Bookmarks is pleased to bring authors to classrooms in local schools in the Piedmont Triad, as well as to other community groups. Our largest number of authors visit on the Friday before the Festival each year, but we also are proud to place authors throughout the year. Annually, we reach 5,500 students of all ages in this program.
To arrange for an author visit...
to your school, book club, or community group, please download and fill out this form.
If you are an author and interested in participating in this program...
please download and fill out this form.
Mail your completed form, along with a non-returnable copy of your book, to Bookmarks at: 251 North Spruce Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.
Please note that we get a lot of requests! We will do our best to place an appropriate author with your group.
How YOU can help
Bookmarks pays authors who visit schools a small honorarium. This takes financial responsibility off the schools and allows schools who do not have funds to receive this rewarding and enriching experience absolutely free. But, as a nonprofit organization, Bookmarks has limited funds. This is where you come in! Make a donation today, and you can help us send more authors into schools in the Triad, and give away more free books to school libraries and to students. Help us make a difference in the lives of children!
For more photos from the visits, click here.
Why Authors in Schools?
According to Literacy Company statistics, more than 20% of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level, far below the level needed to earn a living in today's society. 48% of young children in the U.S. are not read to daily. More than 13 million children under the age of 5 go to bed without a bedtime story. Bookmarks hopes to improve these statistics in our community by bringing more authors into schools and by inspiring students to read and write.
When visiting authors interact with students, they answer questions about writing, the process of creating a book, their writing life, how to get ideas and write them on to paper, and the importance of reading in their lives. These experts in the field of writing serve as role models and offer children goals for them to aspire to.
Teachers also prepare the students before the author visits and for our author events. For instance, when bestselling author Rick Riordan visited Winston-Salem on tour for his new book, The Mark of Athena, Bookmarks offered free tickets to any Winston-Salem Forsyth County school (private, public, and home school). Media Coordinators were instructed to request the tickets for their students. Some librarians went a step further, inviting students to write essays, read books, and have trivia contests based on Riordan's books, in order to win the tickets. The students were encouraged to submit a question for Mr. Riordan, and nine lucky students were chosen to have front row seats and go on stage to ask Mr. Riordan their question at the event. After the event, free t-shirts were distributed to some of the schools.
By getting our youngest citizens involved in the literary community at an early age, they will hopefully stay involved and continue reading throughout their lives. In addition, by providing books to the children who attend the Festival to take home, we know that we help children begin their own libraries at home.
Teachers and media coordinators share the success of these author visits with us -- stating that the children check out more books from the library of visiting authors and are more excited about reading after an author visit. We have also seen an increase in participation in our Young Readers Central area (it doubled in size from 2009 to 2010, again in 2010 to 2011, again in 2011 to 2012, and again 2012 to 2013!) at our Festival which further shows us that we are reaching and inspiring students to read and write.
To date, authors in our program have visited these schools in the Triad & beyond:
ABC School of North Carolina * Arts Based School * Ashley Elementary * Atkins Academic Technology High School * Bolton Elementary
Brooks Global Studies * Brunson Elementary * Caleb's Creek Elementary * Central Davidson Middle School
Children's Museum of Winston-Salem * Clemmons Elementary * Clemmons Middle * Colfax Elementary * Cook Elementary
Diggs-Latham Elementary * Downtown School * East Forsyth High School * Easton Elementary * Fair Grove Elementary
Flat Rock Middle * Greensboro College * Hall-Woodward Elementary * Hanes Magnet * Head Start of Winston-Salem
High Point University * JFK High School * Jefferson Middle * Konnoak Elementary * Meadowlark Elementary
Mineral Springs Elementary * Mineral Springs Middle * Montlieu Academy * Moore Elementary * Morgan Elementary
Mount Tabor High School * North Carolina A&T University * North Forsyth High School * North Hills Elementary * Northwest Middle
Old Richmond Elementary * Paisley IB Magnet * Parkland High School * Petree Elementary * Philo-Hill Magnet
Piney Grove Elementary * Poplar Springs Elementary * R.J. Reynolds High School * Reagan High School * Rural Hall Elementary
Salem Academy * Salem College * Sherwood Forest Elementary * Southwest Elementary * Summit School * Union Cross Elementary
UNC Greensboro * UNC School of the Arts * Wake Forest University * Walkertown Elementary * Ward Elementary
West Forsyth High School * Winston-Salem Prep Academy * Winston-Salem State University