May-June 2017: Carrboro Elementary School was chosen as the location of the 2018 Steinfirst Artist-in-Residency. School librarian Liz Porter created a list of authors and illustrators she thought best related to her student population. UNC-SILS graduate student Melissa Ferens researched these candidates in terms of their experience and qualifications in working with children, their cultural fit for the Steinfirst program, and general feasibility concerns.
July: Melissa created a condensed list of her recommended artists. UNC-SILS staff and Liz selected Meg Medina based on her skills in working with children, her advocacy work for youth, and the suitability of her books for Carrboro Elementary’s curriculum.
August: Melissa reached out to Meg Medina and Meg expressed strong enthusiasm for the program. Liz met with Kathryn Cole (the librarian at Northside Elementary, which hosted the 2017 Artist-in-Residency) to discuss the selection of students and possible preparations for pre-residency group meetings with the students. UNC-SILS staff and Liz met to discuss scheduling the residency, which of Meg’s books to work with prior to her visit and to purchase for the students, and what steps needed to be taken next. The week of the residency was chosen.
September: UNC-SILS staff and Liz met to discuss plans for the residency and school assemblies. They agreed on the services to request from the author, and contracts were drawn up.
October: The contract for the author was signed. Independent, locally-owned bookseller Flyleaf Books expressed interest in providing books for the post-lecture signing session, and they communicated with Melissa to determine which titles to offer and in what quantities.
November: Liz created a list of preferred books to order for Carrboro Elementary and the residency students and she began collaboration with Meg Medina.
December: Meg and Liz planned the activities for the residency curriculum.
January 2018: The books for Carrboro Elementary and the residency students were ordered. The ArtsCenter was booked as the location for the Steinfirst Lecture on the basis of its facilities, proximity to Carrboro Elementary, advertising channels, and commitment to inspiring artistic creativity in the community.
February: UNC-SILS staff and Liz met to confirm the schedule for the week of the residency and discuss plans for the residency curriculum and preparations for Meg’s visit. The list of residency students was approved by the school. Students began meeting weekly with Liz and Melissa to prepare for the residency. Advertising for the community lecture began.
March: The weekly meetings with the residency students and advertising for the community lecture continued. Whole school preparations for Meg’s visit began: creating a bulletin board and planning theatrical read-alouds of one of Meg’s books. Please see this page for more information about the students’ preparation.
April: The week before the residency, students in grades 1-5 participated in theatrical read-alouds of Mango, Abuela, and Me. Kindergarten read it during their regular library visit. K-5 students made pictures and posters with welcome messages for Meg, which Liz and Melissa posted inside the entrance to the school and outside the library. Teachers received copies of Meg’s books for their class libraries. The final preparation meeting with the residency students took place. April 8-13 was the week of the community lecture and residency. Please see this page for information about the students’ experience. Fourth grade dual language classes did an author study on Meg Medina while the residency students were working with her and Liz in the library. Following the residency, K-5 students received bookmarks with designs that featured Meg’s books.