Watermark Books & Cafe has been a valued member of the Wichita community for 45 years. During that time, we’ve witnessed firsthand how valuable it is for a child to meet and connect with authors. We want every child to go home with a book after such a special experience.
Because of that, we have formed the Authors in Schools Fund, in conjunction with the Wichita Foundation and USD 259, with the express aim of providing author experiences and books to children in low-income areas of Wichita.
To achieve this, our focus is to target Title 1 schools in the Wichita School district. Title 1 schools have large concentrations of low-income students and receive supplemental funds to assist in meeting student's educational goals. In the Wichita School District, 56 percent of all schools qualify as Title 1. Our partnership with the Assistance League of Wichita is also under the umbrella of Authors in Schools. We have worked closely with them for years, bringing authors and their books to local students!
Since inception, Watermark Books and Cafe has been able to secure author visits; the fund plus school contributions has provided 2,000+ books to children in Wichita. Past authors include Nick Bruel, author of the "Bad Kitty" series, and Jeff Kinney, the creator of inimitable Wimpy Kid, Varian Johnson, author of Playing the Cards You're Dealt and The Parker Inheritance, and most recently, Kwame Alexander, author of The Crossover, and The Door of No Return.
- "The Authors in Schools program is a testament to Watermark's commitment to the Wichita community and our students in USD 259. Making the connections between authors and readers during these pandemic times is as critical as ever. Our author visit created the "buzz" around reading that every librarian dreams of!" - Rebecca Foster, librarian at Brooks Magnet Middle School
- “I was flattered to have Kwame Alexander visit Mead MS and he more than exceeded our expectations! I had no idea what an incredible speaker he was - he absolutely captivated our kids with not only his energy but with the spoken word. Kids left not only with a book but the memory of a writer, rapper and celebrity that truly cared about them.” - Christy Aberg, Librarian and AVID Coordinator at Mead Middle School
We need your help! This program is so needed in our schools, but we cannot make it happen without the kindness and generosity of those in our community. For your convenience, several giving options are available. Online donations may be made at https://wichcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate. Scroll down until you see the heading "Field of Interest Funds," and select Authors-In-Schools. All donations made directly through the website are tax-deductible. Donations may also be made in person at Watermark Books, or at the donate button below.
Thank you for considering a gift and for caring about the value of books for children in our community.