Published in the April 7, 2017 edition.
WAKEFIELD — The Greenwood Elementary School is holding its 15th annual AuthorFest celebration April 10-13.
The Greenwood staff, PTO and AuthorFest committee are very excited to be celebrating 15 years of bringing literacy to life in the form of author visits and fun, creative literacy-based activities. This week-long event, sponsored by the Greenwood PTO, brings in nationally recognized author/illustrators to share their knowledge of composition, story development, editing and publication with Greenwood students.
The goal of AuthorFest is to promote a commitment to literacy and composition while supplementing the town-wide language arts curriculum. For the last 14 years, families and teachers have related examples and stories of how this event has provided students with valuable concepts and ideas that they can use throughout their school years. Moreover, the event has succeeded in building upon the concept that reading and writing can be fun and creative, which has spurred many students to become even more engaged readers and writers themselves.
AuthorFest week kicks off with a bang as native New Englander Scott Magoon visits with kindergarteners. As an author/illustrator, Scott’s cartoon-esque style of illustration is playful and his detailed comic writing surprises at every turn of the page. When asked why he likes to make books, Scott simply replies, “I love putting words and pictures together for kids.” Scott Magoon has written and illustrated several acclaimed books, including I Will Not Eat You, Breathe, The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot and Hugo & Miles in I’ve Painted Everything.
Tuesday brings Brian Lies, award-winning, author/illustrator of the New York Times bestsellers Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, Bats at the Ballgame and Bats in the Band, to the second and third graders. Brian nearly stopped reading in third grade, but was encouraged by his local librarians and rebounded, becoming an avid, lifelong reader. Partially because of his own experiences, as well as current brain studies which show the importance of reading in social and emotional growth in young people, Brian feels very strongly about the importance of getting them to read. Brian spends a portion of the school year traveling throughout the United States to work with students and encourage them in their goals. Brian has also gone on to illustrate more than 22 books, and most recently wrote and illustrated Gator Dad.
Matt Tavares swings into Greenwood on Thursday for a presentation and writer’s workshop with the third and fourth graders. Matt’s love of literacy and illustration started at a young age and continued to his college years as a studio art major at Bates College. For his senior thesis project, Matt wrote and illustrated a story called Sebastian’s Ball, about a boy who caught a magic foul ball at a Boston Red Sox game. Three years later, after much revision, Sebastian’s Ball became Zachary’s Ball, Matt’s first published picture book. Zachary’s Ball went on to win an Oppenheim Gold Seal Award, a Massachusetts Book Award Honor and was named one of Yankee Magazine’s 40 Classic New England Children’s Books. Since then, Matt has written 16 more critically acclaimed books.
This year, Greenwood is also holding its fourth AuthorFest coin collection drive called “Making Change for Literacy.” The school is collecting change to donate to the Room to Read foundation. Labeled plastic containers and posters are set up in each classroom where students can deposit their spare change.
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in Asia and Africa by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, Room to Read develops literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and ensures girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education. Learn more at www.roomtoread.org.
The 2017 AuthorFest committee is extremely grateful to all of our wonderful supporters who provide much needed funds, notably the Greenwood PTO and Cummings Properties LLC. This event would not be possible without their support.
For more information about author/illustrators Scott Magoon, Brian Lies and Matt Tavares and their books; please visit the 2017 AuthorFest display in the youth room at the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library.