Reading to children produces any number of benefits and positive outcomes, and children who love to read typically perform better in school.

With this in mind, New Albany residents Carolyn and Lance White established an endowment fund with the New Albany Community Foundation in 2010 to support an author-residency program in the New Albany-Plain Local Schools.

Each year, the program brings an author selected by the librarians in each of the district's buildings.

By bringing authors liked by the students and respected by educators, they hoped to inspire a love of reading and learning.

Later, the Whites added a scholarship component to the program and changed the name to New Albany Scholars.

Joining the Whites in support of this extraordinary program were the parent-teacher organizations, the New Albany Women's Network and another generous New Albany couple, Lynne and Martyn Redgrave.

The school libraries seek to foster a love of reading in all students, and author visits often are an authentic learning experience that can help create excitement and interest in books. In the months leading up to each author visit, teachers help students become immersed in the works of the authors.

New Albany is fortunate to have many esteemed authors visit the district's learning campus.

This past school year New Albany welcomed the following authors:

* Grades K-2: Dan Yaccarino

* Grades 3-6: Cynthia Lord

* Grades 7-8: Gary D. Schmidt

* Grades 9-12: A.S. King

The coming school year will be no different.

Teachers are asking students to read books by visiting authors over the summer or they are including the authors' books in their lesson plans for the school year.

Interacting with these accomplished authors will help spark students' imaginations, and they will learn from the authors' expertise.

Scheduled visiting authors for the 2018-19 school year will be:

* Grades 1-3: Melissa Stewart

* Grades 4-6: Gordon Korman

* Grades 7-8: Alan Gratz

* Grades 9-12: Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Since the author-residency program's inception, the feedback from students, teachers and parents has been positive. My children attended New Albany schools and were fortunate to participate in this amazing program.

Ken Krebs is a member of the New Albany Community Foundation board of trustees.