His freshman year, William Kamkwamba had to drop out of school because his family couldn't afford the school fees. Undeterred, he borrowed books from his primary school's lending library. One book he borrowed triggered a series of events that would change his life: "Using Energy."
The textbook inspired a journey to bring electricity to his family in Malawi by constructing a windmill from scraps. Word of Kamkwamaba’s innovation spread across Malawi and the world, gaining the attention of TEDGlobal.
Today Kamkwamba is an international speaker, innovator, TED Fellow, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. And, on February 22, he’ll visit Windsor as part of the Clearview Reads author talk series in partnership with the Friends & Foundation.
“The Friends & Foundation wanted to attract a wide audience for this year's author talk, including children, and Mr. Kamkwamba's book fit this bill perfectly,” said Friends & Foundation President Jennifer Whittington. “When we found out that several district schools include his book in their English curriculum, it made our choice even more appropriate.”
As part of the visit, Kamkwamba will visit three Weld RE-4 schools on Friday, Feb. 21.
“Each school is formulating an activity they think will best suit the hour visit he will spend at each school,” Whittington shared. “The Foundation is funding these visits because the inclusion of students in this author talk was very important to us, and our district contacts were extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity.”
The day-of the Clearview Reads event will kickoff with an Innovation Fair, a free interactive showcase of STEM technology, followed by a $5 talk and book signing with Kamkwamba.
Kamkwamba’s story resonates with a variety of interests, but at heart, it is inspirational for library lovers.
Whittington shared, “My favorite part about Mr. Kamkwamba's story is how, even in the most desperate times, he finds inspiration at the library.”
5-6:30 p.m., WHS Cafeteria
An interactive showcase of STEM technology from local students, companies, and organizations.
6:45 p.m., WHS Auditorium
$5, Proceeds benefit the Friends and Foundation’s Clearview Reads fund.
Author talk with Kamkwamba with a book signing immediately following.
This event is sponsored by Bank of Colorado, CPP Wind Engineering and Air Quality Consultants, Fransen Pittman, and RE/MAX (Dennis Schick, John Taylor, and Stephanie Woodward).