100th Birthday – Schools

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Inventive teachers turned their students’ work into wonderful birthday gifts to Ezra


Naming Ceremony, Ezra Jack Keats Pre-K Center, December 12, 2016

After the District 28 Pre-K Center in Queens, NY, was renamed for Ezra Jack Keats, teachers and staff went all out to honor their favorite children’s author. Each class at one of the center’s three locations was assigned a Keats book to read and an art project based on the book, and the work was beautifully displayed. But the showpiece of this Keats tribute was a student performance of Over in the Meadow, complete with costumes the children helped make, before an audience from the EJK Foundation and the NYC Department of Education, and a group of proud moms. So cute!
Thanks to: Doreen Duff, Early Childhood Director; Caitlyn Moore, Pre-K Center Support Manager, Pre-K For All


P.S. 321, Brooklyn, New York
Holly White, Teacher

This second-grade class spent Ezra’s birthday immersed in the world of Keats. The students read a different Keats book every hour with their teachers, parents and grandparents, did art projects and watched Keats-related videos . Three photographers were there to capture it all. Click through for photo credits.

Marion Elementary, Marion, Michigan
Tammy Ladd, Teacher, assisted by
Wanita Kampmueller

Soon after Ezra’s birthday we received a lovely card, signed by a first-grade class, and happy party photos. But before the singing and cupcakes was an intensive program on Keats’s four Louie books that had the children reading, discussing and making art. Click here for program details.

Wagner Ranch Elementary, Orinda, California
Cheryl Connick, Teacher

These images came with a teacher’s note: “Our first-grade glass has been busy reading Ezra Keats’ books and celebrating his 100th birthday! This art activity was based on The Snowy Day. Happy Birthday!”

Birthday Letters

What better subject for learning to write than wishing someone you admire a happy birthday?

Dudley Elementary School, Gothenburg, Nebraska
With librarian Amy Harrison, the first-grade classes of teachers Brittany Jesseph and Kristen Butterfield read A Letter to Amy, then wrote letters to Ezra with birthday wishes and of course, drawings.

Presidio Hill School, San Francisco
Natalie Gaber’s first-grade class sent birthday wishes, kind words and pictures.

Central Elementary School, Great Meadows, New Jersey
To cap off an author study, the first-graders in Jennifer Daly’s class combined their studious letters with the happiest birthday artwork.

Postscript: To all the schools whose special programs, author studies and special birthday activities did not come to our attention, thank you for celebrating Ezra’s 100th!