The UC Davis School of Education and its partners, Sutter Health/Sutter Children’s Hospital, Sacramento, and the Sacramento Public Library, host the annual Words Take Wing event, a celebration of children’s literature as art. The focus is on the diversity of stories and characters found in works by authors from different cultures who explore and create settings that reflect a wide range of perspectives and world views.
We know from our partnerships with schools and districts throughout Northern California that many children need more opportunities to experience literature. Unfortunately, the school day is often too full to promise the reading of books, and many children live in homes where reading is not a priority.
Words Take Wing provides teachers, children and parents with an opportunity to experience the power of a great story to move children, to introduce them to worlds they would not otherwise encounter, and to inspire them to share their own stories.
The School of Education’s long-term goal is to create an event that will build and sustain relationships with teachers, students, librarians,and the wider community to ensure that our impact of Words Take Wing goes well beyond the classroom. Our mission is guided by our belief that schools are places where children’s literature ought to be present and where children have consistent opportunities to read, listen to, study, and enjoy a well-crafted story. And we hope to elevate the role that children’s literature plays in representing people and cultures in complex and sensitive social realities and histories.
Literature has the power to open eyes, change lives, and reveal the world anew. Ultimately, the potential to inspire young readers and writers and educators underscores the intent and purpose of Words Take Wing as a cornerstone event for the School of Education at UC Davis.
Living and working in his family home at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, acclaimed author Joseph Bruchac (b. 1942) has devoted forty years to celebrating his Abenaki heritage through prose, verse, story, and song. As the author of more than 120 books, a professional musician, and a skilled teller of traditional tales, Bruchac has worked to share traditional and contemporary Native American culture through many genres and for audiences of all ages.
Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature (WTW) celebrates children’s literature and values its capacity to inform, inspire, and empower by giving voice and forum to the creators of children’s books. The WTW committee endeavors to highlight notable authors and illustrators of diverse backgrounds and to make the program available to those children with whom the experience might strongly resonate.
It is our intent to deepen and expand our local children’s literature community through mutually beneficial partnerships, increased publicity, classroom presence, and additional children’s literature events. In the above ways, WTW will continue to build and sustain relationships with those who work earnestly to nourish the lives of children and who recognize the excellence and importance of children’s literature.