The Youngstown State University English Festival celebrates its 35th year this week and welcomes its 100,000th student participant.
More than 3,000 middle school and high school students will attend the festival Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in YSU’s Kilcawley Center.
The festival, one of the most enduring annual events in YSU’s history, brings together students to discuss books, meet authors and participate in writing competitions.
The 100,000th participant of the festival, which was started in 1979, will be identified and recognized at an awards ceremony 3:15 p.m. Friday, in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley.
This year’s festival also features four authors:
Nikki Grimes, whose honors include the Coretta Scott King Author Award and Honor Book Award, Bank Street College Book of the Year award, a Horn Book Fanfare award, the Southern California Children’s Book Association Golden Dolphin Award, and an NAACP Image Award.
Sharon Draper, who has been named National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She was selected as Ohio’s Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year and received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. She has been honored at the White House six times.
Chris Crowe, is a professor of English at Brigham Young University in Utah, a recipient of the Ted Hipple Award for Service and the Jane Addams Honor Book Award.
Chris Crutcher is the author of 14 books, has taught school in two states, was the director of an alternative school for 10 years, was a child and family therapist specializing in abuse and neglect for 25 years. The American Library Association named eight of his young-adult books the “Best Books for Young Adults” and four of his books appear on Booklist’s Best 100 Books of the 20th Century.
This year’s festival also includes a book drive. Participants will bring in slightly used books that will be sent to schools affected by superstorm Sandy as well as to schools in the Philippines.
The festival’s $100,000 fund-raising campaign continues. The public phase of the campaign was launched earlier this year. For information or to make a donation, contact Gary Salvner, co-chair of the festival, at firstname.lastname@example.org.