|Katie Garner, M.Ed., (creator of SECRET STORIES®) is an internationally known author, speaker and literacy consultant with twenty five years combined classroom experience and a passion for infusing neuroscience into literacy learning. Her “backdoor-to-the-brain” approach to phonemic skill mastery via the affective learning domain shifts the paradigm of early grade skill instruction and has gained national recognition with the No Child Left Behind, Reading First, and RTI Initiatives. As a featured and keynote speaker at educational conferences across the United States and abroad— including an ongoing keynote series at the Vulnerable Readers Summits with North American literacy leaders, Dr. Richard Allington (What Really Matters for Struggling Readers) and Dr. Anne Cunningham (The National Early Literacy Panel “NELP” Report)— Katie offers game-changing strategies for boosting existing phonics skill instruction with the latest neural research showing how our brains learn best. Her practical and proven methods for bringing neuroscience into the forefront of literacy learning have been shared in both lectures and panel discussions at MIT and Harvard University as part of the Learning and the Brain Conference & Research Consortium and are the focus of an upcoming professional development book series currently under development.
Primary (preK-2nd) and Intermediate (3rd-5th) grade workshops are strategy-based and do not require pre-purchase of material. Instructional strategies and techniques for aligning existing PreK-5th literacy skill instruction with the neural science showing “how our brains actually learn best” will be shared.
Primary & Intermediate Grade Sample Workshop Schedules
*Times are approximate, based on flight schedules.
Pre-K / 2nd grade: 8:00- 11:30 Primary Grade Workshop focuses on building a cohesive and comprehensive foundational reading and writing skill-base by way of alternative neural routes for accelerated phonics skill mastery. It is recommended that Fine Arts, Speech, Special Ed. and all other Special Area Teachers attend the Primary Grade Workshop, even those working with the upper grades.
3rd / 5th grade: 12:00- 2:00 Intermediate Grade Workshop focuses on “plugging-holes” in struggling learners’ reading and writing skill ability, while maintaining the momentum of on-grade level curriculum and instruction.
Contact Katie directly with specific date preferences/availability. Once a date and/or dates are identified, a cost proposal will be sent to you for review/approval. Once accepted, we must receive a purchase order before any arrangements may be confirmed. If you anticipate a delay in the processing of your purchase order, please contact our office as soon as possible. *Note that workshop cost is not based on the total number of staff participating, and thus, combining staff with neighboring schools/districts is encouraged.
For additional workshop information and date availability, email Katie, or you may contact her directly at 828-551-4778.
“How do I begin to thank you for the fabulous job you did today! The staff has fallen in love with you! You had as much passion and energy at 3:00 as you did at 8:30! The feedback from the staff was amazing! Nearly every teacher thanked me for bringing you to the school, and they’ve already requested a follow-up training! I even have teachers requesting the book immediately so they can plan to implement their new learning over the summer! It is the highest honor when you are able to motivate a staff that has been working since the beginning of September, and has nearly run of steam at this time of the year. Thank you for a most informative and pleasurable day!”
Joanne/ Elementary School Assistant Principal
Brooklyn, New York
“I had the pleasure of sitting your session this morning at NAEYC and want you to know that it was a true honor! I am a former 1st grade teacher and current lead editor for the Literacy Team at “” Publishing House. I found you to be one of the best presenters I’ve ever seen. Your passion for and expertise for literacy left me wanting to give you a standing ovation at the end of your presentation! It’s not an easy feat to find people who really get the challenges students and early childhood/ early elementary educators alike face on a daily basis!”
Jamey/ Educational Publishing Editor
Hunnington Beach, California
“My goodness, what an impression you made on my staff and I… Thank you so much! Our district has 12 ‘Pre/K- 6th’ elementary schools, with many of them attending the Dallas GT conference. My teachers returned to work today begging me to bring you to the school. Our librarian couldn’t wait to tell me about these “Secret Stories,” and she doesn’t get excited about workshops as such, but she and 2 others so far have been by to show me and tell me all about your presentation and resources. So…I know that you are highly sought after by my staff! Thank you so much for your inspiration and wonderful ideas about reading!”
Linda/ Elementary School Principal
“I attended your workshop at VSRA, and wanted to let you know that ‘SECRET STORIES’ was the talk of the weekend! Everywhere I went, people were raving about the ‘Secret Stories’ and how wonderful the workshop was! It’s the perfect ‘support’ to the strategies I use in Reading Recovery- I know my kids will love it!”
Jill/ Reading Recovery Coach
“Our teachers saw your workshop at the National Title I Conference and couldn’t stop talking about you! The students absolutely LOVE the stories that have been introduced so far! Much Appreciation from our entire team-“
Tasha/ First Grade Teacher
“My teachers just returned from the workshop you presented at our state El. Ed. Conference and were very excited. I am the Title I coordinator for the district, and I have never seen my teachers this excited about anything before! Congratulations on such an inspirational presentation, and we look forward to using the SECRETS soon!”
Joanne/ Title I Coordinator
New Orleans, Louisiana
“Thank you for the fabulous workshop you presented in Santa Clara, California. You certainly wowed me! I have been an elementary grade teacher more years than I can count, and the strategies you shared were of more use to me, and more beneficial to my students than anything I have ever brought to my classroom
Thank you for ‘revitalizing’ my year!”
Carolyn/ Kindergarten Teacher
“Thank you for your presentation of “Secret Stories” in our district. The school was ‘buzzing’ the following day…”Was there enough money to purchase ‘Secret Stories’ for all the grade levels?” Nobody wanted to be ‘left out!” Our principal was so thrilled that so many teachers were interested, she assured us that every K-5 teacher would be able to have the “Secret Stories” for their classrooms- that she would ‘find the money from somewhere!’ Every one of our teachers has placed an order for “Secret Stories” and now we are all anxiously awaiting their arrival. The ‘secrets’ are like a breath of fresh air!! We can’t wait to begin “cracking the reading code” with out students!”
Marie/ Reading Coach- Reading First
Boynton Beach, Florida
“Everyone at my ‘new’ school just raved about the Secret Stories, so while at the National IRA conference, I attended one of your workshops….THEY WERE RIGHT!!!! It is sooooo easy, even with my ‘intermediate’ background! I love how it fits with whatever I am teaching, in any subject! I even dragged my husband in over the weekend to help me hang up all the posters so I could begin first thing Monday morning!!! I am very excited, as I truly believe this is not only helping my students tremendously in reading, but in their written expression, as well!
Elise/ Fourth Grade Teacher
Port St. Lucie, Florida
“I ran into a teacher who attended one of your institute presentations at Harvard University, and has spoken of nothing else since! She described your workshop as ‘life-changing,’ and couldn’t wait to try some of the strategies with her students! Well, we wanted you to know that having attended your workshop wasn’t just ‘life-changing’ for her, but for all of our students, as well!!! Just watching their faces as everything started to ‘come together’… WOW!!!
Edie/ Fourth-Fifth Grade- SLD
“I saw your workshop at KRA, as my teachers had actually told me about you before I attended the conference. In fact, they INSISTED, in a very nice kind of way—“WE WANT HER!!” The teachers are so excited because of the ‘buzz’ going around the school about you. Apparently one teacher heard about you in a class she was taking- She came back, and you have been the “thing” ever since!! (Your workshops must have had a very beneficial impact on some other school districts in Kentucky as well!) The teachers want you as soon as possible- I have never seen them this excited over anything before!!!!”
Suzanne/ Reading First Literacy Specialist
“I have to tell you that the day our staff spent with you on Wednesday was the best in-service training I have attended. I was able to immediately start using the strategies- I am excited and so are my kids! My family at home thought I had be ‘abducted by aliens’ and was nuts because at dinner I was telling every ‘secret’ that I could remember! My teenagers were impressed that you had motivated all those teachers without any power points, videos, or ‘stuff.’ Your humor was wonderful. You are so accurate on the reality of a real classroom. Even one of my most struggling readers picked up the excitement of the first few ‘secrets’ I shared and was so excited about going home to tell them to her parents. Thanks so much!”
Julie/ First Grade Teacher
“I attended a ‘district-wide’ in-service with you last week and absolutely loved the workshop! I came back to my 2nd grade room and introduced some ‘secrets’ immediately. My kids are in love with them, and are so ‘into it,’ just like you said they would be! Thank you so much for such a rewarding, & enjoyable day!!!”
Grace/ Second Grade Teacher
Charleston, South Carolina
“I love ‘Secret Stories,’ and have been singing YOUR praises since I saw you present a workshop 5 years ago at FRA when I was a Title I teacher. I was so thoroughly impressed by your presentation, and would love to see it again! The ‘secrets’ just make so much sense! Please let me know when you’ll be in our area, as if there is anything I can do that will allow our teachers to experience your wonderful workshop, I would love to do it!”
Sharon/ Elementary School Principal
Ft. Myers, Florida
“We really enjoyed having you come out to our district for the staff workshop! I have already had many positive comments about the ‘secrets’ you shared, and my teachers are already asking for more!!!! Thanks so very much!”
Donna/ Elementary School Principal
“I thought of you while doing observations in my primary classrooms, as I attended a workshop with you about 7 years ago and have since implemented the SECRET STORIES Strategies in two schools. I intend to make it part of our ‘woodwork’ here as well! We are hoping to be Title I next year, which would allow for some additional Professional Development, and include the Secret Stories. I think they are wonderful, and can’t wait for the rest of my teachers to experience the incredible learning you have in store for them!”
As the kids would say- ‘You Rock!!’”
Danielle/ Assistant Principal
Boca Raton, Florida
“My intermediate teachers that attended your workshop at a neighboring school were amazed at the ‘common sense’ approach of the SECRETS to ‘explain away’ all of the inconsistencies in our language……simply telling learners the ’secret’ behind the pattern. It’s just so simple!”
Barbara/ Reading First Literacy Coach
“I have not seen so much excitement from our teachers in the four years that I have been the assistant principal here! They all LOVE the ‘secrets!’”
P.J./ Assistant Elementary School Principal
“I have been an elementary grade teacher more years than I can count, and the strategies you shared at workshop were of more use to me, and more beneficial to my students, than anything I have ever brought back to my classroom!
Thank you for ‘revitalizing’ my year!”
Carolyn/ Second Grade Teacher
“I share this information with EVERY teacher I meet because I know the difference it makes!”
Heather/ Second Grade Teacher
Lake Worth, Florida
“These ‘secrets’ have even make their way into the office! I have actually created a ‘Wall of Secrets’ outside my door for students to share with myself and my assistant principal. Only one of my fifth grade teachers had attended your workshop at a neighboring school, and he liked it so much that he shared the information with his team members, and now they want kits for their classrooms! I am thrilled to see staff so ‘rejuvenated’ about teaching reading!”
Charlotte/ Elementary School Principal
“Since your workshop, I’ve seen these strategies in action in many schools, and the SAI/ Reading Teachers have all been praising the results with their students throughout this year. I’ve recommended you to several principals, and just wanted to let you know what a ‘hit’ the ‘Secret Stories’ were becoming here! Thanks so much!”
Sandra/ S.A.I Director/ Supplemental Educational Services
Palm Beach, Florida
“I was meeting with our Primary Curriculum Coordinator about having you come and train our entire district, and when I told her about you, she said that SHE was actually trained by you in another district she had been in prior to ours! She couldn’t stop singing your praises!!
All this to say…We want you to come!!!! And soon!!”
Stephanie/ Elementary School Principal
“First, on behalf of our school, I want to thank you SO MUCH for sharing all the awesome tricks you have created with the Secret Stories!!! We all feel like we couldn’t absorb enough of the wonderful things you had to tell us about. What an absolutely amazing experience!”
Shawna/ Kindergarten Teacher
“I am listening to Katie Garner talk about Secret Stories- Cracking the Reading Code. OMG, she’s soooo good. I LOVE her!!!”
Scott/ Principal TEPSA Committee Member