Friday, February 20, 2015

Teachers spend afternoon with author Joy Cowley

If you have ever undertaken the important task of teaching children to read, you know it can come as a challenge for some students. Renowned children’s author Joy Cowley faced this realization when one of her own sons had difficulty learning to read. Cowley began writing stories for her son and children with similar difficulties.
Teachers and Joy Cowley On a recent afternoon, a select number of San Diego Unified TK-2 teachers attended an inspirational event that not only included an opportunity to hear Cowley speak, but also a chance to meet, talk to, and take pictures with an author who has touched the lives of children around the globe. Many San Diego Unified students have learned to read using Joy Cowley’s endearing books.

Cowley spoke to the group about the importance of focusing on joyful reading. She reminded the group that as early learning teachers, they have two jobs. First, they need to teach children to read – to crack the code, to know how books and print work. And while this work is important, she highlighted an even more pressing goal – the need to teach children to become readers and to make reading an important and valued part of their lives.

Cowley has a unique approach to writing children’s books. She believes that children need to see themselves and their own culture in the stories they read. She publishes books with real stories, iconic characters, plot lines with twists and surprises, and language that children play over and over in their heads.

Now, after having written more than 600 children’s fiction, novels and short stories, Cowley travels around the world attending conferences, running writing workshops and visiting schools. Cowley still enjoys contact with children, and states that being surrounded by children keeps her grounded.

“The day I’m no longer in touch with young people, is the day I stop writing for them because the energy flows from them and goes back to them,” Cowley says.

The event was organized in conjunction with Raymond and Christine Yuen from the Hameray Publishing Group. For more information about the event, contact Donna Marriott at