Even after she graduated, Ariela Rossberg had a desire to keep THON in her life, which led her to organizing “Read for the Kids,” at 4 p.m. this Saturday at Webster’s Bookstore Café in downtown State College.
The event will include a reading of her debut children’s book, “The Gray Days,” as well as an opportunity for children to participate in imagination activities. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book will be donated to the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon through Sunday.
“I wanted to find a way to continue giving to THON and these kids who inspire me every single day of my life,” Rossberg, Class of 2010, said. “They are my heroes, and I write my stories with them in mind.”
“The Gray Days,” which has ranked on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Children’s Books list, is about a boy's journey to discover imagination in a world where it no longer exists.
The idea for the book came from the realization that a lot of children today “don’t really understand how to imagine,” Rossberg said.
The book is illustrated by children in second and third grade at Oaks School No. 3 in Oceanside, N.Y., a story element that Rossberg thinks adds “a special touch.”
“It allows children to connect more to the story,” Rossberg said. “They see that and think, 'I can draw like that, maybe one day I can write a book.’”
Susan Russell, an assistant professor in the School of Theatre, plans to attend Saturday's event to support Rossberg, a former student of hers.
“She was always very bright and energetic in her writing, and I'm excited to see how that has transferred over into a children's book,” Russell said.
"She's a dynamic, engaging person who has written an enthralling, beautifully done children's book," said Elaine Meder-Wilgus, owner of Webster’s Bookstore and Café.
Meder-Wilgus said it’s a pleasure to host Saturday's event.
"It will be a chance to really recognize the power of THON, even after students graduate," Meder-Wilgus said. "One of the reasons we host events like this is to add layers of depth to the community by contributing to local causes."