Last year our “One Book, One Community” featured title was El Deafo by CeCe Bell. In 2017, we are pleased to present a “One Author, One Community” program for our PreK-8 students. With this in mind, SFX is thrilled to select Kirby Larson as our “One Author, One Community” featured author for the current school year.
Kirby Larson has written 20 books for children, including picture books, non-fiction titles, and middle grade and young adult novels. Most of her books feature the overarching themes of resilience, empathy, and finding strength from within, which compliments our own Crusader Covenant. Ms. Larson is the recipient of the 2007 Newbery Honor Book Award, the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Prize, and three dozen state reader’s choice awards. To learn more about Kirby Larson, please visit her website at www.kirbylarson.com.
Kirby Larson’s presentations are both thoughtful and inspiring. She brings tremendous energy and passion for writing and books to our SFX student body this year. Ms. Larson will spend an entire school day with our students on Friday, May 19th. Her books fold nicely into our “Respect Every Difference” campaign. More information on that campaign will be forthcoming.
Stay tuned for more information soon regarding this year’s campaign. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We invite you to learn more about RED and “One Book/One Author, One Community,” by reviewing the overview of last year’s 2016 campaign that follows below.
ONE BOOK, ONE COMMUNITY 2015-2016
St. Francis was pleased to introduce its Respect Each Difference (RED) Campaign with the featured One Book title, El Deafo: the story of a girl who navigates friendships and life at school with a large and awkward hearing device called a phonic ear. Exploring El Deafo as a community allowed SFX to build a dialogue around age-appropriate themes from the text in support of acceptance, respect and understanding. In many ways, the learning moments central to RED build upon the groundwork laid during our community reading of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. SFX partners with our friends at St. Thomas of Canterbury for all “One Book, One Community“ initiatives.
Central to RED was a series of events and conversations scheduled throughout 2016 that involved the participation of students, parents, teachers, St. Thomas friends and outside presenters. We gratefully acknowledge the guidance and support of Linda Sawyer and Karen Godfrey for bringing RED and “One Book, One Community“ initiatives to life for our learning community.
Grades across our school population have worked under the guidance of Visual Arts Teacher Gaby Porras this year to explore themes of respect and understanding through art. Our 6th grade homerooms created logos to represent this year’s RED initiative. 4th graders created El Deafo book covers to reflect their own “super powers.”
Beth Finke, NPR commentator and author, visited with students in February to share her story and answer questions. Beth blogs and writes books about her experience as a blind person. She also visits schools and organizations to create awareness and learning moments around the issue of blindness and understanding. Learn more about Ms. Finke here. Visit her blog here. Read about our visit with Ms. Finke here.
MARY CATE LYNCH
St. Francis welcomed the Lynch family (along with St. Thomas students) for a visit on campus in April. Mary Cate lives with Apert Syndrome, a rare craniofacial condition that affects the head, feet and hands. Individuals with Apert Syndrome endure many surgeries over the course of their lifetime. Mary Cate’s family has chosen to share their story with others through visits, blogging and more to create awareness of Apert Syndrome and to help others learn to celebrate differences. Learn more at mymarycate.org.
In mid-May, author Danny Kravitz will be coming to speak with our 2nd-4th grade students about his book, Tommy McKnight and the Great Election. This historical fiction title ties in with our RED campaign as the story explores life for a young boy crippled by polio and how he is inspired to stand up to a class bully by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who is not letting his disability prevent him from running for the presidency. Learn more at dannykravitzbooks.com.
St. Thomas of Canterbury students joined SFX students via Skype for a visit with Cece Bell this March. The Newbery Honor Book author met with students in groups for age-appropriate conversations about her life and the challenges of being hearing impaired. Ms. Bell also shared detailed about her book, “El Deafo” as part of our One Book, One Community reading initiative. Visit Ms. Bell’s website here. Learn more about “El Deafo” here.