Thursday, September 6, 2007

J.K. Rowling Book Tour

Exciting News!


Our school was one of 40 New York City Public Schools chosen to attend J.K. Rowling's U.S. Book Tour at Carnegie Hall on October 19th. Our principal Rebecca went to a press conference yesterday where the names of each school was announced. Each principal was given a sorting hat (which I have not seen yet but was told is beautiful) to use in selecting the 40 children from their school who will attend the event.

As a Potter fan I am obviously very excited about this and am throwing my own name into the sorting hat. After all, the students need to be accompanied by adults on this outing. At the moment I am not sure how teachers will be selected but I will definitely write more on this topic in later posts. If I am chosen it will be with great excitement and if I am not it will be with bitter resentment.

At any rate I am proud that our school was selected. I do not think we were actually chosen because of our test scores but rather because of our outlook on education and the fact that we provide a welcoming, nurturing, caring environment in addition to a quality education. We are also unique in that we are the only dual language school to utilize American Sign Language and English in our classrooms.

I look forward with great anticipation to our students reactions to this news. Below is a copy of the press release as posted on MuggleNet.

Press Release:


1,600 Lucky New York City Public School Students will Join Rowling at Carnegie Hall for Special Reading, Q&A and Book Signing.

Scholastic To Donate 5,000 Copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to New York City School children Ready to Begin Their Hogwarts Journey New York, NY – (September 5, 2007)

Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, and U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter series, today announced the 40 New York City public schools that will participate in the “J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour,” where Ms. Rowling will read from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, answer questions about the entire series, and sign a book for every student.

New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Scholastic Chairman, President and CEO Richard Robinson handed out 40 Sorting Hats to representatives from participating schools (listed below) to help each select 40 lucky third through twelfth graders who will attend the event at Carnegie Hall on October 19th.

The NYC DOE selected public elementary and middle schools that showed the greatest gains on the statewide literacy test in each borough (from years 2005-06 to 2006-07), and the rest were schools showing the greatest gains citywide. Public high schools that were selected were those that showed the greatest gains in the state English Regents’ test for each borough (from years 2004-05 to 2005-06), then the greatest gains citywide.

Scholastic also announced that the Company will be donating 5,000 copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in J.K. Rowling’s series, to New York City public schools for students who have not yet read the books and are now ready to begin their Hogwarts journey.

“The Open Book Tour is a chance for Ms. Rowling to spend time with some very important people—the kids who love Harry Potter,” said Richard Robinson. “Scholastic is passionate about putting books into the hands of children, and with this gift of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone we are honored to introduce a new generation to the series that created millions of young, enthusiastic readers.”

“The love of reading has changed the lives of countless children,” said Chancellor Klein. “But it doesn’t always come naturally; it often takes a lot of effort. Our students have worked hard to build their reading skills during the past few years. We are proud to partner with Scholastic and the amazing Ms. Rowling to reward our students’ efforts and encourage their continued success.”

New York City Public Schools Participating in J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour -

Edward Bush School - Brooklyn

Teunis G. Bergen School - Brooklyn

Weeksville School - Brooklyn

Pacific School - Brooklyn

The Upper Carroll School - Brooklyn

Acorn High School for Social Justice - Brooklyn

Acorn Community High School - Brooklyn

Enterprise, Business and Technology High School - Brooklyn

Brooklyn Academy High School - Brooklyn

Progress High School - Brooklyn

The Sidney Silverstein, Little Sparrow School – Bronx

Jonas Bronck Academy – Bronx

New Millennium Business Academy – Bronx

J.H. 080 The Mosholu Parkway – Bronx

New School for Arts and Science – Bronx

Academy for Careers in Sports – Bronx

The Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music – Bronx

Monroe Academy for Visual Arts – Bronx

P.S. 347 American Sign Language & English Lower School – Manhattan (YIPPEE!)

East Village Community School – Manhattan

The Lillian Weber School – Manhattan

School for Academic and Athletic Excellence – Manhattan

Technology, Arts and Sciences Studio – Manhattan

University Neighborhood Middle School – Manhattan

West Side Collaborative – Manhattan

Clinton School for Writers and Artists – Manhattan

Dual Language Middle School – Manhattan

Leadership/Public Service High School – Manhattan

Legacy School for Integrated Studies – Manhattan

Landmark High School – Manhattan

The Robert F. Wagner Jr. School – Queens

Parsons School – Queens

Springfield Gardens School – Queens

I.S. 237 – Queens

Daniel Carter Beard School – Queens

High School for Arts and Business – Queens

Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College – Queens

Huguenot School – Staten Island

Anning S. Prall School – Staten Island

Concord High School – Staten Island

J.K. Rowling will appear in two other events for school children: in Los Angeles at the Kodak Theater on Monday, October 15th and in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Auditorium at the Convention Center on Thursday, October 18th. (Please note there are no public tickets available for these school events.)

Scholastic will announce the participating schools in Los Angeles during a press conference on Monday, September 10th. Participating schools in New Orleans will be announced at a press conference on Wednesday, September 12th. The final event of the “J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour” will be held on the evening of October 19, 2007 in New York City. One thousand lucky fans are being selected from sweepstakes entries to receive a pair of tickets to the J.K. Rowling event at Carnegie Hall on Friday, October 19 at 7 p.m. (Please note: the sweepstakes closed August 31, 2007.)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, released on July 21, 2007, had an unprecedented first printing of 12 million copies, followed by another record-breaker: 8.3 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were sold in the first 24 hours. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling’s sixth Harry Potter book, was released on July 16, 2005, with a first printing of 10.8 million copies. At the time, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was the fastest-selling book in history, selling 6.9 million copies in the first 24 hours. All six Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince have been number one bestsellers in the United States, the U.K., and around the world. The American editions of the Harry Potter books are published under Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine imprint.


Dan said...

That's terrific news Gary. I hope you can take your camera in and get some nice photos ... and blog about it of course!


ciara said...

that's so cool! hope you are one of the teachers picked! good luck :)

lettuce said...

Gary + bitter resentment.

Yeah, right!

Congrats, thats such great news. Everything crossed that your name is picked.
I'm hoping to take LG to a Garth Nix signing next weekend - have you come across his books?

i loved your wick post.

la bellina mammina said...

Gary! That's cool!

Reya Mellicker said...

My neighbor interviewed Rowling many years ago, before Harry became such a phenomena. She said Ms. Rowling is awesome!

So looking forward to the report. Very cool!!

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

How cool is that! Congratulations. handsome one.

Florecita said...

I got this in my inbox and thought of you, and now with this wonderful news!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!


"An understanding heart is everything in a teacher… One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child."

-Carl G. Jung (1875-1961)

Junk Thief said...

Woo hoo! Your kids will remember you for years to come as their favorite teacher for sure now.

Joy said...

Harry who now???


WAT said...

Congrats on the honor!

Now if only I could have just a bit of JK Rowling's fortune...

MONA said...

wow! what a wonderful News YAYYY!!.Do Take some photos & post them!

Hope that you & the rest have a wonderful time :)

Dumdad said...


My son will be mighty envious. Not me, of course, as . . . I'm lying.

I'm sure it'll be a great day.

Gary said...

Hi - Thanks y'all for the great support and for sending out good vibes so I will get to attend this event. I will keep you updated on this as it unfolds.

Florecita - So funny that you should send along that quote. I acutually used it as a stand alone post I called 'An Understanding Heart'. It is a good one, I agree.

Lynda said...

Hi Gary,

You forgot to tell me about the "Harry Potter Book Tour!"

That's awesome-hope you are able to attend. What an honor for your school!


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