2017 Residency Program

Charles R. Smith Jr. , award-winning and best selling children’s author, photographer, and poet was selected as the 2017 Artist-in-Residence. He will spend a week at Northside Elementary School in Orange County, North Carolina. Smith is the author of many critically acclaimed titles including Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration title My People, Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award title Twelve Rounds to Glory, 28 Days, and Brick by Brick, among others.

UNC SILS and Northside Elementary were thrilled to welcome Smith and eagerly anticipated the second year in this exciting project.

During his week at UNC SILS and Northside Elementary, Charles worked with a selected number of students in grades 4-5 and taught a planned program called “I am Me.” Students created written works describing themselves and their identities.  Additionally, Charles gave two school presentations at Northside Elementary: one to students in grades K-2 and one to students in grades 3-5. In this way, besides the students working with Charles on “I am Me,” all students in the school engaged with the author in some way.

Following his presentations, these little notes were left around the library:

Charles also spent some time meeting with UNC SILS youth services students discussing his work.

UNC SILS worked with Northside Elementary School and their librarian, Kathryn Cole, beforehand to bring Charles R. Smith’s books to the students in the program, all students in the school, and the library. Sandra Hughes-Hassell, professor, and Glenna Matteson, graduate student, also worked with Kathryn Cole and the students in the program beforehand to prepare them for Charles’ visit.

The “I Am” poems that the students created can be viewed by clicking this link or by clicking on the “‘I Am’ Poems” tab in the dropdown menus. This compilation was created by Kathryn Cole.

Follow along with the students’ preparations, experiences, and ongoing Writers Community at #CRSjrWriters