Words Take Wing


Words Take Wing
Honoring Diversity in Children's Literature

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 to celebrate children’s literature as art.

Naomi Shihab Nye is our 2017 Words Take Wing visiting writer. She describes herself as a “wandering poet,” perhaps because of the four decades of traveling the country and the world to lead writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages. She will be here to speak at the Mondavi Center for the Arts on February 28.

The focus on the annual Words Take Wing event 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.

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

Youth Event

Naomi Shihab Nye
2017 Celebrated Children's Author

Speaking with Krista Tippet, poet, activist, teacher and humanitarian Naomi Shihab Nye said this of writing: “Very rarely do you hear anyone say they write things down and feel worse. It’s an act that helps you, preserves you, energizes you, in the very doing of it.” As readers, we are fortunate that Nye is energized by writing, because her writing is a gift. It is a gift that inspires us, in large part by not shying away from topics that challenge us.

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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