Starting in 1997, Authors and Illustrators is one of the unique philanthropies that Assistance League of Glendale offers to the children of Glendale. The program pays for three to five local children’s authors and/or illustrators (depending on the size of the school) to visit classrooms and talk to the students about what it is like to be an author/illustrator, where they get their ideas and often the presenter starts to write a story with the students. The program rotates through all the elementary schools following a schedule set at the onset of the program. Depending on funding, Authors and Illustrators visit three to five schools a year. Before the authors/illustrators arrive, the children have heard their stories in their library time or in the classroom so they are ready to meet the “celebrities.”
The program stimulates literacy, creativity and learning about the writing process. Each author/illustrator is matched with an Assistance League page who helps get the presenter to the classroom on time, introduces the author/illustrator and talks to the students briefly about Assistance League. The authors and illustrators usually make four presentations each in classrooms. At the end of the day a book sale is held for students to purchase books at a reduced price (this is not a fundraiser for Assistance League) and have the books signed by the author/illustrator. The book sale usually is from about 2:30 – 3:30 pm, depending upon the school’s hours. Assistance League donates $1,500 to purchase school library books as well as give the school copies of any books by the authors and illustrators visiting that day that are not already in their library.
By May, 2015, Assistance League will have made presentations of Authors and Illustrators Day to 77 elementary schools in Glendale with a cost of roughly $385,000.