On Friday, September 24, author Brian Broome virtually visited students as part of the Woodland Hills Interaction Series. Mr. Broome is the author of the new book Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir, which was recently nominated for the prestigious Kirkus Award. His visit was sponsored by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and their Authors to Schools initiative. Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures also purchased copies of Punch Me Up to the Gods for our students and staff. Mr. Broome's virtual visit included a student led Q&A about his writing and his life as a writer. Many thanks to Mr. Maloney for helping to prepare the students for this opportunity.
The Woodland Hills Interaction Series (WHIS) started in 2013. The WHIS was created by library media specialist Kevin McGuire and instructional technology coach Jason Coleman with the goal of providing first-class interaction opportunities for students at Woodland Hills High School.
Starting in 2016, with a partnership with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, the WHIS began an immersive literacy program to provide our students with access to contemporary literature in the classroom, thoughtful discussions, and a culminating interaction with the author. These projects have included Pulitzer Prize winners Jennifer Egan and Elizabeth Strout, National Book Award winner Colum McCann, and best-selling authors Tommy Orange, Tayari Jones, Lily King, and Valeria Luiselli. Woodland Hills High School instructional coach Christyn Coles provides the final connection to these classroom extension events as the WHIS Literacy Liaison.
During our first eight seasons, the WHIS has personally hosted such notable guests as Jennifer Egan (Pulitzer Prize Winner), Sara Shepard (N.Y. Times Bestseller), Tayari Jones (N.Y. Times Bestseller), Colum McCann (National Book Award Winner/Academy Award nominated writer), Elizabeth Strout (Pulitzer Prize Winner), Rachael Lippincott (N.Y. Times Bestseller), (Dr. Sheri Fink (Pulitzer Prize Winner), Terrance Hayes (National Book Award winner/MacArthur Fellow), Jesse Andrews (N.Y. Times Bestseller), Dr. Cyril Wecht, S.L. Price (Sports Illustrated Senior Writer), and Robert Bilheimer (Academy Award nominated director). Additionally, the WHIS has also hosted local writer Dave Newman, poet Jim Daniels, EPA Director Barnes Johnson, nationally syndicated cartoonist Joe Wos, Pittsburgh icon Rick Sebak, and U.S. Ambassador Bryant Salter.