Canceled for 2020

Unfortunately, our Board and Executive Leadership teams have made the difficult decision to cancel the Literacy Footprints Institute for this July. We continue to be dedicated to providing high-quality professional development for all our teachers. Even though we are unable to come together at the Literacy Footprints Institute this year, we are excited to announce the upcoming launch of the Pioneer Valley Books Online Learning Institute series, coming late summer/early fall 2020. Please subscribe to our newsletter, (or check back here) if you haven’t already done so and would like to learn more about this great PD series and when it is released. This series of PD webinars will cover everything you’d expect to learn about at the Institute, from taking effective running records to tips for leading a more dynamic word study lesson.

With Jan Richardson And Michèle Dufresne


Teachers and other literacy professionals seeking to support the teaching model outlined in The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading.


Two full days of professional development, hands-on training, a wealth of supporting materials, and breakout sessions for classroom and intervention teachers. An optional third day features content for coaches and literacy coordinators. Lunch is included each day.


$685 per person for the two-day Institute, plus $285 for optional third day. Discounts for multiple teachers from a single district. If registering multiple attendees, please fill out the registration form, select save, and then click on “Add registrant” to register additional people.

"My Literacy Footprints Institute experience was glorious! It was amazing to be surrounded by principals, superintendents, reading specialists, reading intervention teachers, and reading recovery teachers who shared their LOVE of reading!"

— Lisa Thompson,
Union-Scioto Local School District
Chillicothe, OH


Participants will choose one of three strands to focus on during the Institute. Each day will include a general session with Jan Richardson and Michèle Dufresne as well as strand-specific practice sessions.




Must complete two-day Institute in order to attend and be a principal, literacy coach, or literacy coordinator. Not intended for classroom teachers. Additional fees apply.

“We learned about the amazing research on the ABC tracing book technique at the Institute. Our school was enthusiastic to try it out. After only two weeks, our results have been astonishing!

— Amy Ferris and Kim Scott,
Madison Kindergarten Academy
Richmond, Kentucky

2020 breakout sessions

Each day participants will attend one breakout session per day.

Day One

Effective Independent Learning Centers

What are the rest of the kids doing? How can you keep your students independently engaged in meaningful literacy while you teach guided reading lessons? Learn about ways to set up and effectively manage your students’ independent time. (Grades K–2)

Digging Deeper: Intentional Instructional Decisions

Literacy Footprints (LFP) lessons are designed to be a footprint, not a blueprint. Learn how to make your lessons more powerful by using assessment data and student observations to modify your LFP lesson plans in ways that will foster students’ accelerated progress. (For Grades K–2 teachers using Literacy Footprints lessons)

Prepare for a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Implementing and Supporting Guided Reading District-wide

Implementing and supporting guided reading district-wide is like running a marathon. It is not a short race to the finish and takes funding, planning, coaching, practice, and reflection. Participants will learn how one district in Florida has been implementing and supporting guided reading. This includes how the initiative was started, how it has been supported, what could have been done differently, and the next steps that will get them closer to the finish line: on-grade-level readers across the district. (Grades K–6, literacy coaches, and administrators)

Teaching for Phrased and Fluent Reading

Reading fluency is a complex process. Too much emphasis has been placed on the speed of reading, and it may be impacting comprehension. In this session, we will explore how to build phrased and fluent reading during guided reading that supports and contributes to the understanding of the text. (Grades 1–6)

Fostering Test-Taking Strategies

Your kids are great readers and thinkers—but sometimes the state test results don’t show it. Learn how to create powerful guided reading lessons and test questions that form a bridge between guided lessons and the types of questions students face on state tests. (Grades 3–6)

Day Two

Beginner Steps

The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading lays out a powerful lesson framework called Pre-A, for students who come to school with a meager knowledge of letters and limited book experience. If you have students in your classroom who know fewer than 40 upper- and lowercase letters, this session will help you quickly accelerate their literacy progress. (Grades K-1)

Creating and Using an Oral Mentor Text: A Powerful Tool for Teaching Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

This session will introduce participants to the process for creating an oral story that develops the skills and strategies we want students to practice in their written stories. This includes an explicit routine for finding and telling a story or for teaching about a topic that will ensure all students hear and practice the oral language skills that will support the written word. (Grades K–3)

What Should I Teach Them Next?

Explore using running records and other powerful literacy assessments to plan and guide your instruction during guided reading lessons to foster flexible problem solvers. Video examples of running records, word study assessments, and guided reading lessons will be used. (Grades K–6)

Terrific Tips for Training Teachers

Learn about research-based practices for training teachers and practical tips on how to tackle the most common challenges coaches face. The workshop will employ videos, modeling, strategies for meeting goals, and a “no holds barred” question-and-answer session. (Grades K–6, literacy coaches, and school administrators)

Interactive Read-Alouds

Learn how to use picture books to model explicit, inquiry-based lessons to support comprehension growth that students can apply to their guided reading and independent reading. (Grades K–6)

Travel and Accommodation Information


JULY 27-29, 2020


Travel Information

THE CLOSEST AIRPORT is Bradley International Airport (BDL), located in Windsor Locks, CT. This airport is approximately 55 minutes from the Institute site.

TRAVEL FROM AIRPORT: Rental cars are available near the airport via complimentary shuttle service.

SHUTTLE FROM AIRPORT: Valley Transporter (valleytransporter.com) is the recommended shuttle service. You must call ahead to make a reservation once you know your flight details. This service generally costs $53 per person (one-way) and is the least expensive shuttle option.

Accommodation Information


Daily rate: $149 (includes continental breakfast, high-speed wireless Internet access, and use of the nearby gym)

Reservation method: Please call 877.822.2110 to reserve your room by June 26, 2020; reference group code GRI20C

Howard Johnson hotel in Amherst/Hadley: Located just 4 miles from UMASS (approx 10 min drive)

Daily rate: $119 for King or 2 doubles standard rooms (includes continental breakfast, Wi-Fi, and outdoor pool access)

Available for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights at group rate.

Reservation method: Please call 413.586.0114 to reserve your room by June 10, 2020; reference group code Literacy Footprints Institute

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hadley: Located just 4 miles from UMASS (approx 10 min drive)

Daily rate: $139.00 for king standard or 2 doubles standard room (includes full hot continental breakfast, Wi-Fi, and indoor pool access)

Available for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights at group rate.

Reservation Method: Please call 413.583.7077 by June 10, 2020; reference group code Literacy Footprints Institute


Be the first to know about new products and the latest news.