What does providing tickets and transportation to nearly 1,000 students to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall look like? Well, this was a calm moment…

On last Monday night, eight buses were lining the streets around the Schnitz for our event with Wes Moore, the author of this year’s Multnomah Country Library “Everybody Reads” selection, The Other Wes Moore. In addition to speaking to 2,100 people that night, Wes Moore spent Monday morning in a classroom at Roosevelt High School recording a segment of OPB’s Think Out Loud, which you can stream or download here. I would highly recommend it. These student came prepared, having read and discussed Moore’s book, and they are tough, insightful interviewers!

Moore also spoke to an assembly of 300+ Roosevelt students who had also read and discussed his book. He spent a majority of his time onstage answering students’ questions, and afterward signed copies of students’ books–asking each student their name and spending a moment talking to them. His enthusiasm and passion is inspiring, and his book is a great catalyst for starting conversations about the roles of education, expectations, and communities in shaping young individuals.

In short, Moore’s visit to Portland was awesome. Literary Arts’ staff was incredibly pleased that every school that signed up to attend the Schnitz for the Wes Moore event brought students. (!!) Thanks to our generous sponsors, well-organized teachers, half a dozen buses, and all those who helped us create an epic community event!