A head shot of Alexander

Author to Give Slam-Dunking Poetry Presentation in West Des Moines

Alexander_Headshot2Just in time for the NCAA March Madness Final Four games, the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) will host Kwame Alexander, author of the “The Crossover,” a novel about a teenage basketball player. Alexander will give a public reading and sign copies of his novel-in-verse at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 at the Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave. in West Des Moines. This event is free and open to the public.

Alexander will also meet with West Des Moines Community Schools students from across the district on Friday, April 1.

Alexander is a poet, educator, and author of 21 books, including “The Crossover,” which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, and many other awards.

His other works include the award-winning children’s picture book “Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band,” recently optioned as a children’s television show, and the Junior Library Selection, “He Said She Said,” a YA novel.

wdmcs_reads_crossover_book_coverIn “The Crossover,” Alexander uses basketball as a hook to get young readers to read poetry. He believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his Book-in-a-Day literacy program, which has created more than 3,000 student authors at 69 schools across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. A regular speaker and workshop presenter at conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love.

“The Crossover” is the inaugural selection of WDMCS Reads, a community reading program sponsored by the West Des Moines Community Schools. WDMCS Reads celebrates the “community” in the school district’s name by inviting the students and residents of West Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale and Windsor Heights to read and discuss the same book.

To learn more about WDMCS Reads and explore community-building ideas related to the program, visit www.wdmcs.org/wdmcs-reads/.

To learn more about Kwame Alexander, visit KwameAlexander.com.

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