Education

YSU English Festival Earns Second National Award

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — For the second time, the Youngstown State University English Festival is being honored by the National Council of Teachers of English.

In November, the festival will receive the 2019 Intellectual Freedom Award during the council’s annual convention in Baltimore. The festival also won the award in 2004.

“We are thrilled to be recognized once again for our efforts to spread the joy of reading and critical thinking to young people throughout the region,” said Angela Messenger, coordinator of the YSU Writing Center who co-chairs the Festival with Jeff Buchanan, professor and chair of English, and Gary Salvner, retired professor and chair of English and one of the founders of the Festival.

Since 1978, more than 100,000 junior and senior high school students from more than 300 schools at at least eight states have attended the three-day English Festival at YSU. Participants have read some 750,000 books, written thousands of essays and had the chance to meet dozens of national authors of young adult literature, according to a release from YSU. The festival has been a featured topic of scholarly articles, as well as presentations at state and national conferences.

In the award nomination submitted by the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts, the council wrote, “For the past 41 years, the clear goals of the YSU English Festival have included quality literature for students and consistency in the selection of materials which have enabled Festival sponsors to stand up to censorship challenges and to further intellectual freedom and the students’ right to read.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.