The Teachers & Parents track provides teachers, educators, and parents with the skills and knowledge to engage with children and young adults through stories and books.

Participate in sessions focused on developing early literacy, imparting a love for reading and books, and supporting language and literacy development from early childhood (ages 1 – 6) to primary levels (ages 7-12). 

An AFCC Festival Pass gives you full access to these sessions. 

You can visit this page to find out how you can access the programmes. VOD sessions will be available from the day after the event to 30 June 2021, 2359 (GMT 0800).

27 May (Thursday) Reimagine

9:00am – 10:30am (SGT) Convert Time

AFCC Keynote: Reimagine. Rebuild. Reignite

Books are time capsules that capture moments in time and are mediums through which we can review our past, learn about the present and predict the future. As we collectively reimagine our post-pandemic children’s literature industry, what does the future hold in store? In this session, our keynote speakers will share about their relationship with books and their thoughts on the evolution of the literary scene and reading community.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. This programme is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and U.S. Embassy Singapore.

Jason Chin

Jason Chin (US)

Jason Chin is the author and illustrator of many acclaimed books, including Grand Canyon, Redwoods and Your Place in the Universe. The latest book he illustrated, Watercress, by author Andrea Wang, has garnered seven-starred reviews. Jason has received a Caldecott Honor, Sibert Honor, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, and the NCTE Orbis Pictus award.

Hwang Sun-mi (黄善美)

Hwang Sun-mi (黄善美) (Korea)

Hwang Sun-mi is a South Korean writer, who has won many awards and published more than 40 books for adults and children. She graduated from the creative writing departments at Seoul Institute of the Arts and Gwangju University. Her book, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly has been on bestseller lists for 20 years and has also been adapted into a comic book, a play, and a musical, and has been translated into 30 languages.

Esther Nguyen

Esther Nguyen (Vietnam)

Esther Nguyen is a passionate media and technology entrepreneur and the CEO of POPS Worldwide, a leading digital entertainment company in Southeast Asia. POPS has been crucial to the development of the entertainment industry in Vietnam, educating the industry on copyright potential and building an ecosystem that has allowed the industry to monetise and evolve. 

Colin Goh

Moderator Colin Goh (Singapore)

Colin Goh is a writer/cartoonist whose work includes the international bestseller Search Inside Yourself. He created the Dim Sum Warriors series of graphic novels with his wife Woo Yen Yen. Dim Sum Warriors has expanded into a musical that toured 25 cities in China, children's books, and an international patent-pending learning system that combines hilarious multilingual comics, livestream drawing sessions and an app with reading evaluation tech.

1:30pm – 2:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

The Urge of Local Dialect and Local Language Use in Children Picture Books to Promote Tolerance and Cultural Recognition

When was the last time you read a children’s picture book written in its country’s local language and dialect? This session explores some examples from Indonesia. The speakers will also discuss why authors should be encouraged to write children picture books in the local language of their countries, and how to include local dialect in these stories. If you are a children’s picture book writer, this session is perfect for you, with tips for how you can enrich your narrative!

Yulia Loekito

Yulia Loekito (Indonesia)

Yulia is a mother of two who lives in Yogyakarta-Indonesia. Reading and teaching have been her favourite pastimes since she was a little girl. Her passion for teaching children emerged at the age of 19 when she was teaching children with special needs. She also runs an alternative learning community and a printing and publishing house.

Alexander Coupe

Moderator Alexander Coupe (Singapore)

Alexander (Alec) Coupe is a field linguist and the author of numerous research papers and books on the languages of Northeast India, where he has worked with tribal communities for over two decades. He has been a faculty member of NTU’s Linguistics and Multilingual Studies since 2009, where he teaches and trains students in language documentation and grammatical description.

2:00pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Developing Language, Literacy and Mental Wellness Through a Screen-Free Environment

Do you shake your head in disapproval when you see children glued to screens? This session is just for you! Examine how building social relationships and utilising offline modes of learning contributes to children’s social-emotional development and mental wellbeing. You will also find out how non-digital learning strategies can complement digital learning. Discover tools for the perfect balance that your students and children need in this session.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Dr Lourdes Mary Daniel

Dr Lourdes Mary Daniel (Singapore)

Dr Lourdes Mary Daniel is the Head of Department in the Department of Child Development, KK Women's and Children's Hospital. She is a paediatrician who is trained both in Neonatology and Child Development. She has worked with high risk children in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital from childhood to primary school ages for the last 30 years.

Fiona Woo

Fiona Woo (Singapore)

Ms Fiona Woo is a Principal Educational Therapist at the Department of Child Development, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She is part of a team that sees a range of developmental issues in young children. Her area of work focuses on supporting 5 and 6 years old children in the areas of pre-literacy and early reading.

Jasmine Lee

Jasmine Lee (Singapore)

Ms Jasmine Lee is a Principal Speech-Language Therapist at the Department of Child Development, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She oversees a range of developmental issues such as gross and fine motor developmental delays, handwriting difficulties, as well as learning and behavioural problems. The department also runs community programmes, partnering with preschools, philanthropic organisations and other government ministries to bring early intervention to the classroom for children with developmental needs.

2:30pm – 3:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Memupuk Perkembangan Dwibahasa Kanak-Kanak Melalui Buku Dwibahasa (Nurturing Children’s Bilingual Development through Bilingual Books) 

Mempelajari sesuatu bahasa adalah kemahiran sepanjang hayat dan ia harus bermula sejak kecil lagi. Sesi ini meneroka bagaimana buku dwibahasa serta strategi yang digunakan sewaktu proses pengkaryaan dan pengajaran buku-buku tersebut dapat membantu kanak-kanak kecil pupuk rasa cinta terhadap bahasa Melayu.

Learning a language is a lifelong skill and one that should start from young. This session explores how bilingual books and the strategies employed in the creation and teaching process for these books can help young children cultivate a love for the Malay language.

Norlin Samat

Norlin Samat (Singapore)

Norlin Samat is a former primary school teacher with a Post-graduate Diploma in Education and an MA in Language Studies. A passionate educator with a career spanning more than 18 years in public and private education institutions, she hopes to contribute in nurturing the next generation of bilinguals. She is the writer of the bilingual children's book series Ally's Adventures.

Mukhlis Abu Bakar

Mukhlis Abu Bakar (Singapore)

Mukhlis Abu Bakar is an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education, NTU. He obtained his MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Wales, Bangor, UK. His research interests lie in the fields of bilingualism, biliteracy, literacy learning, and pronunciation issues in Malay. He is Co-Editor of a forthcoming book, The Bloomsbury Handbook of Cultural Identity from Early Childhood to Early Adulthood.

Jumaini Ariff

Moderator Jumaini Ariff (Singapore)

Jumaini Ariff ialah seorang pencerita profesional dan juga penulis buku cerita kanak-kanak seperti Siri Ariff Ingin Tahu dan lain-lain lagi. Beliau dikenali menerusi watak unik; Nek Selampit dan kerap terlibat dalam kempen-kempen bahasa dan budaya di peringkat nasional serta festival-festival penceritaan tempatan.

Jumaini Ariff is professional storyteller and author. She is known by her storytelling persona; 'Nek Selampit'. She has participated in storytelling festivals as well as national language and cultural campaigns.

4:30pm – 5:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Reading Seeds™: The Way Forward Promoting Early Literacy and Developmental Awareness Amongst Families via eLearning Platform

Reading Seeds is a literacy and developmental awareness programme for families with young children. This program was first initiated for communities in Sarawak, Malaysia, and was later adopted by the National Library of Malaysia as a national reading project. The programme aims to stimulate early literacy development concurrent to the development of a baby’s physical and cognitive growth. Find out more about the results and findings of this programme by attending this session!

Edison Anak Ricket

Edison Anak Ricket (Malaysia)

Edison Ricket has worked as a librarian for 20 years and has managed state libraries, academic libraries and specialist libraries during this time. He is passionate about promoting literacy and using technology as a medium of knowledge sharing and transmission.

N. Kannigadevi

Moderator N. Kannigadevi (Singapore)

Ms N.Kannigadevi has worked in the Early Childhood field for over 30 years in several roles; including specialist teacher, curriculum developer, special needs mentor and a certified trainer at Presbyterian Community Services (PCS), a Social Service Agency. Currently, she is the Assistant Director for Capability Support and Special Needs Mentor at PCS, and is also an Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) Fellow.

28 May (Friday) Rebuild

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

How Stories With Local Wisdom Turn Into an Unexpected Lifesaver During The New Normal

Contemporary stories with local wisdom have been written time and again. Literary activism has enabled hundreds of titles containing native stories to be distributed to libraries and schools in remote areas in the region. When Covid - 19 hit last year, the education system in Indonesia was pushed to adapt quickly in order to minimize the loss of learning. In this session, discover how those stories were used as effective teaching materials to save the lives of students, teachers, and parents during the pandemic.

Debby Lukito

Debby Lukito (Indonesia)

Debby Lukito Goeyardi is a children and young adult book author and a literary activist with specialty in culinary literacy. She has published several books, including a reference book titled Autograph Collector: Hobby Unik yang Jarang Dilirik which received the MURI Award in 2010. Her children's picture book Waktunya Cepuk Terbang won the Samsung KidsTime Author's Award in 2016. 

Tyas Widjati

Tyas Widjati (Indonesia)

Tyas Widjati’s writes so that she can read her own stories to her daughters. She has been part of an author residency organised by the Indonesia National Book Committee, where she spent a month in Ireland learning about Irish myth and folklore. She presently lives in a warm little city with her two daughters.

Chatarina Trihastuti

Moderator Chatarina Trihastuti (Indonesia)

Chatarina Trihastuti has been involved in various programs and activities in the field of education as the Program Manager at ProVisi Education. Together with Room to Read, an NGO from San Fransisco, she has assisted in the development of more than 200 children’s storybooks and 240 child-friendly libraries in Indonesia.

12:00pm – 1:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Mental Health Inquiry for Children by Reading and Storytelling Online

What happens when you mix reading e-books with video games and interactive elements? This presentation shares how lower and upper primary students respond, and provides insights on the effects of online and offline reading on children’s mental health. Librarian and literary activist Friska Titi Nova will provide an Indonesian perspective to this, along with recommendations and observable examples in her field of work. This session will be beneficial for parents and educators who are interested in their children and students’ holistic development with reading and storytelling.

Friska Titi Nova

Friska Titi Nova (Indonesia)

Friska is a literacy activist and librarian. Friska, also known as Kak Peri, is currently managing the Pustakawan Mendunia website, and compiling storybooks for children. She enjoys sharing her experiences and knowledge about librarianship, storytelling and literacy. Friska has devoted herself to designing ingenious methods to encourage Papuan students to pick up reading. Friska recently moved to Batam where she has continued improving her strategies in advocating reading for children.

Joji Reynes Santos

Moderator Joji Reynes Santos (Philippines)

Joji Reynes Santos is a teacher and a learner who loves to read and tries hard to write stories. She works with a diverse group of learners, and in the process learns both wonderful and dreadful things about the world. Her book, Inside Daniel’s Head, is an attempt to give readers a unique understanding of children with autism.

1:00pm – 2:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Looking For and Using Digital Resources

What are the available digital teaching, learning and reading resources that are out there, and how can educators and parents select and use them at home and in the classroom? What are some of the strategies for using these resources judiciously? Join a librarian, a former educator, and a parent in this exciting panel discussion that showcases different unique perspectives on this topic.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Siti Aisyah Binte Abdul Nasir

Siti Aisyah Binte Abdul Nasir (Singapore)

Aisyah leads a team of librarians in the strategic planning, development and implementation of Children and Teens programmes, across all Singapore public libraries. She has presented at various platforms for MOE educators on topics such as collection development, digital trends and inclusive reads. Aisyah enjoys reading graphic novels for all ages and children’s picture books – she finds the combination of pictures and words truly magical.

Wai Yin Pryke

Wai Yin Pryke (Singapore)

Mrs Wai Yin Pryke has been an educator for over 30 years, before becoming the Director of the National Library Singapore for three years. She is currently Director of Education and Community Outreach at the National Heritage Board. Wai Yin is passionate about making learning meaningful and accessible to all.

Sarah Mounsey

Sarah Mounsey (Singapore)

Sarah Mounsey is Director of Libraries at Dulwich College (Singapore). A book (and chocolate!) obsessed teacher librarian and author, she spends her days juggling three sons, hundreds of students and thousands of books. She is the author of the award-winning Paw Prints series of books, which have been published in Singapore.

Christabel Sim

Moderator Christabel Sim (Singapore)

Christabel joined the National Library Board, Singapore as an outreach librarian and has worked very closely with children and youths between 7-17. She has also advised school libraries on their revamp process, and selected books for children and young adults' reading collection. She is now presently based at library@harbourfront, the largest shopping mall public library in Singapore.

3:00pm – 4:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

心坎里的绘本-绘本创作的儿童发展元素 (Picture Books In Our Hearts – The Components of Child Development in Picture Book Creation)


Why are some discussion topics in picture books so well-loved by children? This talk will analyse the elements in picture books that young children are fond of, and how this enables picture books to captivate them.

This lecture is accessible with the festival pass. If you do not possess the festival pass for the day of the lecture, you can purchase and register the ticket separately.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

Cheng Wan-Ni (郑婉妮)

Cheng Wan-Ni (郑婉妮) (Singapore)


Dr. Cheng Wan-Ni has more than 20 years of experience in childhood development and is presently the Dean of Early Childhood Care and Education Department at the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL). Dr. Cheng has taken a special interest in interactive games on smartphone devices and multimedia applications with a focus on marketing, consumerism and pop culture for children.

Su Zhangkai (苏章恺)

Moderator Su Zhangkai (苏章恺) (Singapore)

苏章恺 (Su Zhangkai) was formerly a part-time lecturer with the Department of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore and a secondary school teacher. He was conferred the 2013 Fellow of Academy of Singapore Teachers in recognition for his outstanding contribution towards professional development. He believes reading is the foundation of all learning and that with the right pedagogies and environment, learning the Chinese language can be easy and fun.

3:30pm – 4:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Impacting Children and Teens Using Digital Learning and Cross-Disciplinary Programmes

Today’s generation of children and teens are highly immersed in digital environments. While there is a general acceptance of the inevitability of digital platforms, how do we wield this phenomenon as opportunities for learning, and as incentives for children to read while maintaining a balanced consumption of technology? Is there a way to utilise cross-disciplinary programmes to promote reading to children and teenagers, while getting them engaged in mother tongue language books at the same time? Find out in this presentation!

Renu Siva

Renu Siva (Singapore)

Renu Silva is a librarian from the Mother Tongue Language Services team at the National Library Board. Renu has over eight years of experience in library work specialising in children and young peoples’ programmes and services. She is well versed with the junior and young peoples’ collection in the libraries in both English and Tamil languages and has conducted related sharing sessions and workshops for parents, educators and children.

Cheeno Marlo Sayuno

Moderator Cheeno Marlo Sayuno (Philippines)

Cheeno Marlo Sayuno is an Assitant Professor of Communication and Children's Literature at the University of Philippines Los Baños. He won in the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature from the Philippine Board on Books for Young People in 2013 and 2017. He has published storybooks in the Philippines and was a writing participant at the AFCC Writers and Illustrators Retreat in 2015. He specialises in writing children's storybooks and analysing transmedia engagements of children.

29 May (Saturday) Rebuild

1:00pm – 2:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Practical Approaches to Media Literacy and Combating Misinformation

Knowing where to look for reliable information and how to trace and verify claims from unfamiliar, biased, or distorted sources is essential for students, parents, and teachers. This session will focus on practical approaches to media literacy, including a look at how educators, librarians and institutions are taking effective measures to help their stakeholders discern fake news from great news.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Mervin Ang

Mervin Ang (Singapore)

Mervin is a versatile trainer and facilitator with more than five years of training experience in the National Library’s Outreach team. He has conducted numerous talks and workshops on information literacy, library databases and combating fake news to diverse audiences, and he has trained over 40,000 individuals.

Mike Caulfield

Mike Caulfield (US)

Mike Caulfield is the director of blended and networked learning at Washington State University Vancouver. He is an early believer in the idea of civic digital literacies. His work Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers won the Merlot Award for best open learning resource in the ICT category. He was a runner up in the Rita Allen/RTI International Misinformation Solutions Award.

Angela Erickson

Angela Erickson (US)

Angela Erickson is the Head of Middle School English at United World College. Before moving to Singapore, she was a Teacher Librarian at Seoul International School. She is interested in how educational leadership, curriculum design and workshop pedagogy can be integrated to create a school culture of reading, thinking and writing.

Kim Beeman

Moderator Kim Beeman (Singapore)

Kim Beeman is Head of the Senior Library at Tanglin Trust School in Singapore. She has previously worked as a teacher-librarian at independent schools in Bangkok and New York City, and was a cookbook librarian in New York City for many years. Kim has a Masters of Library and Information Science from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

2:00pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Making Books Accessible

How can we make books accessible to people with disabilities, and what are the various inclusive strategies in place to enable them to read? This panel stars a bharathanatyam dancer, a representative from publishing for accessible books, an arts group that supports people with disabilities and more. Find out how books provide an entry point for different disability groups to experience a more fulfilling life.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Verena Lee

Verena Lee (Singapore)

Verena Lee is an Assistant Director at the National Library Board, Singapore. Verena and her team are presently involved in improving Singapore’s library spaces and services for the disability community. She also manages Woodlands Regional Library, which offers programmes and services for persons with disabilities, including a sensory-friendly space for children with autism.

Jaspreet Kaur

Jaspreet Kaur (Singapore)

Jaspreet is a founding member of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), having actively participated in performances with the group such as Speaking With Hands, the Saarang Festival in Chennai and Same Same. As a dancer in Fusion Dance by Down Syndrome Association Singapore (DSA), Jaspreet has also performed on numerous platforms such as their annual charity gala dinner, Mystique, and Purple Parade.

Magali Finet

Magali Finet (Singapore)

Magali Finet is the manager designate for Programmes at Very Special Arts Singapore, a local charity dedicated to using arts to providing access and opportunities for people with disabilities. A published short story writer, Magali is very excited to combine her two passions, writing and working for persons with disabilities, by developing VSA(S)'s Literary programme.

Ming Xia Ho

Ming Xia Ho (Singapore)

Ming Xia is the Social Media Manager and Singapore Administrator at Writing Through, a charitable organisation which uses creative writing as a tool to develop thinking skills. Ming Xia strives to create impactful relationships with her interpersonal skills, experience, and knowledge. As an active advocate of education, creativity, thinking skills, and self-esteem, Ming Xia has made several guest appearances on stage as a speaker to inspire people from all walks of life to live curiously.

Kavitha Krishnan

Kavitha Krishnan (Singapore)

Kavitha is the co-founder of Maya Dance Theatre, and she presents inter-disciplinary-transcultural dance theatre works to shine light on social issues. In 2018, Kavitha founded Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), which consists of performers with different abilities; and they dance to communicate and connect! Kavitha is trained in the Indian dance form bharathanatyam and creates contemporary dance with Asian perspectives.

Monica Halil Lövblad

Monica Halil Lövblad (Switzerland)

Monica Halil Lövblad is the Head at Accessible Books Consortium (ABC). ABC is a public-private partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization. It includes organizations that represent people with print disabilities such as the World Blind Union; libraries for the blind; standards bodies, and organizations representing authors, publishers and collective management organizations.

Roger Jenkins

Moderator Roger Jenkins (Singapore)

Roger Jenkins has been a professional storyteller since 1998. He organised the Story Carnival@Enabling Village with Story Connection Ltd.

He founded Hi! Theatre of the Deaf in 1984 and was its Director for 10 years. He is a founding member of the Access Arts Hub, which seeks to promote access to live arts events for people with disabilities. He is also a trained audio describer and has described nine productions, mainly by SRT and Wild Rice!

5:00pm – 6:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Building an Inclusive Classroom

How can early intervention practitioners, early childhood educators and parents work collaboratively in the building of inclusive classrooms? What role does Early Intervention, which refers to the services and supports that are available to babies and young children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families, play in the process of providing services, education, and support to young children with special needs?

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Sandy Koh

Sandy Koh (Singapore)

Sandy is the principal of Singapore’s first inclusive preschool Kindle Garden and she has over three decades of experience in early childhood education. Having a keen interest in curriculum development, Sandy collaborates with teachers, early interventionists and allied health professionals to provide optimum support for the holistic development of every child at Kindle Garden. Sandy holds a Masters in Special Needs and a Bachelors in Early Childhood.

Cass Lim

Cass Lim (Singapore)

Cass is an active working mother with two boys who loves swimming and outdoor sports. Her 6-year-old son was officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) this year. She is a big believer in early intervention, a support and educational system for very young children with developmental delays or disabilities. She is the Section Head of Physical Education Department at College East, Institute of Technical education. 

Alison Choo

Alison Choo (Singapore)

Alison is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist with PAP Community Foundation (PCF), and has worked with adults and children with diverse needs and profiles within both hospital and community settings. She has a special interest in providing speech and language intervention in inclusive settings, and has successfully incorporated Key Word Sign, the use of signs and natural gestures to support communication and the language development of children, as a preschool-wide approach.

Gomathey Veeramari

Moderator Gomathey Veeramari (Singapore)

Gomathey is an educator who has worked in Early Childhood & Special Education for more than 30 years in a number of capacities including in Special Schools, Therapy Centres, and as a Classroom Specialist. A firm believer of lifelong learning, Ms Gomy completed her Master of Arts in Special Educational Needs (MA SEN) with University of South Wales, UK. She enjoys attending various courses in her field of specialty.

30 May (Sunday) Reignite

10:30am – 12:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

The Future of Reading


Reading fun books in mother tongue language allow parents to introduce children to their culture and language at a young age. Speaker Melissa Choo shares why this is important in a predominantly English-language environment. Melissa, whose job encompasses choosing Chinese language book titles for public libraries in Singapore, will introduce must-read Chinese children’s collections and share practical tips in choosing fun Chinese books for parents and children to kick start their reading journey together in this online workshop. This session is conducted in Mandarin, with English subtitles.

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time.

Melissa Choo

Melissa Choo (Singapore)

Melissa Choo is an Associate Librarian with the National Library Board. Her work provides her with the opportunity to keep up with the reading trends in Chinese children’s books, and it brings her much joy to be able to share these with the community at the programmes she conducts and oversees for parents and children. She presently advocates for reading, especially in the Mother Tongue, in her daily work, which she enjoys greatly.

2:00pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Connections to Global Issues: How Teacher-Librarians are Supporting the UN SDGs and Beyond

This programme is not available on eventbrite. We have sent the link for this programme to the email that you used to make your festival pass purchase.

This session will explore how teacher-librarians in international schools are curating and delivering resources that support the exploration and understanding of global issues, e.g. the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, for students of all ages. The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all." Are booklists or Libguides the answer? Find out more in this programme!

Zakir Hossain

Zakir Hossain (Bangladesh/Switzerland)

Zakir is a teacher-librarian, spirited researcher and an advocate of school librarianship. He enjoys research, networking and sharing experiences about school librarianship on social media. Currently, Zakir is based in Switzerland at the Inter-Community School in Zurich, but he calls Bangladesh home. He has been named for several professional awards and grants as a result of his research and dedication to the broader community.

Nadine Bailey

Nadine Bailey (South Africa/Netherlands)

Nadine Bailey is a teacher-librarian and technology integrator at the Western Academy of Beijing in China. She believes in the power of diverse and multilingual books for reading communities and ensuring that books are available and accessible. She's a founding Jury member of the Neev Children's Book Award celebrating Indian voices.

Stojana Popovska

Stojana Popovska (Republic of North Macedonia)

Stojana Popovska is a teacher-librarian at the Canadian International School in Singapore. She is a strong advocate for the role of picture books in children's social-emotional learning, the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. Her passion for picture books inspired her to pursue writing and to illustrate her own children's books.

Katie Day

Moderator Katie Day (US)

Katie Day is an international school teacher-librarian. An American with a masters in children’s literature from the UK and a masters in library science from Australia, she has lived in Asia since 1997, including 12 years in Singapore, where she first worked at United World College of Southeast Asia and now at Tanglin Trust School.

2:30pm – 3:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

தமிழ் மொழியில் குழந்தைகளை ஈடுபடுத்த புத்தகங்களைப் பயன்படுத்துதல் (Using Books to Engage Children in the Tamil Language)

How has the teaching and learning of Tamil language in Singapore developed over the past years, and how can teachers, parents and writers can inspire in the young a passion for the language? Hear from experts in the field of Tamil language and culture!

This session will be conducted in Tamil. 

Dr Sivakumaran

Dr Sivakumaran (Singapore)

Associate Professor Dr A Ra Sivakumaran is the retired head of the Tamil Language and Culture Division from National Institute of Education, Singapore. He served as a consultant to the Ministry of Education for Singapore Tamil textbooks from 2006 to 2019 and is a pioneer academic researcher of Singapore Tamil Literature. He has published a total of 16 books in roles as an author and editor.

Suriya Rethnna

Suriya Rethnna (Singapore)

Suriya is recognised as Singapore’s first female Tamil novelist and is an award-winning writer and former teacher. She has written short stories, novels, curriculum content, and children's fiction (including MOE supplementary Readers) in a wide array of genres. Her varied career has also seen her involved in translation and scriptwriting (latest Manmathan Ambu (Vasantham, Mediacorp, 2021)). Aram is Suriya's latest short story collection.

Vijayanand Thamotharan

Moderator Vijayanand Thamotharan (Singapore)

Vijayanand Thamotharan is the Director of Crimson Earth, a publishing firm specialising in content development for the education and literary sector in Singapore. He has previously worked as the Director of Absolutely Parents. His interests include publishing, business development, education planning and content development. He has appeared on panels promoting children's Tamil stories in Singapore.

3:45pm – 4:45pm (SGT) Convert Time

Putting the “A” in STEM Education

What’s the big deal about STEAM education? STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. This panel will uncover how STEAM education can encourage students to think about the connections between the disciplines of STEM and art. Hear from practitioners in STEAM fields as they share how design thinking and creativity influences their approach to holistic problem solving.

There will be a live Q&A session with the speakers in this session. 

Jedidiah Siah

Jedidiah Siah (Singapore)

Jedidiah Siah is the co-founder and director of AlterCulture Studios Pte. Ltd, which provides game design consultation, education, and promotes the usage of games across non-gaming industries. He is also an Associate Trainer at Civil Service College (Singapore) for Game Design. He has been researching and experimenting with how gaming examines social dynamics and cultures. He holds a B.A. in Game Design from DigiPen (Singapore Institute of Technology).

Johann Annuar

Johann Annuar (Singapore)

Johann is trained as an electrical and electronics engineer and has been with Engineering Good in key roles for the past four years. He is an avid cyclist who knows no boundaries, and cycled from Turkey to New Zealand over 18 months. He was also a member of the Singapore Everest Expedition 1998 Team and was a Board member for the Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders).

Toh Yixue

Toh Yixue (Singapore)

Toh Yixue is an educator and artist from technology and education company TinkerTanker. He is experienced in both software and classical animation training, as well as motion graphics and animation production. He is passionate in programming, 3d production, interactive media and design and strongly believes that having a wide range of interests makes him a better artist and collaborator.

Shreya Acharya

Moderator Shreya Acharya (Singapore)

Shreya Acharya is the Assistant Editor at Difference Engine, and has worked on editing comics, as well as literary fiction and non-fiction publications. Her writing has appeared in The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories (Vol 4) and Mahogany Journal. She has also held editorial positions at Math Paper Press and at Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd. She never leaves home without a book in tow.

4:30pm – 5:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Joy of Reading: How to Develop Communities of Readers

This lecture will focus on the development of engaged communities of readers, particularly young children, who share the joy of reading. The evidence-informed talk will look at how these communities are underpinned by secure subject knowledge (of texts and of readers) and a reading for pleasure pedagogy. Teresa will also discuss how three characteristics – reciprocity, interaction, and strong reader to reader relationships – impact readers’ delight and desire.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

This lecture is accessible with the festival pass. If you do not possess the festival pass for the day of the lecture, you can purchase and register the ticket separately.

Teresa Cremin

Teresa Cremin (UK)

Teresa Cremin is Professor of Education at The Open University. An ex-teacher and pre-service lecturer, her research focuses on volitional reading and writing, teachers’ literate identities and creative pedagogies. Teresa is passionate about developing readers for life and works with the profession to ensure research-informed practice in reading for pleasure.

Loh Chin Ee

Moderator Loh Chin Ee (Singapore)

Loh Chin Ee is Associate Professor and Deputy Head (Research) at the English Language and Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. She is the co-editor of Little Things, Poetry Moves and co-author of Teaching Poetry to Adolescents: A Teachers' Guide to Little Things by Ethos Books. She recently produced and co-hosted the How We Read podcast series.

4 June (Friday)

10:00am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

Looking Back, Creating Forward

This online workshop is inspired by the legend of Radin Mas Ayu, a princess of the Javanese royal court in Singapore legend. Drama educator Jeffrey Tan will lead participants in a voyage to the past to create content for the future. Using various drama strategies, including Tableau, Thought Tracking, Conscience Alley, and Improvisation, the participants will dive into the shoes of the characters in the legend, while contextualising them into modern times.

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Register for Workshop

Jeffrey Tan

Jeffrey Tan (Singapore)

Jeffrey is an experienced Theatre Director and Drama Educator. He has taught ‘Creativity in Collaborative Learning’ and ‘Lesson Planning’ for the National institute of Education, ‘Educational Drama’ for Nanyang Technological Universtiy, 'Children's Theatre' for the University of Warwick and 'Educational Theatre' for New York University's Study Abroad Programme in London. 

10:00am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

Keep Playing! How to Engage Children in the Museum and at Home

Digital spaces and content are equally important in enabling creators to communicate with their target audiences. In this panel, discover how children learn from embodied experiences and muscle memory, while considering the importance of designing spaces for both structured and incidental learning experiences. Meet two Arts managers who have contributed to innovative art spaces for children’s learning in this striking in-person workshop!

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Register for Workshop

Shereen Tan

Shereen Tan (Singapore)

Shereen is the Outreach & Education Manager at the Malay Heritage Centre under the National Heritage Board. She oversees the educational programmes, volunteer management and outreach initiatives at the Centre. She previously worked in outreach for the National Parks Board.

Yap Jia En

Yap Jia En (Singapore)

Jia En is a Visual Design and Exhibitions Manager at The Artground, a Children’s Art Centre which provides positive arts experiences across a variety of art forms. She works with creatives to design and develop arts spaces that welcome children from every community.

5 June (Saturday)

10:00am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

Using the PEER strategy during Book Reading to Enhance Young Children’s Language Development

What has The Very Hungry Caterpillar got to do with dialogic reading? Find out in this session which introduces participants to dialogic reading -  a way to read to children and enhance the interactions around the text they are reading. You will be introduced to the PEER strategy, where educators provide feedback and scaffold children towards growth in vocabulary and expressive language. You will also learn how to use CROWD prompts—an acronym for five different types of prompts that educators can utilise to enrich the questioning process. With these activities, participants will gain confidence in choosing books, asking questions and responding effectively when reading to 2- to 5-year-old children.

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Register for Workshop

Yvonne Pek

Yvonne Pek (Singapore)

Yvonne Pek is presently a lecturer at the NIEC – TP campus. Yvonne received her PhD, specializing in Language and Literacy, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Masters of Arts (Literacy Specialist) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Yvonne is passionate about supporting the literacy learning of young children from less privileged backgrounds. She has taught at a variety of preschool settings and developed curriculum for a large childcare network.

Jenny Cheok

Jenny Cheok (Singapore)

Jenny Cheok received her Master of Education (Early Childhood) from the University of Southern Queensland. Jenny’s passion for young children’s language and literacy learning has spurred her to take a foundation training course in Dyslexia Studies from the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, participate in Story Writing workshops, and organise poly students in conducting story-telling sessions at various NLB branches.

Marie Angelie

Marie Angelie (Singapore)

Marie Angelie holds a Master of Education from the University of Adelaide, Australia. Before devoting her time to being a lecturer, she served as a Cluster Principal at a private childcare where she led a team of principals for centre operation and executing curriculum. She is passionate about teaching children's language and literacy with storytelling and story dramatisation.