English Festival celebrates 35 years - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

English Festival celebrates 35 years

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - An annual tradition at Youngstown State University is celebrating its 35th year of operation this week.

The YSU English Festival started on Thursday and will go on through Saturday. It will welcome 3,000 middle and high school students, and its 100,000th student participant.

The students and faculty involved discuss books, meet authors and participate in writing competitions. There is an awards ceremony after each day of the festival and on Friday's ceremony the 100,000th participant will be recognized.

According to a release, four honorary guests will speak at the event. They include:

Nikki Grimes - awarded the Coretta Scott King Author Award and Honor Book Award, Bank Street College Book of the Year award, a Horn Book Fanfare award, the Southern California Children's Book Association Golden Dolphin Award, and an NAACP Image Award.

Sharon Draper - named National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She was selected as Ohio's Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year and received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. She has been honored at the White House six times.

Chris Crowe - a professor of English at Brigham Young University in Utah, past president of ALAN, a recipient of the Ted Hipple Award for Service and the Jane Addams Honor Book Award.

Chris Crutcher - the author of 14 books, has taught school in two different states, was the director of an alternative school for 10 years, was a child and family therapist specializing in abuse and neglect for 25 years. The American Library Association named 8 of his young adult books the "Best Books for Young Adults" and four of his books appear on Booklist's Best 100 Books of the 20th Century.

Participants of this year's festival were also encouraged to bring in slightly used books for a book drive that will be sent to schools affected by Hurrican Sandy, as well as schools in the Phillipines.

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