A Virtual Field Trip with Local Author
The book cover for Hammering for Freedom
Local author Rita L. Hubbard with her book
This pandemic has changed a little bit of how we do things here at Southern Lit Alliance--and our programming is no exception. In the past, we've offered an opportunity called Theater Express!, a free field trip for Hamilton County fourth-graders to see a play based on a classic or children's book. This was funded as part of ArtsBuild's Imagine program which shares different art forms each year to elementary schools. However, the ongoing pandemic has forced us to adapt and evolve our programming and opportunities offered to the community--which is why, instead of in person field trips, ArtsBuild funded the creation of videos for virtual field trips instead. We've put together two educational, fun, local experiences for kids to develop a new appreciation of the written word.
The first video, shown below, is an interview with local author Rita L. Hubbard. In this video, she discusses the joys of reading and writing; she also explains how she comes up with the stories that she writes and the steps in writing from idea to finished project. Rita shares one of her books, Hammering for Freedom, which tells the story of blacksmith William Bill Lewis, a slave who slowly saved his money and bought freedom for himself and, eventually, many of his family members. This video is meant to get kids interested in the book and in reading and writing in general. To further promote the book and literacy, 210 copies of Hammering for Freedom will be sent to all fourth grade language arts classes in Hamilton County. Her latest, The Oldest Student, about how former slave Mary Walker learned to read at the age of 116, is also mentioned. Rita will be speaking at a virtual South Bound lecture on March 18 about the history of African Americans in Chattanooga.
The second video aims to teach kids about how books are made from Gutenburg's press to modern printing. Greg Carpenter of Letterpress Services shares the old process of metal letters and the letterpress. Then John Starkey, owner of Starkey Printing, takes us for a behind the scenes look at how full color pages are separated for printing, and how books, magazines, and other materials are trimmed, stacked, and bound. Lesson plans will be included for kids to print their own art or letters using potatoes.
We hope you and your kids both enjoy these fun new offerings from Southern Lit Alliance and ArtsBuild!