Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

October 9, 2006

Popular Children's Author Janet Wong to Lead 23rd
Annual Whitworth Writing Rally

WHAT: The 23rd annual Whitworth Writing Rally for students in pre-school through 6th grade is an opportunity for children to develop their reading and writing skills with assistance from a professional author and trained educators. Between 600 and 700 students from the Inland Northwest are expected to participate in the 2006 rally, which will be led by noted author and poet Janet Wong, who has written numerous stories and books for children from birth to high-school age.

During the Whitworth Writing Rally each child, accompanied by a parent or guardian, will take part in one of two sessions. Wong will share her stories with participants, and then children will work in small groups creating and illustrating stories. Each group will be led by trained educators with expertise in storytelling, writing, illustrating and bookbinding.

This year, a special session will be offered for 6th-grade students. The students will write a story in partnership with Ballet Spokane and the Whitworth Theatre Department. This story will later be choreographed and then will be performed next spring by Ballet Spokane dancers. The children participating in this session will receive tickets to the spring performance.

After each session, children are invited to attend a punch-and-cookies reception in Whitworth Presbyterian Church's Quall Hall, adjacent to the Whitworth campus, where they will have the opportunity to share the books they have created. They can also meet Wong during the reception and have her autograph her books, which will be available for purchase.

Wong has been recognized for her contributions to the world of multicultural children's literature and is the recipient of awards including the International Reading Association's Celebrate Literacy Award and the Stone Center Recognition of Merit, given by the Claremont Graduate School. Wong read from her book Apple Pie 4th of July at the 2003 White House Easter Egg Roll; she has also been appointed to two terms on the Commission on Literature of the National Council of Teachers of English.

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 4. The first session is 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The second session is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. A parent or guardian must accompany each child participating in the rally.

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

COST: $16 for each child. The registration fee covers writing materials and a T-shirt for each participant. Registration discounts and some full scholarships are available for low-income families.

HOW TO REGISTER: Register online at www.thewritingrally.org, or call (509) 777-4404 and leave your name, phone number, and mailing address. A registration packet will be mailed to you. Completed registration materials must be received no later than Oct. 30.

Contacts:

Lisa Laurier, Whitworth Writing Rally director, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3263 or llaurier@whitworth.edu.

Pat Parker, academic program assistant, School of Education, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3229 or pparker@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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