American Reading Forum – Sanibel Island, Florida

General Business Meeting – December 7, 2007




The meeting was called to order, and Beth Frye introduced the ARF Board.


The minutes from the previous business meeting were unanimously approved.


Treasurer’s Report:


Sarah Dowhower reported on the status of the ARF budget, indicating that the organization operated in the red during the past year. 


It was moved and seconded to approve the Treasurer’s report.  The report was approved.


Committee Reports


Budget (Sarah Dowhower)


Sarah reported that the Board of Directors voted to raise the conference fees by $30.00 to offset an increase in conference costs.  She reminded the membership that scholarships had been increased to $300.00 per recipient and that seven scholarships were awarded last year.  She encouraged members to consider donating to the scholarship fund. 


Conference Program 2008 (Gary Moorman)


Gary reported on plans for the 2008 conference.  Speakers include Don Leu and the New Literacies Research Team (University of Connecticut), Bill Brozo (George Mason University), and David Considine (Appalachian State University).  Gary mentioned that Brozo’s book, To Be a Boy, To Be a Reader, might be a good selection for the Call to Forum.  Proposals are due by March 28, 2008.  Graduate proposals are due in September.  Submissions will be sent to Next year, overhead projectors will not be supplied at the conference due to prohibitive costs.  Presenters will need to bring their own computers.


Enrique Puig and Nance Wilson will serve as conference chairs for 2009.  Michael French and Caussaundra El-Amin will serve as conference chairs for 2010.


Website (Gary Moorman)


Gary urged members to communicate concerns regarding the website.  George Hruby mentioned the need to update the website.  Gary agreed that the website, which is six to seven years old, used technology that is now obsolete.  He stated the changes will be extensive and will require additional technological and financial support.  Gary also reported that the ARF listserv needs to be updated.  The membership expressed their appreciation to Gary for his work on the website and for taking responsibility for the 2008 conference.


Membership (Brenda Townsend)


Brenda reported the following:  99 members registered for the conference, and three individuals couldn’t attend.  She explained that the directory will be sent to ARF members as a PDF file.  She asked members to update their contact information.


Nominations/Elections (Michael French)


Michael reported that there was a 50% return on ballots.  Cheryl McLean and Caussaundra El-Amin were elected as new board members.  The Board elected Beth Frye to repeat as Chair.  Enrique Puig will serve as Vice Chair, and Michael French will serve as Past Chair.  Sarah Dowhower will serve as Treasurer for one more year.  Sarah Dowhower, who has held the position of Treasurer for several years, will serve for one more year.  Michael stated that he would like for someone to work with her this year and assume the duties of Treasurer next year.  George Hruby mentioned that the bylaws call for an audit whenever a new treasurer is appointed. 


Conference 2007 (George Hruby)


Beth Frye thanked George for his work in planning a conference that was enlightening and meaningful.  George urged everyone to attend the meetings on the final day, particularly the session featuring members from IRA.


Publications (Jonathan Eakle, George Hruby)


George reported that things are going well with the yearbook.  He mentioned that while the manuscripts showed great potential, a good deal of rewriting was necessary to ready them for publication.  George recommended that those professors mentoring graduate students be responsible for insuring that submitted manuscripts are worthy of publication in the ARF yearbook.


Bylaws (Jill Lewis)


Jill directed members to a list of proposed revisions to the bylaws.  She mentioned the following additions to the list: 

            Article IV, Section One:  Insert “on” after the word “held.”

            Article V, Section Two:  Change the word “due” to “dues.”

            Article V, Section Four:  Delete the word “not.”

            Article VII:  Correct the spelling of the word “fiscal.”


A motion was made by the Chair to waive the three month first read.  The motion was seconded and approved.


Jill moved to update the bylaws.  The motion was seconded and approved.


Graduate Student Mentoring (Lynne Yribarren, Michael French)


Three students were nominated for ARF Scholarships.  Support was given to all three:  Amy Alexandra Wilson, Helen Robbins, and Lynne Yribarren.  Michael encouraged all professors and graduate students to attend the Graduate Student Mentoring Breakfast.


Call to Forum (Chet and Missy Laine)


Chet reported that the 2007 Call to Forum went well.  New chairs of this committee are Debbie Harrison and Sara Runge-Pulte. 


International Project (Cheryl McLean)


Cheryl thanked the members who donated books and materials to be used in international literacy efforts.  Connie Ulmer and Cheryl McLean have been appointed co-chairs of this committee.  They asked the members to send any information concerning international conferences or publications that may be of interest to the organization. 


Brenda S. Townsend Service Award (Beth Frye for Joyce Fine)


Beth shared Joyce Fine’s report that there were no nominees for the award this year.


Old Business – None


New Business – None




Michael French presented Beth Frye with a gift of appreciation for her work as Chair during her 2007 term.


Beth announced that Shrimpfest would begin at 6:30.


She thanked all the presenters and committee members for their work in making this year’s conference so successful. 




The meeting was adjourned.


Minutes Prepared by Mary P. Hendrix