Authors Engaging Students

Authors Engaging Students introduces thousands of kids to reading and writing!

Authors Engaging Students (AES) is our flagship partnership with the Guilford County Schools Library Media Services (GCS LMS). Each semester we recruit authors, make virtual recording arrangements, and introduce new authors to thousands of students in Guilford County’s public schools. Greensboro Bound pays for author fees and donates three copies of up to three titles for each participating author to each participating school. We are devoted to hosting authors from diverse backgrounds with diverse stories so that every child has the opportunity to see themselves both on the page, and in the face of the story teller.

When authors discuss their lives and books, students hear stories of perseverance, creativity and opportunity.  They hear of the 20 rejections an author received before their first book was published.  They see the first story an author “published” in third grade!  Children’s lives are opened to new worlds when they meet people who create unique characters and places.  As a second grader at Ceasar Cone Elementary once exclaimed, “Before today I never knew I could be an author.  Now I know I can be an author, too!”

Guilford County Schools Poet Laureate Program
Authors Engaging Students
also sponsors the Guilford County Schools “Poet Laureate Program.”   This 19+ year-old program is led by Jennifer Worrells, Media Specialist at Grimsley High School.  Some 150 students annually from 17 high schools receive personalized feedback on their writing from a published poet.

Other Partnerships
All AES activities are part of a broader effort to bring students and writers together.  The 2019 Greensboro Bound Literary Festival featured 18 presentations by 20 authors targeted towards children/young adults. In March of 2021 we hosted our first-ever virtual Children’s Book Festival with an explicit focus on middle-grade authors, which featured eight authors in 12 presentations. In the spring of 2022 we began a partnership with Ready for School/Ready for Life and GCS Pre-K to beta test a program for pre-K students. This program is now in its third year.  In May of 2023, children’s authors returned to annual Greensboro Bound Literary Festival with a series of live author presentations. In the fall of 2023 we partnered with Casa Azul of Greensboro to highlight a Latinx author for each semester of the 2023-24 school year.

Action Research
Greensboro Bound is also involved in an action research in project with GCS LMS and the NC Central University School of Library and Information Science to assess the efficacy of the AES program in boosting students’ intrinsic motivation to read and write. The goals are to (1) confirm that author  experiences increase a desire to read, and (2) identify best practices for increasing student enthusiasm and engagement in reading and writing.


Since 2018, the Authors Engaging Students program has:

  • presented 70+ authors (in-person and virtually) in nearly 100 schools 
  • reached more than 80,000 students 
  • donated over 7,800 books to public school libraries