Mulan, Manuscripts, and More!: A CMLE Scholarship

The following was submitted by a CMLE scholarship recipient.

 Submitted By: Jenny Hill, Media Specialist, St. Michael Elementary

 The 32rd annual Children’s Literature Workshop was held June 20-21 at the Kelly Inn, St. Cloud MN.  I had the opportunity to attend thanks to a generous scholarship that was awarded to me from CMLE. The workshop was jam-packed with information and activities; here are some of the highlights.

Jenny Hill and Robert D. San Souci

 The workshop featured author Robert D. San Souci ( who has the distinguished honor of having written the screenplay for Disney’s 1998 animated classic, Mulan.  San Souci stressed the importance of completing thorough research when authoring a folk tale.  Accurately portraying cultures featured in folk tales is both a challenging and crucial research task.  Inaccuracies can be offensive to readers and are not easily forgotten. 

 Local presenters Sara Martini, Laurie Conzemius, and Dr. Marcia Thompson gave information to  attendees about the 2011-2012 Maud Hart Lovelace (MHL) nominees, how to integrate technology into  classroom activities in order to motivate readers, and what award winning books of the year are worth the read! 

 After attending there sessions, I have come away with three goals:

  •  To use the promotional resources available on the MHL Website ( in order to generate reader interest.
  •  To have students create their own book trailers using Animoto (
  •  To read and promote award winning literature, inspiring students to read.

 The workshop concluded with a presentation by 2011 Newberry Honor winner and fellow Minnesotan Joyce Sidman.  Sidman gave the audience some insight in the inner workings of her own creative writing process and shared some poetry techniques that can be used in the classroom.  More information about these techniques can be found on her website ( 

 Other workshop activities included a presentation by Susan Carr Brown of the Hennepin Public Library ( who reviewed new literature of 2011, a make and take puppet workshop facilitated by Dianne Gausch (, and an instructional and participatory storytelling lesson by the WonderWeavers (

 This particular workshop was historically significant.  Sandra Williams and Dr. Chris Inkster “passed the keys” to Drs. Merton and Marcia Thompson who will be in charge of the workshop next year.  The dates of the 2012 workshop are June  18th and 19th at the Kelly Inn.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a friend or colleague to next year’s extravaganza.