Last Friday, Dawson Elementary hosted three authors to read and speak to students about their work through a grant from the Texas Book Festival's Reading Rock Stars program. This is the third year of the program, which aims to promote literacy by bringing authors to Dawson and other elementary schools in AISD and across Texas. As part of the grant, each student receives a signed, hardcover book from the author at the end of the presentation.
Winifred Conkling, the author of “Sylvia & Aki,” which won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, read to Dawson fifth graders, along with special guest Sylvia Mendez, who inspired the story. The book follows the story of the 1947 Mendez v. Westminster decision, which led to the desegregation of California’s public schools and paved the way for the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling seven years later.
Also visiting Dawson was author and illustrator Tad Hills, who presented "Rocket Writes a Story." Hills read aloud and demonstrated some of his painting techniques, including how to draw fluffy feathers on a duck who features prominently in the story.
The event concluded with author Liz Garton Scanlon who spoke to pre-K students about the writing process.
Students left the event energized—with books in hand, smiles on their faces, and imaginative stories in their memories.