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Let’s Dance! (Boyds Mills & Kane) is Valerie Bolling’s debut picture book and the winner of a 2021 SCBWI Crystal Kite award. In addition to being an author, Valerie has been an educator for 28 years. When she taught elementary students, it was difficult to find diverse literature for them. Thus, she is passionate about creating stories in which all children can see themselves and feel seen and heard, valued and validated.
A graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, Teachers College, Valerie currently works as an Instructional Coach for Greenwich Public Schools and is on the faculty at Westport Writers’ Workshop.
Besides writing picture books, Valerie has written a Monthly Memo for teachers published on Twitter, and articles she’s written have been featured in The National Writing Project’s Quarterly (“The Family Writing Project Builds a Learning Community in Connecticut”), NESCBWI News (“Microaggressions Don’t Feel ‘Micro’” and “Author Visits (Storytimes and More) During COVID-19”), ILA (“Why Children Need to See Themselves in Books”), and NCTE (“Poetry Is the Light: Children Need to Let Their Words Shine”). She has also had a poem published in Cricket Media’s November/December 2020 issue of Babybug magazine. Most exciting is that Valerie has two books scheduled for release in 2022 and five more slated for 2023!
Valerie serves as the co-chair of the NESCBWI Equity and Inclusion Team and is a member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, and NCTE. She is also a 2020 WNDB Mentee and a member of Kid Lit in Color, Black Creators in Kid Lit, Soaring 20s PBs, PB Crew 22, 12X12 Picture Book Challenge, and two picture book critique groups.
Valerie and her husband, Sheldon Ayers, live in Stamford, Connecticut and enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, going to the theater, and dancing.