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The Story Bus: Adventures in Reading

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People interested in participating in The Story Bus should send an email to Karen Meier

Story 3 JULY 23, 2020 – On Wednesday July 29, everyone is invited to hop on to The Story Bus and go on a reading adventure.

In the coming weeks, local writers and such school officials as the Superintendent and members of the Board of Education will read books for young people as part of The Story Bus: Adventures in Reading.

In addition to promoting literacy and a love for reading, Karen Meier, the school system’s Director of Library Media Services, hopes that The Story Bus will make students more aware of writers and community members who care about their success.

“Students are connecting literature with community members they see and hear about frequently,” she said.

The readings will be shown on Cable 2 and posted on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools website at The Story Bus.

The first reader will be Kim Underwood, who writes stories for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Underwood will be reading a story from The Wonderful World of Sparkle Girl & Doobins, a picture book that he wrote and his wife, artist Garnet Goldman, illustrated. 

Story 1 In the stories, Sparkle Girl and Doobins have adventures that include fairies retrieving a good-night kiss that flew out the bedroom window, a tree that grows marshmallows, and a visit from the Man in the Moon.

On the second reading adventure, Isaac Redfearn – a student at The Downtown School who has traveled the world – will read his book Isaac’s Adventures in Paris.

“I want to explain to kids that reading can help you learn a lot,” Isaac said. “You can learn about different cultures and languages.”

“I want them to travel to Paris with me.”

These days, Isaac is at work on a book about his adventures in Brazil.

In addition to participating in The Story Bus, Isaac has been serving as the host of an online program he organized called “Kids and Teens: Let's Talk!”

Isaac 1 The Rev. Jason Sloan, the Youth Minister at St. Peters World Outreach – where Isaac and his mother go – has been serving as the moderator.

In three sessions held so far, young people and adults in the community – including Mayor Allen Joines, Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough, and retired educator Kenneth Simington – have been exploring such topics as “Black Lives Matter.” In the most-recent session – the “Mom’s Edition” – such women as Pastor Mia Sloan and Attorney Debra Jessup participated.

Participating students include young people Isaac knows from school, church and playing sports.

Topics for future sessions included entrepreneurship and heading back to school.

 “Isaac is impacting the community,” said his mother, Ana Redfearn.  

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Another reader will be Carol Andrews, an award-winning journalist who, after working as an anchor at local television stations WGHP and WFMY, is now focusing on her own projects.

Andrews will be reading The Giggle Wind, the children’s book that she wrote and Steven M. Cozart, who teaches art in Guilford County, illustrated.

“The story centers around a little girl, Elizabeth, who moves to a new town and is trying to make new friends,” Andrews said. 

Carol 6 “She encounters giggles in the dunes but can't find where there coming from. What she discovers is that she has stumbled upon the legend of the Giggle Wind.”

“The book is designed to introduce children to an endangered species of lichen, native to the Gulf Coast of Florida. They will learn about symbiotic relationships between plants and animals (real science).”

“But, most importantly, this book holds a lesson on kindness to the environment.”

“An added bonus is talking about the art which is not in color because my illustrator is technically colorblind.”

“I always look forward to sharing this story because it sparks lots of imagination and ideas for kindness.”

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Meier is working on enlisting more readers for The Story Bus and seeking permission from such publishers as Candlewick Press and Lee and Low Books.

“I am getting publisher permissions to create the read-aloud videos.” Meier said.

Story 66 “It’s a great idea. I want it to come together.”

Bookmarks – a local nonprofit organization that works to support reading and that operates a bookstore in downtown Winston-Salem – is collaborating with the school system on The Story Bus.

“Bookmarks welcomes any opportunity to collaborate with WS/FCS and is thrilled to assist in any way possible,” said Ashley Bryan, the Youth & Schools Coordinator for Bookmarks.

“To be able to connect local authors and readers not only speaks to our mission but, more importantly, to our desire to engage our youngest readers in a way that inspires lifelong readers.”