Librarian invites smorgasbord of literacy events
FBI special agents, writers, a financial advisor and former U.S. Congressman Tom Allen will visit the high school. At Pond Cove Elementary School, Librarian Cameron Rosenblum said the variety of storytelling methods will come through on two consecutive days.
The Maine State Ballet was scheduled to perform its spring show, “Alice in Wonderland,” for the Pond Cove students Wednesday, May 8. Students will then hear a performance from storyteller Len Cabral on Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10.
“You have one adaptation of the Lewis Carroll book, and its costumes and stages and acting and all the pageantry that goes along with the ballet,” Rosenblum said. “Len Cabral’s the polar opposite. He has no props. He won’t stand on stage. He has no costumes. He does it all himself.”
Rosenblum organized the events at Pond Cove Elementary School and “Cape Author Fest” on Saturday, May 11, which will bring more than 30 New England authors together in the Cape Elizabeth High School gymnasium to cap off the week’s celebration.
She said the contrast of the ballet’s storytelling method against Cabral’s represents the various forms of literacy the Cape Elizabeth schools and community will celebrate throughout the week.
“There are all different ways to be literate, so we tried to look for people who have a passion for what they do. That’s what it comes down to. I think it’s so important for kids to find what they’re passionate about and follow that, and I just love bringing in all these role models.”
Events were scheduled every day of the week – both for students at the town’s three schools and for members of the public – culminating in the “Author Fest” Saturday afternoon, featuring book signings, sales, readings and conversations with the writers. Nonesuch Books in South Portland will also have the books available, with 20 percent of sales going back to the school department.
Scott Nash, an illustrator from Peaks Island and the chairman of the illustration program at Maine College of Art, was one of the authors in attendance. He visited Pond Cove students on Monday, May 6 and Tuesday, May 7 to read, tell stories and draw for students. Nash said when he moved to Peaks Island 16 years ago, he was impressed by Maine’s creative talent.
“The amount of children’s book authors and illustrators that live in this area, along the coast and throughout Maine is astonishing,” Nash said.
Literacy week is sponsored and funded by the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for programs that fall outside the school budget. Foundation members approached Superintendent Meredith Nadeau with the idea last year. Nadeau then put together a planning committee, including Rosenblum, that met monthly starting in December to organize the event.
Rosenblum said the literacy celebration has served not only as a way to inspire Pond Cove students with new ideas, but also as a rare opportunity to bring everyone together as one group.
“It’s a big school, and it’s hard to get a real community feel without having these nice, big, common communal events. That’s important for school pride and just feeling like they belong to the community.”
For more information, including a schedule of events throughout the week and bios of each author at Saturday’s “Author Fest,” visit capeauthorfest13.edublogs.org.