Yesterday (May 26, 2021), students at Oakland Terrace Elementary School in Kensington, MD had the opportunity to meet a "famous author" Linda Elovitz Marshall, during a virtual author visit. Ms. Marshall is the author of Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoiris, a bi-lingual Spanish-English book that was featured as part of the 4th Noyes StoryWalk® at Capitol View-Homewood Park, adjacent to Oakland Terrace.
Located just outside the Capital Beltway and just a few miles from Washington, D.C., Oakland Terrace serves a diverse population of students from all over the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Oakland Terrace has a Two-Way Language Immersion program (Spanish-English) and is a Maryland Green School.
During the virtual author visit, Ms. Marshall shared her journey to becoming a writer later in life and her inspiration for writing Rainbow Weaver, answered a range of insightful student questions, and emphasized the importance of "writing your story." Students were thrilled to meet a "famous author," and Marshall was thrilled to be there. Marshall left the kids with the following message:
"I hope the kids will follow up with some of their own writing. Maybe they’ll each get a notebook or jot their ideas in a phone. It’s important to capture ideas and feelings. By writing, we can hold onto our feelings... without having our feelings take control of us.
Writing has always been an important part of my life, even when I wasn’t an “official” writer. It’s not getting published that’s important; it’s telling our stories. And we all have stories." Linda Elovitz Marshall, www.lindamarshall.com
The Rainbow Weaver StoryWalk® and virtual author visit were a collaboration between Noyes Children's Library Foundation, Oakland Terrace Elementary School, and the OTES PTA.
Families are invited to read Cecily Cicada by Kita Helmetag Murdock and Patsy Helmetag, on posted signs as they stroll through a park in Kensington. The Noyes Cecily Cicada StoryWalk®, presented by the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation in collaboration with the Town of Kensington, will be available for self-guided exploration from Saturday, May 15, 2021, through Sunday, June 6, 2021, at Clum-Kennedy Park (10298 Frederick Ave., Kensington, MD 20895). The event is likely to coincide with swarms of 17-year cicadas in the D.C. region
The mother-daughter authors wrote Cecily Cicada before the last emergence of Brood X cicadas in 2004 to ease the fears of their 3-year-old granddaughter/daughter. They rereleased the book in anticipation of this year’s blanketing of the bugs in parts of the eastern United States. The story explains the lifecycle of a cicada through cute characters and playful language.
While enjoying the StoryWalk® experience, visitors are asked to wear masks and observe social distance. Street parking is available in the neighborhood surrounding Clum-Kennedy Park (do not park in the retail lot across the street).
A free craft kit related to Cecily Cicada will be available for pick up in a box outside the Noyes Library for Young Children (10237 Carroll Place, Kensington, MD 20895) on Saturdays and Sundays (9am to 4pm) for the duration of the StoryWalk® (except in inclement weather).
Families are encouraged to share a photo of the walk, a selfie at Noyes, and/or a photo of the completed craft on the Noyes Children’s Library Facebook page (facebook.com/MakeMoreNoyes), post to Facebook and tag the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation, or post to Instagram and tag @makemorenoyes.
Families can also tune into free weekly storytimes on Tuesdays at 11am presented by the Foundation on Facebook Live (facebook.com/MakeMoreNoyes). A previous storytime featured D.C. stage actor and Kensington mom Karen Vincent reading Cecily Cicada and can be found on the Foundation’s Facebook page.
While the Noyes Library for Young Children remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Noyes Foundation has been providing literacy outreach to the Greater D.C. community. The first Noyes StoryWalk® in January featured pages from The Mitten by Jan Brett in store windows in Kensington; a February StoryWalk® focused on The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and was installed at Warner Circle Park in Kensington; the StoryWalk® in March at Kensington’s Clum-Kennedy Park highlighted Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris; and an Earth Day-themed StoryWalk® in April shared Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall at Capitol View-Homewood Local Park in Kensington.