Words Take Wing


Words Take Wing
Honoring Diversity in Children's Literature

Since 2005, more than 14,000 Sacramento-area school children have benefited from Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature. This annual celebration gives students the opportunity to learn from acclaimed authors and illustrators of diverse children’s literature whose stories about Native American heritage, Asian culture, African American culture, and Latino identity among many others, allow them to explore a wide range of perspectives and world views.

Each year, the Mondavi Center is filled with students from regional schools who watch and listen as a notable author or illustrator shares their personal journey and creative process, often inspiring students to explore and share their own stories. Through Words Take Wing, children broaden their understanding of the world around them – a world that embraces all cultures, languages, religions, and races.

To receive updates regarding the event, email Lauren Thomas at lhthomas@ucdavis.edu.

Youth Event

Grace Lin
2018 Celebrated Children's Author 

Grace Lin grew up in Upstate New York with her parents and two sisters. While the other sisters became scientists, Grace became an artist. Surprisingly enough, being an artist was not Grace’s first choice. She first dreamed of being a champion ice skater, and drew many pictures of herself twirling and dancing on the ice. Unfortunately, Grace had neither the talent nor coordination to make it to skating stardom. However, the pictures she drew of herself held much promise and quickly became Grace’s career focus.

General information

Realizing a Vision
Founding the Words Take Wing Program

The School of Education’s Words Take Wing: Honoring Diversity in Children’s Literature program was established by Joanne Banducci, PhD and Wendy Chason. 

Joseph Bruchac speaks at Words Take Wing in the Mondavi Center, February 10, 2015

Author’s Tales Come Alive
Joseph Bruchac - Words Take Wing

Words Take Wing, featuring Native American children’s writer Joseph Bruchac, was featured in the Davis Enterprise on February 12, 2015. 

“This is the kind of program I wish occurred in more places,” the author told The Enterprise. “As an inspiration to teachers and students, it is second to none. I can’t think of a more enthusiastic audience. You can see the excitement.” Read the full article by Jeff Hudson.

Joseph Bruchac, Words Take Wing Author

Joseph Bruchac, Words Take Wing Author
ArtsEdge, The Kennedy Center, and Insight on Capital Public Radio

Watch this video of 2015 Words Take Wing author Joseph Bruchac talking about the significance of the drum and flute to the Native American culture.

You can also listen to a February 4, 2015, interview with the author on Capital Public Radio’s Insight program

General information

Words Take Wing Mission and Purpose

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.

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