You don’t have to wait until September for the festival; the fun starts before then! Kansas Literacy Festival activities are happening from January to September of 2021, with the help of our Digital Partners all across Kansas.
Storytime Village Programming
LEAP Writing Contest
Pillar: Access to Books
Storytime Village is hosting a state-wide writing contest for three age groups: elementary, middle, and high schoolers. Teachers across the state will receive a one-day lesson plan to give to students that will teach them the basics of writing their own children’s book. Students will then have the opportunity to work on their ideas on their own and submit to Storytime Village by mid-March. The top applicant in each age group will receive a monetary prize, a sponsorship for a certain amount of their books to be printed, and they will be invited to attend a book signing for their book at the Festival in September.
Youth Literacy Advocate Award & Literacy Champion Workshops
Pillar: Advocacy & Awareness
High school students across the state are invited to join our program for virtual workshops and programming including leadership workshops, sessions on the literacy issue, and more. Along with this, Storytime Village will be accepting state-wide nominations for high school students to receive the “Outstanding Youth Literacy Advocate” award. This award will be presented to a youth individual (defined as someone under 18, or still in high school), that through their dedication, leadership, and creativity have positively impacted Kansas children through literacy. Some examples of literacy service considered for the award include, but are not limited to, reading to elementary students, volunteering at a local library, conducting a book drive, and distributing books to underserved children. The recipient will be recognized at the festival’s Read & Rise Breakfast Gala on September 4, 2021.
Storytime Village The Show
Pillar: Early Literacy
Storytime Village The Show will premiere its second season in the coming months on PBS Kansas Channel 8. Curriculum that connects to the show’s episodes will also be available for teachers to download and use in their classrooms.
Taste of Storytime
Pillar: Family Engagement
Taste of Storytime is a fun program that connects literacy to the kitchen! Storytime Village will put out regular stories paired with recipes that are easy to try at home. Along with this, both chefs and elementary schoolers across the state are invited to submit their own Taste of Storytime Videos. Showcase your tasty cooking and share a story! Submissions accepted January 25 - March 26, 2021.
Digital Partner Programming
Books & Breakfast ICT
Books and Breakfast ICT is a program that not only serves breakfast, but also feeds the minds of the community. To help combat literacy inequality, they will give free books to children and adults within the community. With every book, literacy kits with information on how to improve literacy skills at home are provided. These resources are for anyone who is learning how to read, learning how to read for understanding, and also for those who already know how to read. They will give away a free book and literacy kit to every child and adult who comes to their program during operation hours on 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 10:00 am to 11:30 a.m.
Bright Beginnings Early Childhood
The Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Center and Kansas Literacy Foundation operate the “Bookworm Bob” Literacy Bus in Dodge City. The mobile reading program provides resources and feeds the imagination of children in the Dodge City area.
Fundamental Learning Center
Fundamental Learning Center will present a 1 ½ hour-long lecture that will be presented live one evening a month for parents and teachers who live or work in the Wichita community. It will provide research-based instruction (dialogic reading), build a life-long love for books, vocabulary acquisition and necessary literacy skills while reading aloud to young children (ages 3-7).
Grab n' Go Teaching
Michaela Kinyon and Megan Johnson, two teachers from the Lansing school district, have created a series of “bite size” professional development videos with strategies teachers can use in their classroom without doing too much work! With different projects such as sketchnotes for literary analysis, interactive art workbooks, and a variety of digital/art projects for students to demonstrate their comprehension, analysis, and reflection of the works they are reading, these “Grab ‘N Go Teaching” videos will show teachers strategies they can easily use to increase literacy, excitement, and love of reading.
Salina Arts & Humanities
SAH is producing a series of pilot videos that tell stories of resiliency and hope. Individuals who have stories to tell will work with coaching artists, employing literacy techniques of plot summary, scene description, character development, and sound. After coaching is complete, each story will be video recorded, edited, and shared statewide through social media, broadcast television, and the Kansas Literacy Festival in September 2021. Dialogue around the shared stories will be supported through virtual conversations and sharing of behind-the-scenes content. Book lists will be curated by storytellers and coaching artists to support the stories told and the coaching process. This project is about exploring literacy through storytelling and creating art from authentic life experience.
Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education
The KSAAE will pair teaching artists with art education professionals in two designated rural communities within Kansas. The emphasis of these workshops will be visual literacy within art, focusing on social emotional learning. May-June the workshops will be held in Great Bend, Emporia, or Newton Hesston.
Spencer Museum of Art
The Spencer Museum of Art will produce a program that introduces narrative devices in art to early elementary school students. The lessons will promote visual literacy by educating third graders about how visual art tells stories, elements or stories, and the many different ways that stories can be told.
The program will be held in April in Lawrence, KS.
United Way of the Plains
“Once children see themselves represented in books, their existence is validated, and they feel that they are part of the world.” Representation matters.
A new United Way of the Plains (UWP) project aim is to make bookshelves at child care providers match the demographics of the children they serve by increasing the number of books available that have stories about children of color. The Inclusive Leaders become Inclusive Readers program will focus on identifying a mix of large and small child care providers in Sedgwick County and providing books featuring children of color to the providers. It is anticipated that multiple books will enhance the literacy experience of at least 100 children under age five in the Sedgwick county area.
Urban Works brings together communities by engaging youth in the process of building community gardens, encouraging healthy eating, exercise, and helping communities to be more sustainable. They will provide a program for youth that connects literacy and stories to their gardens and food. This program will take place in June in Kansas City, KS.
Watermark Book will be curating a reading list that provides further information and connected books to the various literacy projects that are being implemented across the state. On this book list will also include leisure reading from notable Kansas authors and more.
February-September, the book list will be available on the Kansas Literacy Festival website.
The Winter School
The Winter School will produce an educational video about the meaning and history of literacy using stories from the people and events featured in their current exhibition, called “History, Notice Me.” Different topics that may be covered in the video include: literacy as opportunity, literacy as control and power, literacy as expression and creation, and literacy as communication and connection with others.
This program will take place in June in Lawrence, KS.
Wichita Arts Partners
Arts Partners is a comprehensive PreK-12 arts-in-education organization. Their teaching artists will visit classes with art integration performances in a variety of schools to inspire a love of reading and stories.
Our plan is to reach the entire state of Kansas, mobilize our communities, and create a statewide network of people and organizations to fight for equity in literacy.
As a digital partner, you will create and implement literacy programming in your own community. Then, in September 2021, you will bring your project to showcase at our in-person festival.
We’re looking for teachers, non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals who share a common goal: improving children’s access to books and love for reading.