The schools that participate in this program continue to reinvigorate my faith in what can be accomplished by teachers, administrators, and students who are willing to "go for it." If you're interested in getting involved in the next cycle of ETRTR, check out the School Program page(s) at the Exercise the Right to Read website. It's a fun, free way to combine literacy, fitness, and community service, and (as you now know) there are prizes. Start planning now. I'll see you at the starting line!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Congratulations to CENTRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL in Edmond, Oklahoma, the winner of this cycle's Exercise the Right to Read challenge. What an amazing school. Not only are the staff and students enthused and involved, they're also generous and giving.
As many of you may know, first prize includes an all-expense paid author day visit from a certain ETRTR captain (and that would be me).
Now, I've visited Central Middle School before on a regularly scheduled "Author Day" visit, and I was really looking forward to going there again, this time gratis. However, Central Middle School put a very interesting and completely unexpected twist in the plot line--they bequeathed me to a "sister school" -- a middle school in their area that, due to funding, has far fewer extra curricular opportunities than Central--and booked a regularly arranged school visit with me for the following day.
I tell you, Central Middle School is amazing.
So this spring, I will be flying clear across the country to visit these two schools in Oklahoma...only that's only part of what's turning out to be something of a perfect storm.
You see, my book Runaway has won Oklahoma's Sequoyah Book Award (in the Intermediate category), and to celebrate this honor I have been invited to be a keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Library Association convention luncheon.
When word got out that I would be in Oklahoma for OLA, schools in the area started requesting me for Author Day at their school, and now you wouldn't believe my calendar--it's jam packed!
But the eye of this "storm" is that, in addition to the school visits and the convention, things have been arranged so that students and teachers from these schools (and others) will meet me at the starting line of the 5K Oklahoma City Memorial Run and, side-by-side, we will "Exercise the Right to Read" together through the streets of Oklahoma City.
The idea of incorporating an ETRTR community run "with the author" started in Fargo, ND, and if you're new to this blog, I urge you to read the "Fargo? You Betcha!" entry from October 4th -- three middle schools combined their resources and energies, did the ETRTR program, and met me at the Fargo Marathon 5K starting line to complete their "marathon" of reading and running. For their enthusiasm, creativity, and participation, these three schools will be awarded prize packages of books and audio tapes as outlined on the Prizes page of the Exercise the Right to Read website.