Daisy Nell to Read Her Children’s Books to Cape Ann students
April 27, 2023
Local children’s author and folk singer to celebrate the history and beauty of Cape Ann’s schooners with the students of Cape Ann.
Gloucester, MA – In keeping with the Gloucester400 celebration, First R Foundation will continue reading books featuring Gloucester writers, illustrators, and themes to the kindergarteners and first graders in Gloucester’s public schools. Local favorite Daisy Nell will read to the kindergarteners at East Gloucester Elementary School on May 3 and the first graders of West Parish School on May 5. In collaboration with First R, she will distribute copies of her books The Stowaway Mouse and Winnie at the Wheel to each classroom for their libraries.
This year, First R’s quadricentennial festivities commenced with the presentation of Virginia Lee Burton’s Katy and the Big Snow, the celebrated 1943 tale set in “Geopolis,” a town modeled after Gloucester. Mayor Verga’s children’s book, Fresh Eggs, followed in February. In April, the children delighted in hearing the tales of The Seagull and the Sea Captain and Sal Boat, both books set in Gloucester.
Nell, a native of Essex, is a folk singer and songwriter with a long history of school, museum, and shipboard performances. She has performed throughout New England and as far away as Hawaii and Alaska with her husband Stan Collinson and their band, Crabgrass. She has several CDs and a Parent’s Choice Award-winning children’s album, Bought Me a Rooster. She is the author of four previous children’s books, all illustrated by George Ulrich. She serves as the Chair of the annual Gloucester Schooner Festival and is the proud owner of the schooner Redbird.
“I am delighted to be able to share my books with the Gloucester schools next week. My hope is that my stories will celebrate our maritime heritage in a fun and meaningful way,” said Nell.
Set upon the decks of the schooner Ardelle, The Stowaway Mouse is the result of a folk music and songwriting project in the second grade of an elementary school in Essex. Two classes of inspiring children worked with Nell to learn about traditional folk music and instruments and to create songs based on local history. As the Ardelle was built on the edge of the Essex River, The Stowaway Mouse took shape, first as a song, then a book.
Winnie at the Wheel takes place at the annual Gloucester Schooner Parade on Stacy Boulevard, near the site of the 1925 statue of the Man at the Wheel by Leonard Craske. Winnie, a Cockadoodlepoo, has an adventure with the schooner Thomas E. Lannon that takes her to new heights, giving her a different view of her world on Cape Ann.
The goal of the First R Foundation is to improve the reading and comprehension skills of young children in a school environment through oral reading of books by professional, political, and civic leaders of the Cape Ann community. Executive Director Pat Earle funds the program through private donations and can purchase thirty books per month for classrooms. Since its founding in 2002, the foundation has grown to over 50 volunteers and has gifted over 10,000 books to kindergarteners and first graders. For additional resources and information, visit First R at https://www.firstrfoundation.org/. For information and updates on Gloucester’s 400+ festivities, visit their website here.
For additional information, please contact Maureen Ryan Thorpe, Digital Marketing Manager, First R Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-319-2968.