By Valory Schoenecker/Murphy News Service
February is “I Love to Read Month,” so the Seven Dreams Education Foundation(SDEF) sees it as a good time to tie books to education to raise money through its second Bird Bash fundraiser.
The event, this Saturday, Feb. 21 at 5 p.m., will raise money to support education throughout the Robbinsdale area school district. SDEF’s goal is to raise more than $35,000. The proceeds of this year’s event will go to a program called Engineering is Elementary — which will bring in a Science Museum of Minnesota staff member to help engage fifth graders in learning about engineering and problem solving.
The foundation also plans to expand the program’s outreach to fourth graders in the Robbinsdale school district.
Donations to SDEF have gone to collecting and repairing instruments for students, funding the orchestra concert series for third graders and giving grants to staff members. Last year’s Bird Bash event raised more than $27,000 as nearly 300 people attended.
“I think it’s important to support the community you live in whether you have kids in it or not,” Robin Chambers, a member of the planning committee, said. “To support kids in the Robbinsdale area schools is to support future leadership.”
An important aspect of Bird Bash is the silent and live auctions, where members of the community can bid on different items, many of them relating to the work of Minnesota authors.
Minnesota authors will donate signed copies of their work. Two authors, Bridget Hoolihan Budig and William Kent Krueger, author of “Ordinary Grace” and the Cork O’ Connor series, will donate an hour and a half of their time to answer questions and lead a conversation during a book club hosted by the winning bidder.
Budig, author of “My World is Over,” a novel written from an eighth grader’s point of view, said because of the digital world in which we live today, many people have turned away from reading books and youngsters perhaps never pick up the habit.
“As we move into this this technological age, we do need to keep up some of those basic reading skills. Not just reading online,” Budig said. “If you can get those books into student’s hands, that’s the target audience.”
Budig’s novel is fast-paced and geared toward entertaining young adults who have been turned off by reading. She stresses that reading is an important way to learn. There’s only so much a student can gain from lectures, eventually they have to pick up a book and learn on their own terms.
The Seven Dreams Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit 501 (c)(3) education foundation created by Robbinsdale community members, parents and education professionals.
The “Seven” in its name stands for the seven communities in the school district including: Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.
Contributing authors to the 2015 Bird Bash event include:
Louise Erdrich – National Book Award Winner 2012
William Kent Kruger – NY Times best selling author and Edgar Award winner
Kate DiCamillo – Children’s author who is a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
Julie Kramer – Minnesota award-winning mystery author
Bridget Hoolihan Budig – Young adult genre author
David Breeden – Accomplished poet
John Coy – Picture book and young adult genre author
Mary Logue – Mystery author and poet
Glenn Ickler – Mystery author
Barbara Keith – Mosaic book author
David LaRochelle – Children’s book author
Amanda Paa – Culinary author
Reporter Valory Schoenecker is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota.
IF YOU GO:
When: Saturday, Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.
Where: Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park
7025 Northland Drive North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
Tickets: Individual tickets are $50, groups of 10 can purchase a table for $450