vice President of Strategy.
It’s hard to believe that the 2023 Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning® was only two weeks ago. Although we just wrapped up this year’s conference, we are already in full-fledged planning mode for next year’s Plain Talk. With 2023 in the books, decided to take a moment to celebrate some of the highlights from this year’s conference.
The 2023 Plain Talk saw our biggest attendance yet. We were delighted to host, educate, and entertain over 2700 individuals from 8 countries in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the three-day conference. We are grateful to each of our attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors for being present and engaged during the intensive event. At the 28th Plain Talk, we welcomed over 1800 first-time attendees and over 600 alumni from 48 US states and territories. Your investment in learning best practices will certainly propel each of your students to bright futures.
The exhibitor spaces were alive with lots of interested participants learning about Science of Reading aligned products and services. The exhibitors had engaging activities and giveaways that were fun, exciting, and educational.
We kicked off each day with local students introducing our keynote speakers. Not only did they do a great job speaking to a 2700-person audience, but they also stole the hearts of many of our attendees. Each of our keynote speakers reminded us why we do what we do and the lives we are impacting by being educators. This passion poured over into the other sessions throughout the day with attendees and speakers often continuing conversations and engaging our speakers after sessions. Even the last sessions of the conference (often notorious for poor attendance at typical conferences) were close to full, which is, a testament to the speakers, the relevance of the content being presented, and perhaps, most importantly, the commitment of Plain Talk attendees to learn every ounce of evidence-based information to take back to their schools and communities. Around The Center for Literacy & Learning, we say “Plain Talk doesn’t just have the best speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors, we also have the best attendees.”