Island Readers & Writers offers wealth of programs

SOUTHWEST HARBOR –– Island Readers & Writers kicked off a new slate of free, book-centered virtual programs on April 19 with a pre-K story hour. Program Assistant Lisa Herrington earlier this week launched “Friends Over Books,” a six-week series of story time and hands-on activities, which meets online every Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Parents, caregivers and teachers of children ages 3-5 are invited to join in for the entire series or drop in. 

“The Art of the Picture Book” with Director of School Programs Alison Johnson begins its six-week series from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21. Teachers, educators, librarians and anyone interested in learning more about picture books are invited to join. Johnson will take participants through the complex elements of a picture book, from text to pictures and other hidden gems between a book’s covers. Join for all six or drop in.

Author-illustrator and diversity advocate Anne Sibley O’Brien will offer a professional development workshop, “Books as Bridges: Using Racially and Culturally Diverse Books in the Classroom.” She will provide an overview of research on how children develop the impact of diverse books, and strategies for identifying quality books and using them effectively. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and exploration of the challenges, solutions, booklists and resources to support teachers and librarians in applying this knowledge to their own libraries. 

O’Brien has published 38 children’s books and has been involved in antiracism and diversity education for more than 40 years. She is the co-founder of two Maine-based projects featuring diverse children’s literature: I’m Your Neighbor Books and the Diverse Book Finder.

“We are excited to offer these terrific programs to a broader audience of educators and book lovers of all ages through our revamped website,” said Island Readers & Writers’ Executive Director Jan Coates. 

Space is limited for all of the free virtual programs and pre-registration is required.

For more detailed info about each program and to register, visit or email [email protected]

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