DEARBORN, MI - This year marked the 4th Annual Young Authors’ Festival, a partnership between the UM-Dearborn Mardigian Library and College of Education, Health & Human Services (CEHHS), which was held on November 12th, 2016.
The festival provides an opportunity to help children develop literacy skills, teaches their parents tips and techniques to support their children’s literacy development, and also provides the pre-service teachers in CEHHS with valuable hands-on literacy instruction experience. Around 120 young writers from grades 3 to 5 learned tips on what it takes to be an author from this year’s guest speaker, Newbery Medal-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis.
|Congresswoman Debbie Dingell|
encouraged students to read and write
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell stopped by to congratulate award winners and encourage students to read and write. Winning students received Barnes & Noble gift cards and were invited to read their entries aloud at the festival.
|Newbery Medal-winning author|
Curtis, who came with his wife and three young children, spoke from the heart about his life and how he became a writer. Born in Flint, Michigan, and a graduate of UM-Flint, Curtis is the author of the highly acclaimed books, “Bud Not Buddy,” “Elijah of Buxton,” and “The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963.” Curtis also took time to autograph books and have pictures taken with the children attending the event.
Tiffany Anderson, a 5th grade teacher at Neinas Dual Language Academy in Detroit, brought her entire class to the event. “My students were so happy! They are still talking about meeting Mr. Curtis,” she said. “They have created a board in the hallways of our school promoting literacy and meeting Mr. Curtis.”
Children also participated in 11 fun, educational writing workshops conducted by UM-Dearborn pre-service teachers in LIBR 465: “Literature for Children,” also taught by Professor DeFauw. "I look forward to the Young Authors' Festival every year, said Professor DeFauw. "It provides an authentic learning opportunity for the children, pre-service teachers, and families. We celebrate literacy together."
While the children were in workshops, their parents were getting tips on how to inspire their children to continue writing and reading. Workshop topics included: collaborative group writing, how to create a picture book, creating a story to accompany a piece of music, a bookmaking workshop, and more.
|Children’s breakout session being led by pre-service teachers from CEHHS|
in Professor Danielle DeFauw’s LIBR 465: Literature for Children course
|Jet Miller, Grand Prize Winner, with|
Professor Danielle DeFauw
Raya Samet, the embedded librarian within CEHHS, worked closely with Professor Danielle DeFauw, her students, and the library committee that planned and hosted the event. “This event is a prime example of what UM-Dearborn does best,” she said. “It is a true collaboration which has a wide metropolitan impact on the young people in our community as well as on the future teachers in our program who will soon be teaching literacy skills in the field. It’s an invaluable experience for everyone involved, and what better place to celebrate literacy than in the library?”
This event is sponsored by the College of Education, Health and Human Services; the Mardigian Library; the Salloum Family in honor of Abdallah & Leila Salloum; Mrs. Judith Smith; the Metro Detroit Book and Author Society; the Hub for Teaching & Learning Resources; the Office of Metropolitan Impact; and the UM-Dearborn Barnes & Noble College Bookstore