Writers in the Schools
For Immediate Release, October 20, 2010
Media Contact: Jennifer Watson
What: Jeannette Walls visits students at Bellaire High School
When: November 4, 2010 at 12:30 PM
Where: 5100 Maple St, Bellaire, TX 77401-4999
Houston (October 20, 2010) Nearly 500 excited students from Bellaire High School will fill the auditorium November 4, 2010 at 12:30 PM to hear journalist Jeannette Walls share the story of overcoming her difficult childhood, the subject of her best-selling memoir The Glass Castle and a movie in production by Paramount. Walls makes a rare appearance to Houston that day as keynote speaker for A Celebration of Story, benefiting Writers in the Schools (WITS), 7 PM at the Junior League of Houston.
“It’s not often our students get to meet the authors they’ve been assigned to read,” said Brian Wolf, Head of the English Department at Bellaire High. “The Glass Castle is not only a story that’s brilliantly written, it teaches young people they don’t have to be ashamed about themselves or their pasts. Our students are thrilled to meet with an author whose work has so captivated them.”
In The Glass Castle, Walls talks about being raised by her alcoholic father, Rex Walls, and eccentric mother Rose Mary, who pushed their four children to excel in learning despite uprooting them from various schools and cities, evading bill collectors and obligations. Her father supported the family through odd jobs, but more often than not, Jeannette and her siblings survived off table scraps, pet food, and at times went to sleep cold and hungry. Despite many struggles, Jeannette held on to the promise of the glass castle Rex would one day build for them until his unrelenting disease forced her to move out and find her own dreams in New York City.
“Jeannette’s story is honest and gripping. In her book, one sees how writing provided her access to a better life.” said Robin Reagler, executive director of WITS. “WITS students get a similar opportunity because they are encouraged to speak from the heart.”
Jeannette will headline the WITS Celebration of Story November 4, 2010 honoring Mayor Annise Parker for her advocacy in education. A book signing will follow the program courtesy of Brazos Bookstore. Proceeds from A Celebration of Story will fund more than 20,000 students in schools, community centers, hospitals, and homeless shelters. This year’s gathering, which begins at 7 PM, will include dinner, a silent auction, and music by the Texas Medical Center Orchestra.
For ticket and sponsorship information, call 713-523-3877 or visit www.witshouston.org.
Writers in the Schools (WITS), a Houston-based non-profit organization founded in 1983, provides students with year-long creative writing programs in schools, community centers, hospitals, and homeless shelters with the mission to engage students in the pleasure and power of reading and writing. Ranked the number one literary organization in Texas by the Texas Commission on the Arts, WITS professional poets, fiction writers, and playwrights work with over 20,000 students in over 350 classrooms in order to help students develop their creative and analytical thinking skills.
About Jeannette Walls
Jeannette Walls came to know the power of storytelling while writing her memoirs. Critics have called, “The Glass Castle”, “spectacular,” “extraordinary,” “incredible,” and “riveting.” It has been a New York Times best-seller for more than three years, has sold more than two million copies, been translated into 16 languages, and is being made into a movie by Paramount. Walls’ story is at times harrowing and at times hilarious as she and her siblings go without food and indoor plumbing yet are encouraged to read Shakespeare and dream of the beautiful glass house they will all one day build. Despite all her hardships, Walls manages to leave West Virginia on her own at the age of sixteen, move to New York City, enroll in Barnard College and eventually become a well-known columnist for New York Magazine and a television personality.