Graduate Admissions Blog

Bank Street’s Commitment to Literature

I was honored to be a part of this years admitted students day, also known as Discover Bank Street. It was just last year that I attended the first Discover Bank Street event and I was so happy to experience it again one year later. I participated on a panel of current students and alumni answering questions about what it means to be a Bank Street learner. We answered questions from the attendees and had a couple of follow-up blog posts with extra questions we didn’t have time to get to that day. If you missed it you can find them here: Part 1Part 2.

My favorite part of the day came when we split up into groups to experience a sample class. I tagged along to the class led by faculty member Mollie Welsh Kruger. Mollie had a huge selection of children’s picture books for us to read and discuss. I actually took the children’s literature course (Language, Literature, and Emergent Literacy) this semester so I was so thrilled to see all the books she brought. She gave us time to look through and read the books, and then we chose one we wanted to share and discuss with a partner. It was such a great selection of books, some I had heard of but most I hadn’t. I actually used one of the books I discovered that day as a read aloud for a job interview the following week!

Mollie also shared about Bank Street’s long history with children’s books (Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon was a Bank Street Writers Lab member) and introduced us to programs and resources I didn’t even know existed! Bank Street has a Center for Children’s Literature whose mission, according to their web page, is to “create, identify, and advocate for the highest quality literature for all children from infancy through adolescence.” They have a lot to offer from lists of great books to a couple different awards given each year.

The Irma Black award goes to an outstanding book for young children. This years recipient was just recently announced: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick). I’ve read it myself and I enjoyed it very much. The Cook Prize honors the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture book published for children aged eight to ten. This year’s winner is Galápagos George by Jean Craighead George (illustrated by Wendell Minor (Harper)).

Also a part of the Center for Children’s Literature is the Children’s Book Committee, which puts out a “Best Children’s Book of the Year” list annually. These are such great resources for finding and discovering wonderful children’s books. Since this sample class with Mollie, I have visited these web pages many times to find books for the classrooms I am working in and classes I am taking at Bank Street. You can find all these resources and more on Bank Street’s Center for Children’s Literature web page.