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. In 2013, we reached more than 5,000 students in this program.
If you are an author and interested in being involved, please download and fill out this form. Mail your completed form, along with a non-returnable copy of your book, to Bookmarks at: 206 North Spruce Street, Suite 2-A, 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.
On Friday, September 6, 2013, these authors met with the following schools in our area:
Leigh Bardugo - Mount Tabor High School & University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Kim Boykin - Reagan High School
Bonnie Christensen - Montlieu Academy of Technology
Deborah Harkness - Wake Forest University
Robin Hobb - North Forsyth High School
Virginia Kantra - Parkland High School
Diana Lopez - Mineral Springs Middle School & Wake Forest Baptist Health Downtown Health Plaza with IMPRINTS
T. Michael Martin - Hanes Magnet School
Kevin Maurer - High Point University
Jill McCorkle - Salemtowne Retirement Community
James McPherson - UNCG Library
Jason Mott - North Carolina A&T University
Elaine Neil Orr - Salem Academy and College
Rachel Renee Russell - Northwest Middle School
Bob Shea - Arts Based School & Ashley Elementary School
Megan Shepherd - R. J. Reynolds High School
Kashmira Sheth - Head Start & Sherwood Forest Elementary
Carl Weber - Winston-Salem State University