Baylor Hosts "Readers, Artists and Dreamers" Literacy Event Oct. 11-12

Oct. 7, 2001

by Lori Scott Fogleman

More than 3,000 Central Texas school children will celebrate literacy and creativity with nationally known children's book authors, artists, educators and local celebrities, as Baylor University hosts one of the country's fastest growing reading events, "Building a Nation of Readers, Artists and Dreamers 2001," on Oct. 11-12.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day at Minglewood Bowl, the patio of the Baylor Bookstore and the SUB Bowl behind the Bill Daniel Student Center. The Baylor Bookstore is located at 1201 S. 5th St. across Waco Creek from the Bear Pit.

A special Family Night for elementary school-age children and their families will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at Minglewood Bowl. The event is free, and Scholastic Books will be giving away an assortment of books while they last. Dr Pepper and pizza will be available for purchase.

The event's highlights include celebrities reading to kids every 20 minutes, mural painting, games, puppet and stage shows, and a parade of children to the event site. Led by popular characters Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Berenstain Bears, the parade will begin at approximately 9 a.m. as students walk from the bus drop-off site in front of Waco Hall, across Founders Mall to Minglewood Bowl.

The "Readers, Artists and Dreamers" event benefits Cartoonists Across America and the World, a non-profit organization founded by cartoonist and author Phil Yeh, who will return for the event's second year to paint murals with school children. A longtime supporter of literacy through the arts, Yeh is the author and illustrator of the popular book Theo the Dinosaur and The Winged Tiger series, among others. Since 1985, he has visited hundreds of schools and painted more than 1,000 colorful murals, promoting literacy, the arts and other positive issues.

In addition to Yeh, more than 20 other children's authors are scheduled to visit and read to children. They include Jim Walkow, author of The Zabbit and creator of the memorable "Great

Moments in Sports from the Point of the Ball," which aired on Monday Night Football and Super Bowl XXVIII; Carol Lewis, founder and CEO of Three Butterflies Entertainment and Press and the author of Little Lumpy's Book of Blessings; and Paul Epner, author of the popular Herbert Hilligan series of children's books. Epner will perform his Herbert Hilligan stage show complete with his unforgettable Giant Robotic Lunchbox. Local celebrities, including authors, television and radio personalities, and Baylor coaches and athletes, also will read to children in tents that will be set up around Minglewood Bowl.

All school children attending the daytime event will receive a free copy of Texas Days of Glory, a book by Pat Boyette that traces the history of Texas from the arrival of the first Spanish soldiers, priests and colonists to the arrival of settlers from the United States who fought in the Texas Revolution. The books have been made available through a grant from the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation.

Other activities include a puppet show by Baylor education lecturer Rick Strot, music and theater shows provided by Baylor student groups, and exercise activities coordinated by Baylor You youth ministry teams and health and physical education faculty and students.

Dr. Randy Wood, professor of curriculum and instruction and director of the Center for Christian Education in the School of Education, said the event is a total arts program that promotes a love of reading at an early age.

"Think how much better students will do in school and in life when they develop a love for reading and learning in their early years," said Dr. Wood, one of the event's organizers. "We need to build a strong foundation for them."

Major sponsors include Baylor Bookstore, Baylor Public Relations, Big Red Inc., CEFCO, Baylor's Center for Christian Education in the School of Education, Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Texas, Hasting's, The Rapoport Foundation, Reyna and Reyna P.C., and Scholastic Book Fairs.

For more information, call the School of Education at 710-2410.

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