Famed Children’s Author Dr. Patricia Polacco Speaking Oct. 10 in Birmingham

Local Hop Ad TOPdickeys top SUPERHEROFamed Children’s Author Dr. Judy_Palmer30yearsPatricia Polacco Speaking Oct. 10 in Birmingham

(Birmingham Education Foundation, Oct. 2, 2016)

BIRMINGHAM, MI – The Birmingham Education Foundation (BEF) announced that celebrated children’s book author and native Michigander, Dr. Patricia Polacco will be this year’s Author in Residence. As part of the annual BEF-sponsored program, Dr. Polacco will speak with all BPS elementary and middle school students and meet with the community for an evening event on Oct. 10.

Born in Lansing, Michigan to immigrant parents from Russia and Ireland, Dr. Polacco is one of the most highly sought-after K-12 lecturer and keynote speaker in the country. Her gift of storytelling, supported by her love of cultures and education, has been chronicled in the more royal_servicesthan 115 children books she has written and illustrated. Dr. Polacco has received countless awards and recognitions, which have included heads of state at both the White House and The Kremlin.

“We’re so thrilled to bring an author of Dr. Polacco’s caliber to the district and the community,” said Alison Hendry, executive director of the BEF. “She is an advocate for children and for the classroom teachers who dedicate their lives to teaching them. Dr. Polacco uses her voice to encourage students to reach out to each other and include those who are perceived to be ‘different.’ We hope that the community takes the opportunity to hear her important talk.”

In addition to speaking with students, Dr. Polacco welcomes interested community members to an evening event on Oct. 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Seaholm High School Auditorium. Dr. Polacco will be joined on stage by BCS teacher and 2015-16 Michigan Teacher of the Year, j and d adRick Joseph, for a conversation of her works and her inspirations. For his part, Joseph said that throughout his career, he’s been personally inspired by Dr. Polacco’s works.

“Dr. Polacco’s tireless dedication to children and as an international advocate for the rights of children has made her a personal hero of mine,” he said. “I’m so thankful that the BEF has brought her to our community as this year’s Author in Residence.”

Among Dr. Polacco’s most acclaimed books are Thank You, Mr. Falker, The Keeping Quilt and Junkyard Wonders, which touch on a wide variety of topics including bullying and understanding differences, learning disabilities, tradition and heritage, family relationships and more.

All are welcome to attend the Oct. 10 event, which is presented with support from the School Community Partnership, is free of charge, though a $10 donation is suggested. The event will daytrip_books_past_tensebe an extension of her student presentations. Students are welcome, though the discussion will be geared towards an adult audience.

Dr. Polacco will be visiting BPS schools the week of Oct. 10 – 14. For more information on her visit, please contact BEF Executive Director, Alison Hendry at bef@birmingham.k12.mi.us or 248-203-3030

More on Dr. Patricia Polacco:

Dr. Polacco is a frequent lecturer in universities around the worlds. She has studied in the U.S., U.K., France, Australia and Russia, where she established an art camp in Losovough. She is a member of the National First Amendment Rights Coalition and has fought tirelessly for this cause. She is also known as a champion of classroom teachers in our country, a cause sharpened by her association with Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut as a guest author and artist in residence. The tragic events at Sandy Hook had a profound effect on Dr. Polacco physically, mentally and spiritually. The initial shock of the tragedy caused Pledge_side_blueher to collapse, be hospitalized and undergo life-saving open heart surgery. The grief set her on a path of establishing a series of lectures designed to raise the awareness of the plight of our classroom teachers as well as encouraging students to accept and respect their peers, even those who are different than themselves. She also designed an anti bullying campaign that has earned her national recognition. She currently resides on her farm estate in Union City, Michigan. She has two grown children.


The BEF is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Birmingham Public Schools. The BEF makes events like the Authors in Residence program possible through generous contributions from the BPS community. For more information about the BEF or to make a donation, please visit SupportBEF.org.

Birmingham Public Schools is committed to excellence in education, consistently ranking among the highest achieving school districts in the state. With optimal class sizes, high academic standards, a comprehensive curriculum, expansive extracurricular menu and nurturing environment built on a foundation of Character Education, our students have an advantage. For more information about Birmingham Public Schools, visit

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