Position: Director of Children’s Literature Program, & Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
Location: Gregory 153
Phone: (540) 665-4549
Dr. Karen Huff is the coordinator of the elementary education program at Shenandoah University. In addition to teaching at the university level, she has taught elementary and nursery children and has also conducted numerous workshops for parent groups and in-service training.
For over 30 years, Dr. Huff has directed the Children’s Literature Conference at Shenandoah University. An annual summer conference that strives to share with teachers and librarians the best that children’s literature has to offer.
At the end of the 2017 school year Dr. Huff met with a group of newly minted high school graduates that she had been mentoring since they were in first grade! She connected with the students after they scored highly on a required literacy assessment. “The principal felt that with additional enrichment they would continue to flourish. After working with them as first graders I decided to continue meeting with them. From the time they were in first grade through ninth grade we had college nights at Shenandoah. Many different professors have met with them to discuss various topics. Starting in first grade through their senior year, the students always came to at least one session at the children’s literature conference during the summer. My goal in bringing the students to Shenandoah was to help them feel comfortable on a college campus. I wanted them, even as first graders, to be able to imagine themselves as future college students.” Now many of these students are set to attend college.
“It has been a great joy and a privilege to work with these students,” Huff said. “They have made me a better teacher at the elementary and college level. Working with these students provided ‘real life’ examples that I could immediately share with my college students. I look forward to watching these students grow and seeing what the future will hold for each of them. I’m already thinking about ways the group can stay together while they are in college. In a sense I feel as though we are a family of readers. When you read everything from Beatrix Potter to Harper Lee together you share a lot of memories.”