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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Seeking to Inspire: Adora Svitak, Child Prodigy Speaks at Wang Center

    The Charles B. Wang Center, at the heart of Stony Brook’s West Campus, hosts a variety of multidisciplinary, intellectual and cultural programs throughout each semester. Among its offerings this month’ was a presentation of the nine-year-old child prodigy and speaker, Adora Svitak on Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11. Along with her mother, Joyce Svitak, Adora sought to encourage her audiences to ‘read to understand, write to learn.’

    The presentation was held at the 239-seat Wang Theater, opening to a small and lively audience, consisting primarily of families and young children. Director of Asian and Asian-American Programs, Sunita S. Mukhi, Ph.D, introduced Adora Svitak as, ‘a young Asian-American girl who did not fit the stereotype,’ who commanded the stage with the aid of her laptop.

    Adora is from Redmond, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. She is prominently recognized for her strong and impressive reading and writing skills for her age and has written around 400 stories. Her first publication, coauthored by her and her mother, is ‘Flying Fingers’, a compilation of nine of her short stories, writing tips, commentary and information for parents on promoting reading and writing’ to their children.

    Adora’s presentation on Saturday, Nov. 11, featured similar work, poems and stories she wrote herself and guides to both story writing and poetry writing. Her political satire, loosely inspired by current events and due to be published next year, ‘Yang in Disguise,’ was the opener to her presentation. It illustrated Adora’s penchant for the colorful and exciting aspects behind a fictional novel.

    Adora followed up with another of her poems, ‘Where Books Can Take You,’ in the vein of her favorite poet, Shel Silverstein. This poem touched on the core of her goal of continuing to inspire others to embrace literature and writing. Adora spoke fondly of her love of books and stories, including the audience in related exercises. She wrote a story for the audience on stage, a mix of a tall tale and a fairy tale, and demonstrated her swift typing skills; in fact, it is estimated that she can type up to 80-90 words per minute.

    Adora’s success is credited in large part to her parents and her upbringing. ‘My parents were very supportive of me,’ Adora says. Her mother gave her her first laptop at age six after Adora began writing longhand around age four.

    In addition, Adora attends Seeds of Learning, a school founded by her mother, Joyce Svitak, which provides ‘supplemental learning in the disciplines of language arts, math, science, foreign languages, reading, music, dance, and art.’

    The presentation also involved an interactive vocabulary game and a question and answer session with Adora. Following the presentation, Adora signed copies of ‘Flying Fingers,’ and audience members were treated to a reception in the Wang Center Chapel.

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