Engaging Families for Student Success

Alphabets and Underwear: DC Fall 2015 Author Visits

December 18, 2015

One of our longest traditions at Turning the Page is the Author Visit – an opportunity for local authors to share their books with families at our partner schools. Twice a year, we feature authors at our Community Nights who share their stories, inspiration, and talents with students, parents, and teachers. Unlike traditional author visits, parents also get a chance to engage in their own Q&A session with our visiting authors where they asMG_1968k about everything from age-appropriate book recommendations for their kids to advice on how to publish works of their own. Every family takes home a signed copy of the book – and parents often say that these books quickly become household favorites.

This fall, our new partner schools hosted their first Author Visits. At Ketcham Elementary School, Dr. Courtney Davis shared A is for Anacostia her interactive alphabet book that spotlights the children, activities, and community located in the neighborhoods of Southeast Washington, DC. Jerry Craft, the illustrator, has filled this book with images of local residents and popular locales that families and teachers in our partner schools quickly recognized during Dr. Davis’ reading. A is for Anacostia offers an enjoyable way to develop children’s literacy and validate families’ knowledge of their surrounding communities.

Soon after Ketcham fami015111995190452lies explored Anacostia through the pages of Dr. Davis’ book, Turner Elementary School families welcomed Laura Gehl as she shared One Big Pair of Underwear. Ms. Gehl even brought her book to life with two very large pairs of underwear. Turner students were invited to count just how many students could fit – a great visual of the book’s opening pages. Ms. Gehl’s book provides families with a fun and engaging way to explore math concepts through entertaining images of animals learning how to count, share, and cooperate with one another.


Many thanks to all of the visiting authors for our fall Community Night series: Adjoa Burrowes, Karen Deans, Goldie Patrick, the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team, and the student authors of Reach Incorporated!


About the Authors:

Dr. Courtney Davis has advocated for children with disabilities and their families for over fifteen years. Toviterescart . Her devotion to working with children in urban areas has led her to publish many books that continue to motivate children to read. Dr. Courtney Davis studied Special Education at Hampton University and earned her MA from the University of Illinois. She received her PhD from the University of Virginia.

Find out more at http://www.aisforanacostia.com/

As a kid, Laura Gehl spent many hours reading books and now inspires adults and children through books of her own. An author of five children’s books, she earned her BA in Psychology from Yale and a PhD in neuroscience from Georgetown. Gehl uses leading-edge science to teach simply to kids and adults. She is active in the community and often visits schools to conduct writing workshops and interactive presentations.

Find out more at http://www.lauragehl.com/