2024 Literacy Symposia

Whether you're new to evidence-based reading instruction or a seasoned pro, the day will have something for everyone.

Following the success of our inaugural symposia in 2023, we look forward to hosting similar events this year that will lead you to think deeply about practice, be inspired, and hear the research.

About the Day

Cultivating the Literacy Landscape is a comprehensive day-long event for school leaders, educators, and parents dedicated to fostering a literate community. The event will delve into how we learn to read, provide insight on evidence-based change at a whole-school level, and explore instructional strategies in depth.


Tuesday, 20 August

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

55 Cable Street, Wellington 6011

The event will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm.


Thursday, 22 August

LIFE South

3 Lakewood Court, Manukau City Centre, Auckland 2104

The event will run from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Carolyn Strom

Dr. Carolyn Strom is a teacher educator and classroom researcher whose work focuses on improving early literacy outcomes and reading experiences for young children. Specifically, her work centers on bridging the divide between scientific research and instructional practice. She collaborates widely with school districts and curriculum developers; currently, she is working on an initiative in New York City preschool teachers called 'Cortex in the Classroom,' which centers on the practical application of reading science and learning technologies in early childhood. Carolyn has published her work in The Reading Teacher, The Reading League Journal, and The Handbook of Learning Disabilities. As a state-certified reading specialist and former public elementary school teacher, Dr. Strom has spent the last two decades working at the intersection of research and practice. She has a PhD in Early Literacy from New York University and a Masters degree in Reading Education from the University of Southern California. She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. She maintains a clinical practice where she works with children who have dyslexia and related reading difficulties.

Sarah Asome

Sarah Asome is a highly experienced educator and the current Principal at Bentleigh West Primary School in Victoria. She has also worked in the UK and Singapore. Sarah has been instrumental leading the change at BWPS but also been able to support many colleagues State, Nationwide and in New Zealand to implement evidence-based literacy instruction in their schools. This has led to a significant increase in literacy and numeracy levels which now places BWPS as a high performing school. 

In 2015, Sarah was awarded ‘Outstanding Primary Teacher’ in the Victorian Education Excellence Awards.  

She has appeared in “Outside the Square ‘a DVD resource for teachers and in 2017 was featured on SBS Insight – ‘A Teacher Who Changed My Life’.  Sarah has completed numerous courses including; Louisa Moat’s LETRS training, Dyslexia Action (UK), Associate training with Australian Dyslexia Association and is a Certified Dyslexia, Reading and Orton-Gillingham specialist and trainer for Australia (OGI international inc). Recently, Sarah completed her Masters in Instructional Leadership at Melbourne University.

In 2023, Bentleigh West Primary School won the Victorian Education Excellence Award (VEEA) for ‘Outstanding Inclusion Education’.

Dr. Anita Archer

Dr. Anita Archer serves as an educational consultant to state departments and school districts on explicit instruction and literacy. She has presented in all 50 states and many countries and is the recipient of ten awards honoring her contributions to education. Dr. Archer has served on the faculties of three universities including University of Washington, University of Oregon, and San Diego State University. She has co-authored numerous curriculum materials including Phonics for Reading (Curriculum Associates), a three-level intervention program, REWARDS (Voyager/Sopris), a five component literacy intervention program, and a best-selling textbook titled Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching (Guilford Publications).

Symposia Overview

Session 1

Dr. Carolyn Strom

Through the Lens of Neuroscience - How We Learn To Read

In this session, Dr. Strom breaks down the process of how we learn to read through the lens of neuroscience, discusses what we have learned from the science, and what is important to understand to bridge this research to classroom practice.

Session 2

Sarah Asome

Alignment of Practice Across the Tiers

In this session, Sarah Asome, Principal of Bentleigh West Primary School, will delve into the school-wide implementation of structured literacy, including the supports offered across all year levels and the importance of a consistent Multi - Tiered System of Support (MTSS).

Session 3

Dr. Anita Archer

Getting Them All Engaged – The Power of Active Participation

What are the most effective things we need to do with our instruction? In this session, Dr. Archer discusses the critical components essential for effective instruction and teaches us how and when to apply these to ensure students make the greatest gains in learning

Session 4

Keynote speaker panel discussion

Attendees will have the chance to engage with the panel and pose their questions, creating an interactive session that links grassroots initiatives with the themes presented in the keynote speeches.


Early bird price NZ$299 +GST | Regular price NZ$349 +GST.

(Early bird offer ends Friday, 10 May 2024 at 12pm).

Prices are per person. The registration cost includes morning tea, lunch, and refreshments.

Registration will close two weeks prior to the symposia or once they are full, whichever comes first.

Click here for symposia Terms and Conditions.


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