National Ambassador for Young Peoples’ Literacy Visits Local Libraries
Best-selling children’s book author and National Ambassador for Young Peoples’ Literacy, Jacqueline Woodson, visited University City on Sept. 10. First, she addressed a group of her biggest fans, first-graders from The School District of University City. Afterwards, she stopped by Brittany Woods Middle School to speak to the older students about her new middle-grade novel, “Harbor Me,” and her passion for reading and storytelling. She began her literary tour at the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Branch the Sunday prior.
The position of National Ambassador is bestowed bi-annually by the United States Congress to honor individuals who have made substantial literary contributions for youth. Woodson spoke to her platform, “READING = HOPE x CHANGE,” and discussed her new books, “Harbor Me” and “The Day You Begin.”
“The Day You Begin,” tells of a child’s first encounters with diversity: those things that set us apart and things we share. Woodson and illustrator Rafael Lopez take the reader on a journey of discovery and the realization that we aren’t all as different as we might think.
According to Tracy Hinds, District curriculum coordinator for English language arts and social studies, the author visit was made possible by Penguin Random House and coordinated by Karen Young of University City Public Library in partnership with SLPL.
“We are excited that our first-graders got front row seats to Ms. Woodson’s reading of ‘The Day You Begin,’” Hinds said. “This was a perfect opportunity to help ignite interest in reading and to expose our students to an author of color who tells stories with relatable and diverse groups of characters.”
Woodson’s books are available to check out at the libraries. If adding to your home collection or to make a donation to help buy classroom sets, contact “Eye See Me” bookstore in University City at (314) 349-1122.