Last month, Tim Green visited the Illinois Reading Council conference in an effort to continue his campaign for literacy. An already established author, Green has dedicated much of his time, visiting over 1,000 schools and speaking to more than 500,000 students, in order to demonstrate the power and importance of reading.

Held in Peoria, Illinois, the Illinois Reading Council conference is one of the largest literacy conferences in the country, lasting three days and featuring dozens of speakers and advocates for literacy.

Green had two panels during the conference, both focused on how reading is like weightlifting for your brain. With only 20 minutes of reading a day significantly boosting character development and academic performance, it is one of the best possible activities for not only children to practice, but adults as well.

The conference was attended by local Lostant Community School faculty members, Melissa Einhaus and Ruth Ann Bruzgis. Of all of the speakers at the conference, Einhaus was particularly interested in Green, noting his influence on children’s drive to read.

In a recent article from the Tonica News, Einhaus stated, “he’s responsible for getting a lot of boys to read. Kids that are into sports, he can really hook them into reading.”

Both Einhaus and Bruzgis admired Green’s star power. “We were kind of star-struck,” Einhaus said. “We went by his room and we were like, ‘Is that who I think it is?’”

Other notable speakers at the conference include award-winning author Steven Layne, Newbery Honor author Joan Bauer and Project CRISS director Dr. Debra Franciosi.

According to DoSomething.org, ⅔ of students who cannot read proficiently by the 4th grade are likely to end up in jail or on welfare, and students who cannot read by the 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of school. This is why conferences such as the IRC are integral to raise awareness of the importance of reading to a child. You can expect Tim Green to attend similar events, and continue to do his part in making literacy amongst children a number one priority.