2017 Summer Storytellers wraps up with celebration aboard the Intrepid

 


Participants in the 2017 Summer Storytellers program celebrated the end of a great summer by spending a day aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on August 15th. The event was the culmination of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) citywide summer program, Cultivating Curiosity.

The day kicked off with remarks from astronaut Mike Massimino, who encouraged everyone to relentlessly pursue their goals in science, technology, and the arts-- no matter how difficult it might feel to achieve those goals. Storytellers participants joined their peers in presenting their work from the summer, including sharing finished printed copes of their original, collaboratively written books. Titles included: The Best Summer Ever, the story of a girl who takes her least favorite season and makes it great; Unexpected Guest, a tale of middle school social dynamics and unlikely friendships; and Monstrous Life, a chronicle of two siblings just trying to live a normal life... as monsters. All 300 attendees left the Intrepid with some space-themed summer reading materials thanks to a book giveaway coordinated by National Book Foundation, including a young reader's edition of Hidden Figures, the Madeline L'Engle classic A Wrinkle in Time, and CatStronauts, a whimsical graphic novel.  

Summer Storytellers is an intensive reading and writing program for middle school students run in partnership with the DYCD, and in collaboration with BoomWriter, an online writing platform for young people. In Summer 2017, 200 students across 12 sites spent their summers reading and writing. BoomWriter facilitated a collaborative writing project, and as part of the Foundation's larger BookUp program, teaching artists facilitated reading activities that helped inspire students as writers, and encouraged them to grow as readers. BookUp celebrates student choice and values book ownership; Storytellers participants were provided with up to five books of their own choosing to add to their home libraries. Students were able to connect with the larger literary community as they received direct mentorship from their BookUp teaching artist, all published writers or literary professionals. Instead of falling into the "summer slump," Book Up: Summer Storytellers helps nurture young people's joy of reading and uses the summer months to build lifelong readers.