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2009.02.11 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO Literacy Program Welcomes Noted Illustrator, Author in March

Omaha - Brian Pinkney, an award-winning children's book author and illustrator, will deliver a motivational presentation based on his books as part of the Omaha Family Literacy Partnership, March 5-7.

Pinkney’s appearances at three community events, two Omaha schools and two Council Bluffs schools next month are all part of the Del and Lou Ann Weber Lecture Series, sponsored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Education, the Iowa West Foundation and Scholastic Literacy Partners.

Pinkney, who lives in New York, has won two Caldecott Honor Awards for his books The Faithful Friend and Duke Ellington; received the prestigious Coretta Scott King Award for his illustrations in the book In the Time of the Drums; and was presented with three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards for his illustrations in African American literature.

“Brian Pinkney’s visit to our community will provide us with a fabulous opportunity to hear from a highly acclaimed artist and author of children’s books,” said M. Susan McWilliams, event organizer and College of Education assistant professor. “His illustrations bring an authentic and unique context to stories that provoke insight and imagination.”

The three presentations, as follows, will feature storytelling, as well as an interactive rhythm activity. They are free and open to the public.

• Thursday, March 5: 4:30 p.m. at the Thompson Alumni Center at UNO, 6705 Dodge St.

• Saturday, March 7: 11 a.m. at the Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave.

• Saturday, March 7: 1 p.m. at Loves Jazz and Arts Center, 2510 N. 24th St.

Pinkney will visit four area schools as follows.

• Thursday, March 5: 9 a.m. at Edison Elementary School, 2218 3rd Ave. (Council Bluffs)

• Thursday, March 5: 10:30 a.m. at Rue Elementary School, 3326 6th Ave. (Council Bluffs)

• Friday, March 6: 9:30 a.m. at Minne Lusa Elementary School, 2728 Ida St. (Omaha)

• Friday, March 6: 1 p.m. at Hartman Elementary School, 5530 N. 66th St. (Omaha)

While in Omaha, Pinkney will also serve as keynote speaker for the Omaha Association for the Education of Young Children Kaleidoscope Conference. The event is 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 7 at Burke High School in Omaha. Call (402) 541-4718 for more information.

Visit www.brianpinkney.net for more information on Pinkney.

For more information on the Omaha Family Literacy Partnership, visit http://coe.unomaha.edu/oflp

The Omaha Family Literacy Partnership recognizes the power of building a culture of literacy as a simple, yet very successful, community effort to boost early childhood growth and development. A community culture of literacy supports young children in their journeys toward literacy learning. Author and illustrator events are designed to promote reading among families of young children in the Omaha metropolitan region.

Community partners who share the vision of building a culture of literacy for young people in our community include the Omaha Public Library, Henry Doorly Zoo, El Museo Latino, Omaha Public Schools, Omaha Children’s Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, The Durham Museum, Council Bluffs Public Library, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, Loves Jazz and Arts Center, and Midlands Literacy Center.

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UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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