Keynote Speakers 2020

Sara Holbrook

Sara Holbrook is a full time educator, author/poet and consultant who brings practical knowledge to the classroom helping students to develop the complex thinking and literacy skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century workplace. With over 30 years’ experience as a writer in the fields of education, law, public housing, and drug prevention, she has been teaching in classrooms around the US and abroad for over 20 years. She is also the author of more than a dozen books for children, adults and teachers as well as an award-winning performance poet. A frequent keynote speaker, she shows teachers how to use writing and oral presentation exercises in order to help raise vocabulary and other literacy skills along with comprehension through collaboration, writing and classroom performance across all grade levels and content areas. In 2018, Sara won the Jane Addams Peace Award for her novel, The Enemy, Detroit 1954.

Michael Salinger

Michael Salinger has been writing and performing poetry and fiction for over 30 years. His work has appeared in dozens of literary journals published in the U.S.A. and Canada. Eight time captain and coach of the Cleveland Poetry Slam team that represented the city at the National Poetry Slam competition, he has also served as an educational consultant and board member to Poetry Slam, Inc. and is the founder of the teen writing and performance program at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square Foundation – the second largest performing arts center in the United States after Broadway. After 23 years working as an engineer, he is now a full time educator/consultant bringing practical knowledge to writing instruction.

Known for their lively, informed and interactive presentations, both Sara and Michael are frequent speakers and keynoters at state, national and international literacy conferences, as well as providing assembly presentations for students at all grade levels, classroom workshops on writing and public speaking skills, and teacher professional development. Together they have visited over 30 international schools, which has helped them develop expertise in working with second language learners.

They are the authors of over 20 books of poetry for adults and young people as well as five teacher professional books. Practical Poetry (Heinemann), Outspoken: Improving Literacy Skills through Poetry Performance (Heinemann), High Definition: Memorable Vocabulary Instruction (Heinemann), High Impact Writing Clinics (Corwin) and most recently From Striving to Thriving Writers, a collaboration with Stephanie Harvey (Scholastic).

...because Peace is born in schools!