Howitt Middle School Hosts Genre Con 2019
The library staff at Howitt Middle School hosted its first building-wide Genre Con on Saturday, March 9, 2019. It was a celebration of all the different genres of storytelling encompassed in art, literature, and pop culture. More than a hundred children in grades 6-8 participated, and everyone was encouraged to come in costume!
The morning was packed with activities. Visiting author Melissa Kuch — The Hypothesis of Giants series—led a dystopian writing workshop in the library. Author and illustrator Dave Roman—Astronaut Academy series—hosted a comic and graphic arts demo in the Makerspace.
The gym was converted into a reading-themed scavenger hunt. Students navigated their way through a myriad of genre-themed book tables to solve riddles and earn a stamp toward the finish line. Other fun activities included a green screen for costume photographs and a station in the lobby for children to create images with light writing. Prizes were given out in several best costume categories and each child went home with a swag bag.
All the costumes were creative, but the biggest hit were the characters from Star Wars! The children were thrilled to pose for pictures with super villain Darth Vader and his posse of stormtroopers.
Howitt Genre Con is the brainchild of Library Media Specialist Jennifer Bleicher, who was inspired by Comic Con to create a school initiative that would promote books and reading among the middle school student body. She was thrilled with the turnout, saying “The event was a tremendous success in that it catered to a diverse group of students with varied interests. We achieved our goal of creating a really fun experience while fostering creativity and generating enthusiasm for books and art."
Ms. Bleicher and the Howitt Genre Con 2019 committee members were very grateful for all the support they received from the PTA, who funded and sponsored the event. They were also appreciative of the students from the FHS Honor Society, who volunteered their time to help shepherd the children from activity to activity.