Press contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

October 6, 2011

River of Words Gets a New Home

Environmental Poetry and Arts Program Is Co-Sponsored by Center for the Book

The Saint Mary’s College Center for Environmental Literacy in Moraga, Calif., is the new home of the River of Words environmental poetry and visual arts program, which the Center for the Book has co-sponsored since its inception in 1995.

River of Words (www.riverofwords.org (external link)) is a K-12 program founded by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass and the Center for Environmental Literacy’s new director, Pamela Michael. River of Words has been recognized for its "place-based" curriculum that engages students to create poetry and art based on the watersheds in their communities.

"The Center for the Book looks forward to continuing its relationship with River of Words in its new home at Saint Mary’s College," said Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole. "The River of Words contest has always been one of our most popular programs. Its educational value makes it one of our most important programs and one of growing interest within our network of state Centers for the Book."

"The headlines make it clearer every day that we need to educate our young people for ecological citizenship in a world under duress," said Hass. "To do it we need a potent combination of science, imagination, a feel for the earth and a sense of ethical accountability, and we need to understand how to learn and teach these things together."

Saint Mary’s Brother President Ronald Gallagher welcomed River of Words to the college and said, "The new Center for Environmental Literacy in the School of Education illustrates the college’s ongoing dedication to teaching sustainability."

"In creating the Center for Environmental Literacy, Saint Mary's has made an important and lasting contribution to education and to the planet," added Michael.

For more information on the Center for Environmental Literacy and the River of Words poetry and arts program at Saint Mary’s College, contact Pamela Michael at (925) 631-4289 or email her at pm7@stmarys-ca.edu.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s www.Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

The Saint Mary’s College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For nearly 150 years, the college has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church’s oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the college enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary’s College at stmarys-ca.edu (external link).

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PR 11-186
10/06/11
ISSN 0731-3527

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