About the Authors and Singer/Songwriters
Paula Ellis has worked for over 10 years in the field of fun, education, and expression for children. She is currently sharing her talents as Puppeteer and Storyteller with Palestine Public Library's Youth Department, as well as working on the team to rebuild the library after a structural collapse in 2009. She is a certified Piano Teacher and member of Music Teachers National Association. She is a certified yoga teacher with Yoga Register, London. Paula is the official library yoga teacher for the Youth Department as well as the chair yoga instructor for the library's senior exercise group. She has experience in the study of theatric, music, dance, and art therapies, especially for individuals with moderate to severe disabilities. Currently, she resides with her husband in the beautiful East Texas countryside, covered up to the chin in wildflowers planted by her Master Gardener mother-in-law.
Debbie Gonzales, who has worked as a classroom teacher, school administrator, educational consultant, and curriculum designer, earned her Master's in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has published a large number of word-level readers with Gilt Edge Publishing. Weekly she posts inexpensive, simplistic, creative activities for children of all ages to enjoy on Simple Saturday, her website that can be accessed at http://www.debbiegonzales.com. Currently Debbie is a freelance writer, leads creative writing workshops, and is serving as the Regional Advisor for the Austin Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. In addition to writing two puppet plays and two reader's theater scripts, Debbie contributed several photographs for the Elementary Chapter.
Paula Gonzales, author of the 2011 Bilingual Chapter, is a Children's Librarian for the joint use libraries of Harris County Public Library and the Lone Star College-Cy-Fair Branch. Previously she was the Assistant Branch Manager and the Children's Librarian for ten years at various locations for the Houston Public Library System. Paula has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities from the University of Houston and received her Master of Library Science Degree from the University of North Texas. Her most rewarding and biggest accomplishment was becoming a mother to her daughter, who now is pursuing a degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jeanette Larson, author of the Elementary Chapter and editor for this manual, has been involved with the development of the Texas Reading Club for almost 30 years, writing and editing manuals as well as implementing programs in public libraries. Prior to establishing her freelance business in 2006, Jeanette worked as youth services manager for Austin Public Library and as the director of library development for the Texas State Library. Jeanette teaches the Youth Programs course for Texas Woman's University and is a frequent workshop presenter. She was the 2002 winner of the Siddie Joe Johnson Award and the Texas Library Association recognized her as Librarian of the Year in 1998. Jeanette is a regular contributor to Book Links and other professional journals. Her book, Bringing Mysteries Alive for Children and Young Adults, was published by Linworth Publishing in 2004 and her first children's book, Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas, was published in February 2011 by Charlesbridge Publishing. A sample of one of the stories is included in the Elementary Chapter in this manual. Jeanette holds an MLS from the University of Southern California and a BA in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. She and her husband, Jim, live in Pflugerville with their two Schipperke dogs and two cats. In her family, the dogs do most of the digging although recently Jeanette and her husband have developed a fondness for gardening and digging out weeds.
Sally Meyers, author of the piggyback theme song, has been the Youth Services Coordinator for the Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo for nineteen years. Previously she was teacher-director of La Escuelita Preschool for nine years. Sally served on the Texas Reading Club Advisory Committee from 1994-1998 and has written the summer reading piggyback theme song every year since 1995. She has served as a member of Children's Round Table's 2 X 2 Committee, served as chair of student participation on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Selection Committee from 2004 to 2006 and served as chair of the Texas 2 x 2 Selection Committee 2008-2010. Sally has been married to Craig, a retired Presbyterian Minister, for 44 years and they have three children and four grandchildren. She is an elder and choir director at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in San Angelo.
Anne Neidinger is a Children's Librarian at the Lone Star College-Tomball Community Library. She has served on the Texas Reading Club Advisory Committee and is a new member of the Texas Bluebonnet Award Program Committee. Anne co-wrote the Elementary Programs Chapter of the 2009 Texas Reading Club manual as well as the article, "Igniting a Children's Summer Reading Program on a Piggy-Bank Budget," in the Texas Library Journal (2006). She holds a Master's in Library and Information Science with a Youth Certification from the University of North Texas and has presented at several Texas Library Association conferences.
Patricia Peters, author of the Preschool Chapter, is Youth Services Supervisor at the Lewisville Public Library, where she has been on staff since 2002. Pat holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, a Master of Arts in English Literature as well as a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of North Texas. She served on the Texas Reading Club Advisory Committee from 2004 to 2010, the last three years as chair. Pat also teaches Literature for Children and Young Adults for Texas Woman's University. She lives in Denton with her husband, Jeff, and children Kerri and Christopher.
Singer/Songwriter, Sue Young, wrote the Texas Reading Club 2011 theme song, "Dig Up a Good Book." Sue grew up in a big, music-loving family. Her mother played the piano, her father played ukulele and tenor guitar, all five children played an instrument, and everyone sang. Sue started on ukulele at age 8, moved to guitar at 11, and has been singing and playing ever since. Sue spent a year in Ecuador during college and graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Spanish. She moved to Austin, Texas in 1985 to be part of the live music scene. She wound up teaching music and Spanish to children, leading to a new career as a children's songwriter and storyteller. Sue has delighted audiences at schools, libraries and festivals around the US, and her 2007 CD release, The Legend of the Quetzal - Tales and Tunes of Latin America, received a Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award and a Creative Child Seal of Excellence. Sue also wrote the 2009 Texas Reading Club theme song, "Deep in the Heart." Learn more about Sue and her music at http://www.sueyoungmusic.com.