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Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
November 15, 2006
DeKalb, Ill. — Harry Potter fans, get ready to rock and read.
The public is invited to attend a “Muggle Ball” from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in the auditorium of Altgeld Hall at Northern Illinois University. Musical entertainment will be provided by a DJ as well as by the Remus Lupins, a Harry Potter-theme band from California.
Light refreshments of “butterbeer” (crème soda with butterscotch flavoring) and “pumpkin juice” will be served, and a silent auction will be held. To reserve tickets at $5 each, call (815) 753-5200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets will be available at the door as well.
That same day, NIU will host a Muggle Mini-Academy for students from noon to 5:30 p.m., and a New Ideas Conference from noon to 5 p.m. for teachers wanting to incorporate the J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series into their classrooms. Visit www.niu.edu/CLASEP online for cost and registration information on both events.
The Muggle Mini-Academy is modeled after Hogwarts, the fictional school of witchcraft and wizardry where Harry Potter comes of age, and geared for junior high and high school students who have a passion for Potter.
As at Hogwarts, students will be sorted into houses. They’ll participate in book discussions, make predictions for the final book of the series and next movie and take part in a horcrux (magical object) scavenger hunt. The singer for the Remus Lupins, part of a musical movement known as Wizard rock, a genre spawned by the Harry Potter phenomenon, will meet with students and sign autographs.
Participants will leave with their own Monster Book of Monsters and a souvenir blanket in the colors of their “house.” All campers will have free entry to the Muggle Ball that evening.
“More and more people are recognizing the literary value of the Harry Potter series,” says Karley Adney, who is directing the Muggle Mini-Academy.
Adney is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at NIU. She regularly teaches a Harry Potter-themed writing class and has presented and published on both the series itself and ways in which it can be used in the classroom. She co-directed last summer’s celebrated inaugural Muggle Academy summer camp at NIU, and serves as curriculum director for the Bonding Over Books organization, whose 2007 focus is Harry Potter.
Adney and 35-year veteran English Professor John Knapp will lead the teacher workshop, titled “Bringing the Magic of Harry Potter to Your Classroom.” Educators will discuss the literary importance of Harry Potter, learn how to introduce the series in their classrooms and develop interdisciplinary lessons. Participants will earn five continuing professional development units and also gain free entry to the Muggle Ball.
“We decided to put on the workshop because we’ve had so many requests from teachers about how to incorporate the series into their classes and curricula,” says Kathy Wright, director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming, which is organizing the day’s events.
“We also had a lot of interest from parents and students when we held our first Muggle Academy summer camp last June,” Wright adds. “I thought it was something special, but unfortunately a lot of people didn’t find out about the summer camp until after registration had closed.”
Wright says interest has been high in the December 2 events, especially for the Muggle Ball. Proceeds will fund scholarships for next summer’s week-long Muggle Academy.
The NIU events are not endorsed, sanctioned, or in any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J.K. Rowling and her representatives.