Kent Heights School celebrates ‘World Read Aloud Day’

Events feature award-winning local author Mora

Photos by Rich Dionne
Posted 2/6/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — Continuing its on-going effort of encouraging students to engage in literature, the administration at the Kent Heights Elementary School Wednesday, Feb. 5, hosted local author …

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Kent Heights School celebrates ‘World Read Aloud Day’

Events feature award-winning local author Mora

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Continuing its on-going effort of encouraging students to engage in literature, the administration at the Kent Heights Elementary School Wednesday, Feb. 5, hosted local author Oge Mora to participate in the building’s “World Read Aloud Day” commemoration.
Ms. Mora’s appearance at Kent Heights last week also served as part of the school’s February-long celebration of Black History Month.
A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Illustration who still resides in Providence, Ms. Mora’s most recent work is titled, “The Oldest Student.” The illustrated book centers on the aspirations of a former slave, who learned how to read at the age of 116.
According to the liner notes, “The Oldest Student” is based on the true story of Mary Walker, born into slavery in 1848. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read.
Ms. Mora, who is African American and a native of Columbus, Ohio, has written and illustrated two other noted books. Her first, “Thank You, Omu!,” earned a Caldecott Honor Award, Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award, Ezra Jack Keats Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book and Editors’ Choice Award. Her second book, “Saturday,” was also warmly reviewed, including a New York Public Library Best Books of 2019 nod as well as Parents Magazine 30 Best Kids’ of 2019 and Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2019 accolades.

— East Providence Post and eastbayri.com staff photographer Rich Dionne shot the accompanying gallery of photos.

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