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Young Authors program could be revived

By Theresa Harrington
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 at 1:49 pm in Concord, Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Theresa Harrington.

Vanessa Chena reads her book, "Why Pigs Have Curly Tails."

Vanessa Chena reads her book, "Why Pigs Have Curly Tails."

By Theresa Harrington
The Mt. Diablo school district canceled its Young Authors program last year, due to budget cuts, said Rose Lock, assistant superintendent for elementary education.
The program encouraged students to write and illustrate their own books. Awards were given out at a districtwide gala, where a published author gave a keynote address.
In the absence of the district program, some schools such as Silverwood Elementary in Concord have created their own campus Young Author programs. Here’s a video of student Vanessa Chena reading her book, “Why Pigs Have Curly Tails.”
Curriculum specialist Diane Sargent is looking for ways to revive the program or to support schools that want to develop their own programs, Lock told me today. The district could solicit local sponsors for the program, which cost about $9,000, Lock said.
Expenses included a post-retirement contract with a retired teacher who coordinated the event, refreshments, facilities use and a speakers fee for the guest author.
“We’re trying to brainstorm some ideas to bring it back,” Lock said. “Maybe we can have some volunteers or librarians who can help us. It was a great program.”
Would you be willing to donate money or volunteer to help the district revive its Young Authors program?

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2 Responses to “Young Authors program could be revived”

  1. Jessica Beerbaum Says:

    If you have teachers teaching writing, the basis for a celebration is in place. Ribbons and certificates are your major costs. Coordinating student author visits during library time is not a big task. If the celebrations are at the school, they are not expensive or time consuming. Therefore, small grants of money from PTA’s, parent clubs, or local business can cover expenses.

    These celebrations are great fun and create community connections. They honor teaching and learning.

    Jessica Beerbaum
    Young Author Celebration Coordinator
    Silverwood Elementary

  2. Mom Says:

    My son’s school in the Walnut Creek School District has the Young Author’s Tea. Each first grader writes and illustrates their own book. On set days a handful of the authors read their pieces in the auditorium and takes questions from the other students.

    Decorations and food are donated by parents and students act at emcee, door greeter and even manage the butler pass of goodies.

    One of the first grade teachers coordinates the master schedule with help from the other teachers.

    I don’t know of any outside money used for this event and am not sure why we would need any.

    Not to be a negative nelly, but 9k seems a bit much to hire an advisor, ribbons, facilities and speakers.

    Good luck in your quest though. The Author’s Tea was adorable and my son enjoyed the process immensely.

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