Javaka Steptoe Conducts Youth EDUCATION Workshop for Students
10/11/2017, noon | Updated on 10/11/2017, noon
Javaka Steptoe conducts Youth Workshop for Students
By Christopher Shuttlesworth
Author and illustrator Javaka Steptoe recently conducted an art workshop at the Harold Washington Library Center (HWLC). The event was hosted by the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and included 300 second
and third grade students Steptoe is the 2017 recipient of the American Library Association’s Randolph Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott
King Illustrator Award for his book Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist John Michel Basquiat, according to a CPL press release.
Elizabeth McChesney, director of children services and family engagement for the Chicago Public Library, explained that during the art workshop Steptoe discussed his new book Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist John Michel Basquiat.
“Radiant Child is about The Story of Young Artist John Michel Basquiat, which allows kids to find their own voice through recycled objects, construction paper and simple art materials,” she said.
“We love to do this event at the Chicago Public Library because it helps deepen kids’ creativity, their connection to Steptoe’s book and [it] strengthens their literacy skills,” McChesney said. “It’s also empowering for kids to tell their own stories and that is a message of Steptoe’s work.”
Students also participated in a hands-on, introductory tour of the new STEAM-focused Thomas Hughes Children’s Library at HWLC, according to a CPL press release.
“Art is an important vehicle for self-expression during childhood and it’s also important in developing creativity, which is a critical 21st century learning skill,” McChesney said. “We have kids solving problems, collaborating and communicating together and hitting all of the important
21st century skills.”
McChesney said the children enjoyed seeing Steptoe in
his true artistic form.
Steptoe’s debut work included, “In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, an anthology featuring poetry from notable poets, including Folami Abiade, Dinah Johnson and Carole Boston Weatherford, Angela Johnson and Sonia Sanchez, which earned him his
first Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, in 1998.
For more information, please call (312) 747-4050 or visit chipublib.org.