Greensboro Bound’s vision is to bring outstanding writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, young adult, and children’s books to our community and into our schools. While it may be best known for the annual Greensboro Bound Literary Festival, the organization’s efforts to connect authors and Guilford County Schools students are highly praised.
“We find local authors, North Carolina authors, and diverse authors and bring these authors virtually now to our students,” said Natalie Strange, Director of Library Media Services at Guilford County Schools and a member of Greensboro Bound’s leadership team. “We also provide books for our school libraries that accompany these author visits.”
Guilford County students have the opportunity to read the text, then submit questions to the author. During the virtual visit, the author and students have great conversations about the topics, themes, and more. Greensboro Bound also creates lesson plans with each title so school library media coordinators can incorporate them.
Traditionally, these author visits have been offered to students in kindergarten through grade 12. But in the 2021-22 school year, a partnership with Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) helped create a new opportunity for children in Pre-K.“Working with our early learning department, we figured out a way to structure these visits for younger students and pre-readers,” Strange said. “We created shorter videos, incorporated songs, explored the story, and let them see what it’s like to talk with an author.”
The book they chose was Laundry Day by Jessixa Bagley. It’s about two bored badgers who get a little carried away while helping their mother.
“Students got hands-on learning by sorting different types of socks and using clothespins to put them on a laundry line, ” Strange said. “Thanks to Ready Ready, each student was given a copy of the book to take home. We knew it made a lasting impression when one of our students came in for book character day, and she had pinned old clothes, baby clothes, and socks on herself so she could be a character from that book.”
Strange said the lesson plans could also be used for Pre-K students in the 2022-23 school year since the author permitted the videos to be used again and again. “The students build a relationship with the author and the text, so now these characters have true meaning to them. It’s the beginning of a partnership that will continue to bring support for our young students as they become readers.”