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National Ambassador Recap: Jacqueline Woodson’s First Year!

Jacqueline Woodson’s first year as Ambassador has come to a close, and what a year it was! The announcement of her appointment and following inauguration were met with fanfare from publishers, readers, and the national media. Since then, she has traveled across the country sharing her inspiring platform, Reading = HOPE × CHANGE with kids and adults through multiple in person events, participation in NCTE’s National Day on Writing, a huge webinar with First Book’s network of classrooms, and more. Plans are already underway for her 2019 events, including something big for the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week.

“My first year as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature has been many things. It’s been eye opening and rewarding. It’s been phenomenal and heartbreaking. It’s been exhilarating and exhausting! What I’ve learned from traveling the country is that writers MUST continue getting out into the world and sharing themselves and their work with the young people. My fellow writers of young people’s literature are ALL ambassadors. Each time one of us walks into a room, we change something — a young person’s dream becomes that much more of a reality. A young person’s question get answered by a live writer. A young person’s perceptions of what a writer ’should look like’ gets re-examined. A young person’s creative brilliance gets re-affirmed. I’ve realized that the work we’re doing is more important and necessary than we’ll ever truly know but that we MUST keep doing it because, to the young people, our literature (and our presence) is helping them shape their own future narratives. I think I kinda knew that before going into this. But man, do I REALLY know it now!” – Jacqueline Woodson

Right before the start of the 2018/2019 school year, we released a wonderful Reading = HOPE × CHANGE activity kit. This kit gives kids everywhere a chance to connect with Jacqueline’s message and figure out what their reading equation is. We are thrilled to announce an exciting new addition to the event kit for 2019, created by our 5th National Ambassador, the incomparable Gene Luen Yang. This illustrated Jacqueline can be printed and used as a bookmark or a standee for your desk. Download the activity kit today!

See Jacqueline Woodson’s full schedule of Ambassador events for 2018 here.

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