Organization Highlight: Island Readers & Writers

child reading

Book centered programming to bring voice and self esteem to literacy

An Interview with Taylor Mace, Community Engagement Coordinator for Island Readers & Writers (IRW)

Where in Maine can people engage with Island Readers and Writers and who are your resources for?

IRW brings book-centered programs to children living on Maine's coastal and outer islands and in Washington County.  We have resources for students, families and educators.

What topics do your resources cover?

IRW offers book-centered programs in writing, art, science and natural history.

irw child

What kind of resources do you offer to Maine students?

IRW's core program is its book and author program, which brings children's book authors and illustrators together with children where they live. IRW also provides professional development opportunities to educators and librarians, and offers community-wide programs and events.

What educational opportunities will you be offering for the upcoming school year?

This fall, IRW will bring two-time Caldecott Medal-winning author/illustrator to three outer-island schools with a program around her picture book "Hello Lighthouse," among many other book-centered school programs to our partner schools. We will continue to offer an array of community programs.

IRW will offer community programs throughout the year, including book talks with authors and illustrators, professional development for librarians and educators, pre-K story time, workshops on picture books and other book-related topics. Currently, our community programs remain virtual and IRW will offer in-person programs once safe to do so.

How has COVID-19 changed the way you reach your audience?

Since the fall of 2020, IRW has been able to offer its school programs virtually, with children's book authors and illustrators joining our partner schools over Zoom or Google classroom. Virtual programs mean that IRW can bring authors and illustrators together with children no matter their geography, but it has also meant that children do not receive the in-person connection with the author or illustrator.

We miss seeing the children's smiling faces during an art workshop and witnessing the interaction and excitement with their peers and the author/ illustrator in person. The pandemic inspired us to expand our community programs and offer our resources to a wider virtual audience.

child reading

What do you wish more people knew about your organization and the work you do?

We wish everyone could see how impactful a book-centered program and an author/ illustrator visit can have on a child, their self esteem and self expression.

We wish everyone could hear the numerous stories teachers share with us about students finding their voices after an author visit; how a budding artist is encouraged to pursue their passion following illustrator feedback; and hear from a child who has never liked reading, but couldn't put a book down through participating in an IRW program.

How has CL4ME helped Island Readers & Writers?

Community Learning for Maine has supported IRW in sharing our programs and resources with a wider audience throughout Maine.

Current Island Readers & Writers Resources

Click on resources to see the date and time.  Duplicates indicate multiple dates and times available!