Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

November 2, 1999

Poet Janet Wong To Lead Children's Writing Rally
at Whitworth College

Seven hundred children, each accompanied by a parent or guardian, numerous support staff and one very brave poet will let writing reign for a day at the 16th annual Writing Rally. Since 1983, approximately 150 Whitworth faculty, staff and students, as well as principals, teachers and librarians from area school districts have joined forces to organize and run the Writing Rally for children.

The rally gives kindergarten through fourth-grade children an opportunity to spend quality time with a parent or guardian, learn from a professional author, and compose his or her own book.

This year the rally will feature children's poet Janet Wong, who incorporates her life experiences and her heritage as an Asian American in her poetry. Wong holds a B.A. degree from UCLA and a law degree from Yale University.

The Writing Rally is divided into two three-hour sessions. For the first hour of each session, Wong will lead the children in a poetry workshop. During the next two hours the budding authors will allow their creative juices to flow and will compose a book with the assistance of a parent or guardian.

"The most important aspect of the rally, to me, is that the children have three hours to spend with their parent or guardian," says Les Francis, associate professor of education at Whitworth College. "There are no telephones, no televisions, and no other distractions - the writing is a bonus."

The Writing Rally will take place Saturday, Nov. 6 at Whitworth College. The first session begins at 8:30 a.m. and the second session begins at 11 a.m. Prior to each session participants will meet at the Centennial Plaza in front of Cowles Auditorium to pick up registration materials and a rally T-shirt.

Since this event first began 16 years ago, more than 10,000 children have explored the world of literature and composition at Whitworth's Writing Rally.

Contacts:

Les Francis, associate professor of education, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4409.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729.

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