2004 Conference Introduction

Dear Participant,

Welcome to Western Washington University’s 2004 Bond Children’s Literature Conference!  For many years we’ve harbored a dream to host such a conference and to offer a day and a place where teachers and librarians, readers and writers can gather to celebrate and learn about children’s literature.  Today marks the first event of this type on our campus.  We’re grateful you’ve joined us from the very beginning.  It is our hope you’ll mark your calendar each year with a bold marker as a reminder to return to Western’s campus and to continue attending what we plan as an annual celebration.

May this day provide you with inspiration.  Perhaps one of our featured speakers will say something that affirms what you know and informs how you think about children’s literature.  Perhaps over lunch you’ll enter a conversation that motivates your teaching or sparks your writing.  Perhaps you’ll take home a new book that extends an idea shared by an author, illustrator, or even the person standing next to you in line.  Whatever your experience is during the day, we hope you leave refreshed and excited to read, write, teach, and learn with deeper appreciation and joy.

A conference of this magnitude does not happen without the help of many.  A special thank-you goes out to students, staff, and colleagues who supported this conference in various ways.  In particular, we are grateful to the English Department and the Provost’s office for their financial support and to the following individuals who donated their time and talent to make this event happen:  Sonja Chorba, Bliss Goldstein, Carole Morris, Donna Qualley, Sher Smith Ross, Kim Schwartzman, Erica Steele, Keith Turley, and Dee Robinson at Village Books.

And, finally, we are honored to have this conference carry the name of Fredericka Bond and the late Guy L. Bond, who have not only given much to Western, but whose years of dedicated teaching and scholarship provided knowledge and inspiration to teachers who worked with struggling readers on a daily basis.  Because of that work, many children grew to see themselves as readers and benefited from the gifts of authors and illustrators like Keith Baker, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Suzanne Fisher Staples.

If there is anything we can do to make your experience today more positive, please let us know.

Once again, welcome and enjoy the day.

Nancy J. Johnson