Children’s author and illustrator, Bethany Barton, recently visited KIPP Corazón Academy through the A to KLA program, which provides KIPP LA students with rich learning experiences by exposing them to professional authors and giving them a book to take home. Read on for more details.
History of the A to KLA Program
Since 2015, the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in Redondo Beach has partnered with KIPP LA Schools through the A to KLA program in order to further KIPP LA’s mission of providing excellent educational opportunities to their students.
The goal of the program is to have four published authors visit KIPP LA schools each year whose stories connect to the KIPP classroom curricula. Each student who attends the program receives a book by the author, and up to 15 copies of the author’s book are donated to the schools’ libraries. Terry Gilman, founder of the A to KLA program and owner of the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, loves being able to provide this unique experience to KIPP LA students and expose them to new authors because she, of course, loves books and is “hoping to stimulate another generation of readers and book lovers. I love the fact that every child can go home with a book, start their own library, and possibly be inspired to write a book of their own.”
Bringing Books to Life
In the past years, authors Sharon Robinson, Gregory Mone, Steve Moore, Sylvia Mendoza, and most recently, award-winner Bethany Barton, have appeared at one of KIPP LA’s fifteen public schools.
Ms. Barton performed a fun, interactive reading of her latest book, Give Bees a Chance, with the help of KIPP Corazón Academy's school leader, Colleen Kennedy. Ms. Barton explains that she enjoys writing about topics that often scare children “because I think it’s really empowering to examine the thing that you’re afraid of and then it becomes less scary. I think there can be a lot of fear in being a child, but also a lot of curiosity, so if you can conquer the fear with the curiosity then that’s the greatest thing.”
The students of KIPP Corazón shared their “bee stories” and high fives with Ms. Barton after the event. She enjoys connecting with her young audiences both personally and through her books. “There’s this fear of isolation or of not being understood and when [children] can get inside a book, they can get inside someone else’s viewpoint and can recognize that other people feel this way. And that’s so important for kids.”
To support programs like A to KLA visit kippla.org/give and stay tuned for upcoming events in 2018!