Kwame Alexander, 2015 Newbery Medal Recipient ("Crossover") met with Lower School and Middle School students in Episcopal's Visual and Performing Arts Center on Friday, January 22. The lively discussion and reading of his book, "Acoustic Rooster," Illustrated by Tim Bowers, kept kids on the edges of their seats as they shared in the discovery of rhythms and poetry jam used to introduce students to notable poets and musicians.
The author's comfort with the students, and his passion for the subject ignited a high level of participation and engagement. Mr. Alexander shared personal stories that entertained the students and made real connections with them as he told of his creative journey, and encouraged them to do the follow their passions. Thank you Mrs. Guarisco for inviting Mr. Alexander to Episcopal! Last summer, Mrs. Guarisco, a middle school english teacher, attended the LSU’s Young Adult Literature Conference, with the theme of African American Literature. Kwame Alexander did a Skype session with the participants, and in order to be prepared, Mrs. Guarisco read, "The Crossover," which was last year’s Newbery recipient. "I knew right away that it was something my sports-minded readers, even the reluctant ones, would really like, so I offered it as an option for literature study to my 6th graders," said Mrs. Guarisco. Mrs. Guarisco is currently expanding the research she did previously with Dr. Louise Freeman, which focuses on empathy development and fiction.