ESRC hosts annual fall dinner

  • RSVPs due September 29th

SALISBURY, Md. — The Eastern Shore Reading Council (ESRC) presents its annual fall dinner with keynote speaker and children’s author Jerry Pallotta, who penned several engaging books relating to nature, on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at The Salisbury School Middle School Commons.

The evening begins with networking time for colleagues to reconnect and signup for ESRC committees. ESRC Lizanne Wallace indicated her excitement about members taking part in the organization as many people are not aware of all the amazing opportunities available.

One of the biggest components of the Council is its willingness to participate literacy outreach. Wallace stated each community activity is an opportunity to expose young children, parents, and adults to the benefits of literacy. Slated outreach events include, but are not limited to, offering literacy information to childbirth classes at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, donating bookshelves with book to newly build Habitat for Humanity homes, volunteering at Wild About Reading at Salisbury Zoo, handing out books at 3rd Friday events in Downtown Salisbury, and partnering the Pocomoke Rocks the Block community back to school event.

“Contributors to each of the community outreach projects are done based on the needs of the community and passion of members who want to strengthen literacy practices in the local communities,” Wallace said as membership drives the amount of events the Council is able to partake in throughout the year.

Another component of the Council’s activities is its scholarship and writing contest. The annual scholarship honors retired teacher of Wicomico County Public Schools Brenda S. Davis for her passion towards sparking the love of reading to all of her students and those in the local communities in which she served. Davis’ scholarship is awarded annually to  3 to 4 seniors who intend on majoring in education in the amount of $1,000.

In addition, the Council host its annual Young Authors’ Contest in conjunction with its state affiliate, the State of Maryland International Reading Council. The contest, which is sent out to local schools in late October, challenges students to write narrative stories and poetry. Past local winners were honored at the Children’s Literature Festival and numerous individuals went on to win state recognition for their talents.

“The amount of writing talent on the Lower Eastern Shore truly speaks to the handwork teachers in public and private school settings are pouring into their students,” Brian Cook, middle school and high school Young Authors’ Contest chairperson, stated. “It is very exciting to Andrea Vandiver, who chairs the Young Authors’ contest for elementary schools,  and I to bring together a team of judges to read such high quality writing artifacts. Our judges are never disappointed because of the such top notch students submitting original writing pieces.”

Following the networking and committee signups, dinner will be served at 6pm and Pallotta’ keynote address with follow at 6:45pm.

The cost for the fall dinner is $20 for ESRC members, $17 for students, $30 for Non-members, or $50 for dinner and membership into the ESRC. Attendees are asked to for the fall dinner by mailing an RSVP with payment to Magic Mapp, Fruitland Intermediate School, 208 W. Main Street, Fruitland, MD 21826.

For further information about the ESRC — which includes Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties — visit its web site at

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