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Newbery Award Winning author Matt de la Peña To Visit Framingham Middle and High Schools on November 2nd

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Rochelle Santos
Media & Communications Manager
Framingham Public Schools


Newbery Award Winning author Matt de la Peña To Visit Framingham Middle and High Schools on November 2nd

October 25, 2018 (Framingham, MA) - Framingham Public Schools is pleased to announce that Newbery Medal recipient Matt de la Peña will visit Cameron, Fuller, and Walsh Middle Schools, as well as Framingham High School on November 2, 2018. His visit will include four separate presentations that will focus on his transition from a reluctant reader to award winning author.

The works of de la Peña span readership from pre-schoolers to high schoolers and they lend a unique voice to the world of children’s literature - offering stories of children and teens caught between worlds: between two cultures, between the world of adults and the world of children. He tells stories that assure readers that although life brings challenge, hope remains. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity that began organically with our secondary school librarians,” said Joseph Corazzini, Assistant Superintendent for Equity, Diversity, and Community Development. “They had the beautiful idea of creating a bridge for students to the fictional world. Our hope is that Matt’s visit sparks a passionate curiosity that drives students to read more and create more. We believe that there is an artist within all of our students looking to break out. Hopefully this will inspire them to deeply explore their own creativity.” 

Many Framingham High School students are fans of Matt de la Peña’s work and are looking forward to his visit and presentation. "I like Matt de la Peña's writing because it really explains to us how it feels to be new in a place, and it shows us that we are not alone," said FHS Junior, Vitoria Reis.

When asked about Matt de la Peña’s writing, Raul Reis also in the Class of 2020 said it, “... represents what a lot of teenagers go through. It shows that we all are capable to get through it, and that we should never let anyone or anything put us down.”

Matt de la Peña’s visit is generously sponsored by the following school and community partners: Middlesex Savings Bank; the Framingham High School Foundation; and the Cameron, Fuller, and Walsh Middle School PTOs. Framingham State University has assisted in coordinating the visit in conjunction with de la Peña’s Wendall Burns Memorial Lecture at the Swiacki Children’s Literature Festival on November 1st.

“Middlesex Savings Bank is pleased to support this initiative, which connects Framingham students to an accomplished and inspirational figure,” said Dana Neshe, Executive Vice President of Middlesex Savings Bank. “We hope the visit by Matt de la Peña ignites curiosity and confidence among the students. Kudos to the school staff and administration for making this happen.”

The FSU Whittemore Library and the Framingham Public Library worked to support a rejuvenated summer reading initiative focused on de la Peña’s works by offering print, electronic, and audiobooks for student checkout. Framingham State also recently sponsored a contest for middle school students throughout the city. Students were challenged to submit their reflections on how they relate to a character or theme from one of Matt de la Peña’s novels. The three winners were recently announced:

  • Megan Lee, 7th grade student at Cameron Middle School
  • Molly Bronner, 8th grade student at Walsh Middle School
  • Kayley Nicole Romero Garcia, 8th grade student at Walsh Middle School

The essay contest winners were each awarded a seat at the Swiacki Dinner that takes place on November 1st.

About Matt de la Peña
Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of six young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and The Living) and four picture books (including Love and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country. 

About the Framingham Public Schools
The mission of the Framingham Public Schools is to educate each student to learn and live productively as a critically-thinking, responsible citizen in a multicultural, democratic society by providing academically challenging instructional programs taught by highly-qualified staff and supported by comprehensive services in partnership with our entire community. For news, updates, and announcements, follow Framingham Public Schools (@FraminghamPS) on Facebook, Twitter, and (@Framinghamschools) on Instagram. You can also join the conversation using #FraminghamSchools.

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