Last year, I was invited to serve on the Children’s Literature Hawaiʻi (CLH) Conference Steering Committee. This dynamic and dedicated team includes academics, artists, authors, librarians, teachers, and other community leaders. We gather regularly to discuss myriad details involved in planning the biennial conference. Given everyone’s busy schedules, in order to avoid conflicts, our group meets on Sunday mornings.
CLH’s mission describes our core belief that, “literature should be a primary part of every child’s education.” As such, “CLH promotes opportunities to experience, interpret, and create children’s literature through activities such as reading, storytelling, art, drama, song, and scholarly discussion.”
Organizers and participants have been working to fulfill this mission since 1982. Our current conference theme is Imagining Worlds, Fictional & Real. Conference activities span three days in June . The main conference is held on Oʻahu at Chaminade University. This year, there is also a mini-conference on Maui. Events kick off on June 9 – including an evening festival at the Tenney Theatre, home of Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY). June 10-11 are full conference days featuring three strands of presentations:
- Interpreting literature – reading children’s literature
- Using literature – activities for home, school, and at the library
- Creating literature – production and publishing
There are also special sessions for families and a teen track designed to encourage creativity among youth. The 2016 featured author is Graham Salisbury, whose works include Under the Blood Red Sun. The featured illustrator is Steve Jenkins, whose beautiful books bring science to life.
Registration for this not-to-be-missed conference is free – and will be available soon!