Carmen Deedy Shares Stories With
Middle School Students
Daily Citizen News – Friday, June 9, 1917
Thanks to a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, the Jonas Foundation was able to bring a very special artist to Dalton earlier this month. Carmen Deedy, a noted storyteller and children’s author, shared her stories with 3 large audiences of middle schoolers. Her stories and the enthusiasm she displayed captivated the attention of each and every child so much that someone noted that, “you could have heard a pin drop when she spoke”. Her stories were a wonderful mix of humor, values, and memories.
Carmen Deedy has been one of the most popular Jonas programs for many years. Because she is very popular and talented, the Jonas Foundation can no longer afford to send her to individual schools. Thus, the Foundation applied for a grant that enabled them to bus over 2,000 students to the Wink to hear Carmen Deedy perform. Three performances were held so that all of the 7th graders from Dalton Public Schools, Murray County Schools, and Whitfield County Schools along with all the Murray County 6th graders could experience her stories.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Deedy came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1964. She grew up in Decatur, Georgia where she lives today. Deedy began writing as a young mother and storyteller whose NPR commentaries on All Things Considered were collected and released under the title, Growing Up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia. Many of her stories are true experiences that occurred to her as a result of her immigration to the United States.
In addition to being a wonderful storyteller, Deedy is also well known for her beloved children’s books. Each of her books is beautifully illustrated and exhibits wonderful morals and values. Many of her books are written for elementary students, but have an important lesson for all ages.
The Jonas Foundation donated one of Carmen Deedy’s books to the school library of each of the 8 middle schools who attended her performance. The donated book, which is titled The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale, is the first chapter book written by Deedy.
Deedy is also an accomplished lecturer, having been a guest speaker for the TED Conference, the Library of Congress, Refugees International, the Kennedy Center and Columbia University. She has also been the host of the Emmy-winning children’s program Love That Book! Although she has shared her stories with a wide variety of people, school children are still her favorite audiences.