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Words Take Wing 2024 Celebration

This year’s Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature event marked the 20th anniversary of this beloved program, and the retirement of founder Joanne Banducci from her position as a chair.

The day’s matinee presentation featured acclaimed children’s author Thanhhà Lại at the Mondavi Center, who was introduced to the audience by Social Science credential student Anh Nguyen. The matinee opened with a performance by the UC Davis Golden Turtle Lion Dancers, and over 1,200 students from local school districts were in attendance. 

The School hosted a luncheon afterwards at the UC Davis Alumni Center to celebrate the 20th anniversary, and presented Banducci with a memory book including photos and artwork from all past Words Take Wing programs.

The School of Education and Sacramento Public Library continued the celebration with an expanded free evening event featuring a panel of Lại and past Words Take Wing authors Pam Muñoz Ryan and Grace Lin, and moderated by author and School of Education alumna Dr. JaNay Brown-Wood. 

“Joanne has been spreading her wings and advocating for authors and teachers long before diversity in literature became a movement,” said Lại. “I cannot thank her enough for having the vision and stamina to pull ever more readers into the embrace of a life-long reading life.

Read more about the Words Take Wing program.

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