‘Bookmarks’ inspires young students to read

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- It's not easy to get a group of 4th- and 5th-grade students to pay attention to a speaker. Unless, of course, that speaker is a gifted storyteller.

Joseph Bruchac has published more than 130 books, mostly written for children -- his favorite audience.

“They have such fresh ideas, they haven`t yet been overwhelmed by cultural ideas,” Bruchac said. “And they also are so important. They are the future.”

Bruchac is one of many authors who visited Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County students to get them excited about Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors.

“It brings the community together, it brings literature to so many people including people some who may otherwise have it, like the kids in this school,” Bruchac said.

This is the festival's 12th year-- the biggest in the Carolinas-- and Barry Miller with Bookmarks says it's always a huge success.

“We talk about ourselves being the city of innovation and arts, but we`re also the city of literary arts,” Miller said. “We have authors here, we have lots of readers here and we have the opportunity for people to grow and go to places they`ve never been before by reading and learning.”

The festival is a chance for readers both young and old to meet authors, ask questions and even see them in action with the goal of connecting them with books and authors, and hopefully, inspire them to keep reading.

“When you find the child the right book, you engage them in a way they can`t be engaged by the technology,” Miller said.

Bookmarks is a grant recipient of the Winston-Salem Community Foundation.