2017 Zelma Wynn Symposium – Enhancing Children’s Literacy

REGISTRATION OPEN – We are pleased to offer on-line register at REGISTER NOW. If you have questions or would like to register via phone, contact Kim Fortini at kim.fortini@thesummitschool.org or 410-798-0005 ext 158.

Click here for the 2017 Zelma Wynn Symposium Brochure and Registration Form FINAL.

Enhancing Children’s Literacy: Foundations of Comprehension for Spoken and Written Language will provide insights and strategies for understanding comprehension to classroom teachers, special educators, speech-language pathologists and psychologists. Dr. Sandra Gillam will talk about the cognitive-linguistic processes children need to understand narrative – spoken or written. Those in attendance will learn how to break comprehension of narrative text and oral discourse into basic elements, and turn that knowledge into strategies for intervention. Today’s classrooms, in public or independent school settings, include children who learn in a variety of ways and have a variety of foundational language skills that they bring to academic learning. Whether a child demonstrates typical language development or varies based upon the presence of a language-based learning difference, specific language impairment, and autism or if the child is an English learner, this seminar will enhance understanding of how children understand literature and how to enhance teaching strategies for reading comprehension.

The Summit School expects approximately 200 people to attend this full-day event. We intend to offer CEUs through American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for speech-language pathologists and continuing professional development (CPD) hours for School Psychologists through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

If you have any questions or would like to confirm your sponsorship please contact Jessica Palmeri at or 410-798-0005 ext. 143.  We look forward to working with you to deliver this exceptional programming.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will describe processes involved in the comprehension of discourse level language
  • Participants will explain how situation models are formed
  • Participants will be able to differentiate among different types of inferences
  • Participants will be able to describe the kinds of inferences that are most important for successful comprehension of narrative and expository text
  • Participants will describe how underlying comprehension processes may differ across differing populations of children with language learning impairments
  • Participants will describe various types of instructional activities and procedures that may be used to improve comprehension of discourse level information.


8:00 am – 8:30 am            Registration, Coffee and Light Refreshments

8:30 am – 8:45 am             Welcome and Introductions

8:45 am – 10:15 am            Defining Discourse: Text Processing vs. Sentence Processing

10:15 am – 10:30 am          BREAK

10:30 am – 11:45 am          Models of Memory and Discourse Comprehension

11:45 am – 12:30 pm          LUNCH

12:30 pm – 1:45 am           Text Structure, Graphic Organizers, Methods for Reducing Cognitive Load

1:45 pm – 2:00 pm            BREAK

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm           Assessment & Intervention Considerations

3:15 pm – 3:30 pm            Review and Wrap-up

Speaker – Sandra Laing Gillam, PH.D., CC-SLP

Sandra Laing Gillam is a Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University and the Vice President for Speech Language Pathology Practice for the American Speech Language Association. She teaches courses in phonological development and disorders, professional issues, assessment and intervention for speech and language disorders across the age-span. Her research interests include assessment and intervention of language and literacy impairments, multi-cultural populations, and processes involved in text comprehension. Sandi was the PI on a Goal II IES grant to develop narrative intervention procedures and is now Co-PI on a Goal III grant to conduct a randomized controlled trial of the narrative program.

Speakers must disclose the nature of any significant (or no) financial/non-financial relations with The Summit School.  Click here for speaker disclosure.


The Summit School invites you to join us by becoming a sponsor. The benefits include:

  • 6 seats (lunch included) at the Symposium for your faculty and/or parents
  • School logo/name included on print material
  • School logo/name included on event webpage
  • School name in all press releases

The investment is $350.  If you have any questions or would like to confirm your sponsorship please contact Jessica Palmeri at or 410-798-0005 ext. 143.  We look forward to working with you to deliver this exceptional programming.

Thank you to our Partner Schools!!

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