Kari Yates

Kari Yates is an author, speaker, consultant and staff developer with a passion for helping busy literacy educators thrive. Her experiences include classroom teacher, special education, Reading Recovery teacher, elementary principal and district literacy coordinator. Kari is also the author of Simple Starts: Making the Move to a Reader-Centered Classroom (Heinemann, 2015) and Eat Your Broccoli (Richard C. Owens Publishing, 2005).

Kari earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education and early childhood, beginning her career as an elementary classroom teacher in rural North Dakota. Several years later an unexpected opportunity to teach early childhood special education led to her earn her master’s degree in special education. Working in PreK to grade 1 classrooms, she quickly discovered a deep passion for supporting emergent readers and writers. When the chance to train as a Reading Recovery teacher presented itself, Kari jumped on it and found her understanding of teaching, learning, and early literacy forever changed.

After 21 years as a teacher, Kari accepted her first of two elementary principal positions, following a calling to influence instructional practices within schools on a broader scale. Later, she moved to a district leadership role providing staff development, program planning, and curriculum support for literacy and English learner programs with the Moorhead Area Public Schools in Moorhead, MN.

Kari’s experience leaves her uniquely qualified to facilitate decision-making, planning, and professional development at the district, building, and classroom level. Kari has a passion for helping teachers, coaches, and administrators find the inspiration, courage, and resources to nurture joyful, and authentic literacy learning, one next-step at a time.

Kari lives in Minnesota with her husband, John where they cherish every moment spent in, on or near the lake with children, grandchildren, friends, and family. Kari also loves to read, quilt, and rehab old furniture. She regularly volunteers to help refugee women in her community learn to read and write English.


Beyond the Book

If you’d like to book Kari for your school or district’s next PD, email pd@stenhouse.com to consult with our PD Specialist or click the blue “Book This Author” icon.

Individual Presentation Titles: 

  • The Courage Rules: Bringing Your Best Self to Children Every Day (Grades K–6) 
  • Growing Readers and Writers Right from the Start: Literacy Basics for Early Childhood Classrooms (Grades PreK–K) 
  • Language and Literacy: Bridges to Success for English Learners (Grades K–5)
  • Coaching Readers: Nurturing Resilience, Problem Solving and Meaning Making Across the Stages of Development (Grades K–3) 
  • Reader-Centered Instruction; What’s Your Next Move? School-wide Commitments for Literacy Success (Grades K–6)
  • Let’s Talk About Reading: Using Conversation About Books to Build a Connected Community of Readers (Grades K–3)