On October 6th, Emporia State University hosted the 66th annual William Allen White Book Award celebration. At this year's event, authors Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Mary Downing Hahn won the award for their novels Fish in a Tree and Took respectively.
Every year, a list of books is announced by the William Allen White committee as excellent and recommended reading for students in grades 3 through 5 and then 6 through 8. Students can then choose to read novels from the William Allen White booklist making them eligible to vote for the eventual winning novels and authors. This year, over 35,000 Kansas kids voted!
At this year's event, some activities the students enjoyed were a dance party, writing letters to authors, building robots, and playing Kahoots related to the books on this year's list. After a few hours of activity, students participated in a parade led by the ESU mascot before honoring the authors at the official awards ceremony.
Over 600 students and 130 adults attended this event representing over 29 schools/districts. While some students lamented having to wake up at 6 am on a Saturday, they beamed when talking about meeting the authors and watching their favorite books acted out by the ESU theater team.
Events like this could not be possible without the dedication of teachers, districts, and institutions like Emporia State University. This event brings the thrill of reading to life for our students and encourages a passion for engagement and creativity.
Thank you to all of you who promote reading and learning across our state.
Do you know of an ELA "bright spot" in your school community? Nominate someone (or yourself!) to be highlighted here by contacting Sarah Perryman at firstname.lastname@example.org.