News  Donate  Join  Login

    Illinois Association for Gifted Children

Special Event for Parents and Educators!

About Laura Beltchenko

Laura Beltchenko is veteran educator with a passion for student motivation and engagement in all thing’s literacy.  Her career in public education includes classroom teacher, reading specialist, as well as teacher and coordinator of gifted programs. Her public education career culminated as an associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction for a K-12-unit school district. Now in her “encore career”, Laura is committed to the professional development of teachers supporting the implementation of best practice literacy instruction. Laura believes in the use of high-quality children’s literature as a vehicle to support both the cognitive and affective development of all ages of students. Her personal children’s literature collection is vast and weaves an appreciation of quality authors and illustrators. She is an active member of the Center for Teaching Through Children’s Books and long-time member of the Reading Leadership Institute both with roots at National Louis University.

She was awarded the Illinois North Suburban Library System’s, Library Advocate of the Year for her advocacy of school and public libraries and was also named the Lake County Illinois Innovative Educator by the Illinois Principals Association (IPA).  As an advocate for meaningful professional learning for teachers and administrators, she held the post of president of the Illinois Suburban Council of the International Reading Association (SCIRA) for 4 years. She is also an active member of the Illinois Reading Council (IRC) and writes a quarterly column in the IRC Journal entitled, Talent, Ability and Potential: TAPping into the Needs of Advanced and Gifted Literacy Learners.  Her chapter, “Picture Book Essentials and the English Language Arts.” can be found in the book Accelerating and Extending Literacy for Diverse Students, (2015). She is actively involved with the Illinois Association for Gifted Children (IAGC) and was recently awarded the Bonnie Park Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award. She was recognized by the  National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and awarded Administrator of the Year by NAGC for her advocacy of academically talented children.  Other leadership positions held have been, Professional Development Chair for the Illinois Association of Title I Directors as well as serving on the Libertyville District #70 Board of Education for 24 years.  She is currently the Chair of the Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Education for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). She represented the Council in the recently released, ISBE guidance on Learning Recommendations for remote and blended teaching in the midst of the Covid 19 Pandemic. Currently, Laura is  the Vice Chair of the Lincoln College, Lincoln, Illinois Board of Trustees and Vice Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.   

Laura is an invited presenter at state and national conventions and conferences on topics such as ELA Standards aligned literacy development, gifted education, social/emotional development using children’s literature, inquiry-based learning, and designing balanced classroom assessments. She is often an invited writer for The Meridian, a newsletter sponsored by the New Meridian Assessment Company. She is an avid collector and speaker on the “Evolution of Children’s Literature Through the Lens of Little Golden Books”. She has been married to the love of her life for 46 years; together they raised three amazing children and have one grandchild.

Program Preview:

Selecting and reading a book has many facets of consideration, especially for advanced readers. Finding appropriate texts is important, but supporting and nurturing thoughtful readers involves much more...

The "what and why" of literary applications will be the main topics of this book rich conversation. How students take in and synthesize what they read will be discussed with a lens on what is appropriate for their reading propensity as well as that is a relevant fit and match for their maturational development.  

Our conversation will discuss picture books, novels and other literary selections for curious readers in grades K-8. Parents and educators will leave with a list of rich texts to explore, as well as a wealth of new ideas to add depth, meaning, and enjoyment to a child's reading experience.

Professional Development Hour: Participants who attend sessions and complete the required sign in, sign out, and evaluation sheets are eligible to receive 1 PD Hour Credit.



free for IAGC members

$15.00 for non-members






Contact Us:

Illinois Association for Gifted Children

1500 Sullivan Road
Aurora, IL 60506

Ph: 630-907-5047
Fax: 630-907-5976

email us:

The Illinois Association for Gifted Children is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

© Illinois Association for Gifted Children

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software