This week students and staff from across Elmbrook were able to experience two incredible virtual author visits from Matthew Cordell and Gene Luen Yang!
2018 Caldecott medalist Matthew Cordell visited on Tuesday, May 5 to speak to over 1,400 elementary students, staff and family members across the District. Cordell's visit was in promotion of his new picture book, Hello, Neighbor! - The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers. In his presentation, Cordell shared Mr. Rogers' backstory with students, read his book, and answered student questions. Cordell's book is the most anticipated picture book of the year, receiving wide-spread praise from the literary community.
On Thursday, May 7, young adult author and illustrator, Gene Luen Yang, spoke to middle school and high school students, staff and families about his new graphic novel Dragon Hoops. Mr.Yang was awarded the 'Genius Award' from the MacArthur Foundation for his work with young adults, demonstrating the potential of comics to broaden our understanding of diverse cultures and people. During his presentation, he discussed the history of women in basketball as well as the importance of diversity and religious freedom. Mr. Yang spent 15 minutes answering questions from the roughly 150 highly engaged students who participated from grades 6 to 12. Mr. Yang was the 5th Library Of Congress Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and is known for writing the award-winning, American Born Chinese and Avatar: The Last Airbender comics series. The dynamic presentation can be viewed online here.
These events are an important and impactful way to promote student literacy. "We are excited to be able to provide this type of programming for our students, especially during our virtual learning time. The results of the event surveys showed that our students were eager to read the books we shared," said Kay Koepsel-Benning, Director of Library Services. "I was especially pleased at the depth of curiosity we saw in the insightful questions our students asked."