A long-honored tradition in Frisco ISD is the annual author and illustrator visits made to Frisco ISD elementary and middle school campuses throughout the year. Thanks to a generous partnership with Barnes and Noble, approximately 10,000 students in FISD have the opportunity to meet with authors and illustrators from around the country.
Last school year, Frisco ISD had the honor of hosting more than 40 authors who traveled to two to three campuses each free of charge to the District. The authors include New York Times best-sellers, national Randolph Caldecott Medal winners, the national John Newbery Medal winners and the Texas Bluebonnet Award.
Elementary and middle school students have encountered literary celebrities who cover numerous genres including poetry, picture books and young adult fiction. Authors and illustrators from around the world who visit Frisco ISD have the opportunity to change a reluctant learner into an active reader.
“Authors love coming to Frisco because there is always a new audience and the campuses are extremely welcoming,” says Nicole Caliro of Barnes and Noble. “They continue coming back to Frisco because of enthusiastic readers and great book sales.”
In anticipation of author visits, each campus has its own tradition on how it welcomes and commemorates the VIP visits including special parking spots, lawn signage and autographed memorabilia. Students will have watched the book trailer, read the book and have questions prepared in eager anticipation.
Allison McGhee, author of Dear Sister, stopped by Mooneyham Elementary and Bright Academy this week to promote her book, which was published two weeks ago.
“My favorite part of visiting is their questions,” McGhee said. “You never know what they are going to ask; kids ask the best questions.”
McGhee, who wears an elegant pink coiffe, said, “Last week, a kindergartner asked if any of my children had inherited my pink hair!”
Students have the opportunity to purchase books in anticipation of visits and have them signed by the guest author. A portion of the proceeds from book sales goes back to the school district and is redistributed to all campus librarians to buy material. In the past two years, FISD has been the recipient of approximately $12,000.
“It is about getting students excited about books. The author or illustrator has the ability to hook a young child into reading and writing,” said Stacy Cameron, coordinator of library and media services. “A young writer gets to see how many drafts the writer went through while a young reader gets to hear a sneak preview of an upcoming book.”
The goal is to inform students of the publishing process and inspire them to read, write and draw. When an author leaves, students have a concrete understanding of the process of creation and the role of perseverance through revision, editing and printing.
There are numerous large events on the horizon for avid bookworms in Frisco ISD, so stay tuned to learn more about amazing authors headed our direction and the first Librarypalooza in February.
Cameron said she appreciates the literary superstars who have visited Frisco ISD so far this school year:
Ally Condie & Brendan Reichs
Elliot Kalan & Tim Miller