READ FOR PLEASURE & INSPIRATION: Fire up Your Life & Work (6 credit option)


[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Suzanne Warner



How often as professionals do we get to simply read for pleasure and inspiration in ways that enrich our lives and our work? And what are our youth reading today which is both constructive and engaging? In this course for all teachers K-12, you may select from a wide range of reading lists, such as Goodreads, NY Times best sellers, Bill Gates reading list—and many more, to choose the books that suit your personal and professional needs.  We will also reflect on the importance of enjoyment to better engage our students in productive reading.  Text(s) cost depends on choice of books.

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr. Seuss


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Learned about the benefits of reading for pleasure.
  • Delved into the neuroscience of how the brain reacts during and after reading.
  • Educated themselves about the importance of reading for pleasure for all ages.
  • Explore why students tend to read for pleasure less as they get older
  • Experienced the process of reading for pleasure and inspiration.
  • Enjoyed a good book or two!

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



There is no required text  ~ you choose which books you want to read!

None. All reading is online.




Suzanne Warner, M.S., received her Masters Degree in Education from the University of Rochester, New York.  She has taught mathematics in the middle school, high school, and college settings, most recently in Oregon. Suzanne has been lauded by administrators, colleagues, students and parents regarding her teaching and classroom management skills. Her students enjoy learning in a respectful, productive environment, where each student is in control of her/his own learning and behaviors. She strongly believes that all students want to do well, and creates a teaching environment for them to succeed. 

When not in the classroom, Suzanne enjoys spending time with her family reading, hiking, backpacking and traveling.


READ FOR PLEASURE & INSPIRATION: Fire up Your Life & Work (6 credit option)

Armstrong, Paul B., How Literature Plays with the Brain: The Neuroscience of Reading and Art, Reprint edition, John Hopkins Universality Press, 2014, 240 pages, ISBN: 978-1421415765. Armstrong examines the parallels between certain features of literary experience and functions of the brain. His central argument is that literature plays with the brain through experiences of harmony and dissonance which set in motion oppositions that are fundamental to the neurobiology of mental functioning. These oppositions negotiate basic tensions in the operation of the brain between the drive for pattern, synthesis, and constancy and the need for flexibility, adaptability, and openness to change.

Cremin, Tereasa, Marilyn Motram, Fiona Collins, Sasha Powell, Kimberly Safford, Building Communities of Engaged Readers: Reading for Pleasure, 1st Edition, Routledge, 2014, 192 pages, ISBN: 978-1138777484. Building Communities of Engaged Readers highlights the concept of ‘Reading Teachers’ who are not only knowledgeable about texts for children, but are aware of their own reading identities and prepared to share their enthusiasm and understanding of what being a reader means. Sharing the processes of reading with young readers is an innovative approach to developing new generations of readers.

Dehaene, Stanislaw, Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read, Reprint Edition, Penguin Books, 2010, 400 pages, ISBN: 978-0143118053. The act of reading is so easily taken for granted that we forget what an astounding feat it is. How can a few black marks on white paper evoke an entire universe of meanings? It's even more amazing when we consider that we read using a primate brain that evolved to serve an entirely different purpose. In this riveting investigation, Stanislas Dehaene explores every aspect of this human invention, from its origins to its neural underpinnings. A world authority on the subject, Dehaene reveals the hidden logic of spelling, describes pioneering research on how we process languages, and takes us into a new appreciation of the brain and its wondrous capacity to adapt.

Jacobs, Alan, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, 1st Edition, Oxford University Press, 2011, 176 pages, ISBN: 978-0199747498. In recent years, cultural commentators have sounded the alarm about the dire state of reading in America. Americans are not reading enough, they say, or reading the right books, in the right way. Jacobs's interactions with his students and the readers of his own books suggest that many readers lack confidence; they wonder whether they are reading well, with proper focus and attentiveness, with due discretion and discernment. For such people, indeed for all readers, Jacobs offers some simple, powerful, and much needed advice: read at whim, read what gives you delight, and do so without shame.

Ulin, David L., The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, 1st Edition, Sasquatch Books, 2010, 160 pages, ISBN: 978-1570616709. Reading is a revolutionary act, an act of engagement in a culture that wants us to disengage. In The Lost Art of Reading, David L. Ulin asks a number of timely questions - why is literature important? What does it offer, especially now? Blending commentary with memoir, Ulin addresses the importance of the simple act of reading in an increasingly digital culture. Reading a book, flipping through hard pages, or shuffling them on screen - it doesn't matter. The key is the act of reading, and it's seriousness and depth. Ulin emphasizes the importance of reflection and pause allowed by stopping to read a book, and the accompanying focus required to let the mind run free in a world that is not one's own.