Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Award-winning children's author Sally M. Walker to lead 27th annual Whitworth Writing Rally Nov. 6

As many as 600 students from the Inland Northwest are expected to participate

WHAT: The 27th annual Whitworth Writing Rally is a family literacy initiative for students in pre-school through 6th grade. The event features presentations by a well-known children's author followed by opportunities for participants to work with area teachers or Whitworth education students to create their own original illustrated books. The rally is a nonprofit event that brings a variety of civic and corporate sponsors to campus and draws children from across the region, many of whom attend throughout their elementary-school years.

WHO: The 2010 Whitworth Writing Rally will feature Sally M. Walker, author of roughly four dozen books for children and young adults. Walker has written picture books, chapter books for early readers, and nonfiction books, several about earth science. She has received more than 40 awards for her books, including the 2006 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley. Her newest book, Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland, is already receiving critical acclaim.

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A parent or guardian must accompany each child participating in the rally. A number of Whitworth students have volunteered to accompany children whose parents or guardians cannot attend. (Parents and guardians who can't accompany their children should call Lisa Laurier at the contact number below.)

WHERE: Cowles Memorial Auditorium, Whitworth University, 300 W. Hawthorne Road.

COST: Registration is $17 and pays for a T-shirt, snacks, writing and art supplies, a reception, and participation for one child and a parent or adult guardian. Partial and full scholarships are available.

HOW TO REGISTER: Details are available by calling the Whitworth School of Education at (509) 777-3263; please leave your name, phone number, and mailing address. A registration packet will be mailed to you.

The Whitworth Writing Rally is an opportunity for children to develop their reading and writing skills with assistance from a professional author and trained educators. As many as 600 students from the Inland Northwest are expected to participate in the 2010 rally. Walker will discuss her methods of brainstorming and researching her books, and will talk about how students can do the same. A Whitworth improvisational theatre troupe also will perform.

After the rally, children are invited to attend a punch-and-cookies reception in the Multipurpose Room of the Hixson Union Building, where they will have the opportunity to share the books they have created. They can also meet Walker during the reception, and she will be happy to autograph her books.

"This event is a chance for our campus community to give back to the families of Spokane and to foster a love of literacy and learning in our youngest citizens," says Lisa Laurier, director of the Whitworth Writing Rally and associate professor of education.

Laurier encourages all Whitworth students to participate in the rally. A number of the university's students had their first Whitworth experience as children at the rally, she says.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Lisa Laurier, Whitworth Writing Rally director and associate professor of education, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3263 or llaurier@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.