College of Education / University Library

Youth Literature Festival

School Visits

School visits are a huge part of the Youth Literature Festival. These visits reach thousands of children in area schools and form a unique aspect of the Festival that is particularly important to our community.

Author Keiko Kasza at a school visit

Festival organizers have scheduled more than 70 author visits at schools in and around Champaign-Urbana. School visits provide opportunities for children of all ages to interact with authors and ask questions about their books and about the writing process. Preparation for author visits begins months in advance, with teachers creating curriculum incorporating the books written by the author scheduled to visit their school. Activities at the schools include assemblies, book discussions, readings, and writing workshops.

Girl holding signs saying Super Reader and I Love Books

Growth in Youth Literature Festival impact:

16 authors21 authors23 authors
55 school visits70 school visits90 school visits
10,000 students14,000 students19,245 students

More than half of the school children in Illinois now qualify as low-income students, and many of the schools participating in the Festival have as high as 99 percent low-income student populations.

Making literature accessible to all is a driving motivation behind the Festival. By bringing the authors to schools, we give entire student populations the opportunity to meet popular authors and share in their love of literature, which is inspiring for everyone involved.

Children's artwork inspired by YLF

NEW TO THE FESTIVAL: Students' work Display

During the 2019 Youth Literature Festival, school will select up to 5 students’ work to be displayed in the authors’ room at the I Hotel during the Community Day Celebration, on March 30th.

By student's work we mean any material that students create in response to their engagement with the author’s book assigned to their school (e.g., artwork, poem, drawing, or stories inspired by the authors’ book).

These five students selected to represent the school from our community are encouraged to attend the authors’ session during the community day to briefly talk about their work and to receive a certificate recognizing their work.

We are looking forward to seeing the amazing things our school are creating and sharing with their students.

We invite you, community members, to be part of this great event and help us to connect youth with the wonderful world of books.