Many, many of you have heard me speak of the big "In Our Own Words" book writing competition for our district's youth, grades 1-12. The competition is open to public, private, learning centers, and home-schooled. Folks, this is HUGE! We are trying to raise enough funds to purchase 2 Emergent Reader Libraries, one for the Gulfport Public Library's shelves and one for our Gulfport Elementary School. Lots of you have seen my work. These libraries are compiled of books like that; books kids can read, from some amazing emergent reader authors. If you aren't familiar with these types of books, I'll leave a few at Stella's and Tangelo's. Stop in and take a look. Please.
We have until Opening Ceremonies, Saturday, October 6th to raise $5,000 dollars and order the books to present at the Awards Ceremony, November 17th, 3rd Saturday, 4 to 6 p.m. We will be putting donation jars all around town. We have also opened an event bank account at Regions Bank on the corner of 58th St. and 22 Avenue South. They are looking forward to taking any donations anyone wishes to deposit. We will also be putting on a Kids Fun Day and a Fashion show to raise money. No fund raising is complete without the ever-faithful raffle drawing.
I want to say, "Thank you!" to David Mather, the new Library Administrator. He's all in on making this happen. We've mapped out a series of round robin workshops conducted by the pros. These fun workshops will take place every Saturday at the Library starting October 6th when we open the contest, go over the guidelines, have lots of Q&A time. Our local restaurants will provide snacks and beverages for all the workshops. There will be a Submission Deadline Party, "Mingle with the Pros", at the Library, November 10th, 1-3pm Attendees will submit their books and meet local professional writers, editors, illustrators, Publishers and Printers.
This brings us to you. I am hailing all you pro editors, Book Illustrators, and Publishers, retired or working, any of you who would enjoy passing your expertise on to eager young minds, please email me at email@example.com and join in the first annual Gulfport Youth Book writing contest. We need you. If you aren't one of the above mentioned professions but feel you have something to add to the event, book keeping, accounting, organizing, rallying troops, friendships with school teachers, superintendents, RTI or media specialists, news reporters at television stations and newspapers, etc... come on down and bring that thang you do with you.
The winners will be published. Their titles will be catalogued and placed on the library shelves. Our own Small Adventures Bookshop will also stock their shelves with the winning titles. We would love it if other Gulfport businesses would be willing to purchase some copies to sell at their stores or shops with the kids benefitting from all sales. It takes a village. Kids don't belong to any one person but rather to the village. Put the word out! Tell everyone you meet! Encourage kids to give it a shot! Let's get these books for the kids and make it as fun an Ed-Op as we possibly can.
Stay tuned. I'll keep you posted and we'll be handing out flyers and posting them in the local businesses. All of you put November 17th, Awards Night, 4-6pm on your calendars if you can. Come see your amazing kids shine like the stars they are!