Metro Detroit Book and Author Society
WNBA Detroit Chapter is one of the fourteen associations which comprise the Metro Detroit Book and Author Society. Two chapter members sit on the board of the MDBAS. The Society sponsors a spring and fall Book and Author Luncheon.
The MDBAS donates the money it makes from the luncheons to projects supporting books and reading in the tri-country area. The Society has administered the Jim Dance, Dick Johnston, Elaine R. Irvin Awards and Literacy Grants.
The Jim Dance Award annually provides $2000 to any library, public or academic within Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb counties, "needing to bolster its collection in the performing arts or establishes and/or expands a program which advances or celebrates any of the performing arts." [from www.bookandauthor.org]
The Dick Johnston Award "usually in the amount of $2000 to a public library in Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb counties for establishing or improving a library collection." [from www.bookandauthor.org]
The Elaine R. Irvin Friends Award, "usually in the amount of $1000, is presented annually in the fall to the Friends of the Library group within Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb counties. The grant is awarded to support a program or project which fills a significant need that impacts the library's patrons and the community." [from www.bookandauthor.org]
Literacy grants "are awarded periodically to a literacy organization in the tri-county area." [www.bookandauthor.org]
Read Across America
The WNBA National organization is an official partner of the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America (RAA) program [www.nea.org/readacross/
]. Members of the Detroit Chapter support this initiative to celebrate reading with special programs during March.
Beloved children's author Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, would have been 100 years old on March 2, 2004. The Detroit Chapter celebrated the "Seussentennial" in style with birthday parties, cakes in the shape of red-and-white stovepipe hats, and fun programs. At the Berkley Public Library, WNBA member and library board member Rita VanBrandeghen read to children (3 to 7 years of age) while another librarian provided a related craft activity. State representative John Stakoe read to North Sashabaw Elementary School students in Clarkston, and in the afternoon, students were entertained by the Cat in the Hat who read Green Eggs and Ham while Thing 1 and Thing 2 ran around being very mischievous. Detroit Chapter President Amy Marcaccio Keyzer teamed up with vice president Laurel Brandt to read Dr. Seuss's Happy Birthday to You to first and second graders at Pine Tree Elementary School in Lake Orion. Madonna University librarian and WNBA member Nancy Bagnasco put up a display of Dr. Seuss books with an NEA poster as a reminder to education students of the importance of reading.
In 2005, Detroit vice president Laurel Brandt coordinated volunteers at her library, Milford Public, to produce bookmarks with the WNBA/Detroit logo for members to give away during RAA programs as well as throughout the year. At the Huntington Woods Public Library, Shelley Gach-Droz distributed bookmarks to visiting Brownie troops and to younger library patrons at storytime sessions. WNBA member and children's librarian Linda Pannuto reported that on March 2, Orion Township Library held its annual Dr, Seuss birthday party, which included reading, crafts, and cookies. Amy Marcaccio Kezyer read Dr. Seuss books to second and fifth grade classes at Pine Tree Elementary, discussed the Braille system using an alphabet placemat from Seedlings Braille Books for Children as a hands-on aid, and presented the students with RAA certificates of participation.
The WNBA is a Non-Governmental Organization affiliated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations. A NGO/DPI supports the UN in its goals, disseminates information, and elicits support for those goals among our communities. With a particular interest in literacy and equal access to education for women and girls, WNBA has joined a group of similar-minded organizations and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, forming an alliance that has pledged to assist in advocacy, education, and where possible, fund-raising initiatives for UNICEF's education program in Afghanistan. At the Detroit Chapter's fall meeting, we distribute UNICEF trick-or-treat coin boxes to remind members about donating to the Afghanistan program, either by check or by collecting pocket change from neighbors on Halloween. [UNICEF URL: www.unicef.org
and U.S. Fund for UNICEF www.unicefusa.org