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William Allen White Awards Celebration

Slideshow Icon WAW 2016 Click on the blue link to view the slide show.

Author autographs bookOn Saturday, October 1st, Haylea Bethell, Brianna Huffman, Jorjia Kitselman, and Mimi Williams participated in the activities at Emporia State Memorial Union for the William Allen White Awards Celebration. The students went to the Book Store where they purchased books by the winning authors. Activities were set up in the Ballroom of the Memorial Union for the students to experience. The students made books marks, then went to the room where Kahoot was set up. Questions from each of the books on last year’s list were asked and students used iPads or cell phones to enter their answer. The machine kept track of the students with the highest scores. The students enjoyed watching ESU theater students perform skits that they wrote from the two winning books. The actors and students played a game of Zap after the performance.

The students wrote a poem then assistants typed up the poem and had the participants sign their names. All the poems will be made into a book and each school that had students who wrote poems will receive a copy of the book. The students had to wait in line to have Chris Grabenstein, the author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Sharon Creech, author of The Boy on the Porch autograph their books.  Before the students joined the celebration of reading by parading around camps, they formed two lines for the ESU Football team and coaches to walk down so students could give the team high fives. The Emporia High School band lead the parade through campus. The authors rode in a golf cart followed by all the students and their sponsors through the campus. The students then went back to the Memorial Union where winners received their winning plaques. Sharon Creech shared what inspired her to write the winning book, The Boy on the Porch. Chris Grabenstein shared the saying, “The more something is fun, the more of it gets done,” which was one of his mother’s favorite saying. Ask one of the students that attended the celebration to tell you an example he gave while cleaning his room with his brother. He went on to say, " So by making reading fun, I think it will encourage kids to keep on reading. "He also told about some of the characters in his books.


“The William Allen White Festival was really fun. I liked watching the plays. Actors acted out the award winning books. I liked Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library play better because they made a big board game and called on people to play the game with the actors. My favorite part was giving the football players a ‘high five’ and then walking in the parade. I had lot of fun.”  wrote Haylea.

Jorjia wrote, ”The William Allen White festival was fun. We met the authors of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library  and The Boy on the Porch. My favorite part of the day was writing poems. We wrote poems about whatever kind of tree we wanted. I chose to write a poem about a dessert tree. Haylea chose to write a poem about a teleportation tree. Brianna chose to write a poem about a river tree. Mimi chose to write a poem about a chicken tree. The poems will be put into a book and sent to the school. The WAW festival is always fun. You should go there sometime.”


“I loved seeing Chris Grabenstein give his speech. It was funny. I hope that he writes more Mr. Lemoncello’s Library books. They’re just so good. The band was great. It was fun getting to see all the football players, the band, and the cheerleaders. I hope the kids next year will love listening to the winning authors,” Brianna wrote.

Mimi shared,  “ My favorite thing was the poem writing. I wrote a poem about a chicken tree. When I was done with it, I took it to a guy who typed it for me. When he was done, I took my poem to a computer where I wrote my name on the screen. Then the computer saved my poem to the memory. Now every single poem everybody wrote including all the other people who wrote a poem is going to be in a big book of poems. The book is going to be sent to all the schools of people who wrote a poem. I also liked the parade where two bands played before we all marched in a line around the place. It took a lloooonnngg time.” 

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