Category Archives: 2012 Festival

Support a Bridge Book for Kids!

The Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland & Vancouver is a book that gets young kids excited about science and engineering and provides teachers a comprehensive resource for developing engaging elementary school curriculums, all through an exploration of one of the most diverse and historic collections of big river bridges in the world.

Help us publish the first-ever kid’s book about these spectacular bridges!

“Bridgetown” is one of Portland, Oregon’s most popular nicknames, and bridges have been taught as part of the third grade social studies curriculum in its public schools for over 50 years.

However, even though the city and its next-door-neighbor, Vancouver, WA, are living museums of bridges—home to all three main bridge types and all three main movable bridge types, built by some of the most famous American bridge engineers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries—there has never been a book about these world-class bridges just for young readers and their teachers. Help us ensure that our public school teachers have the resources they need to keep the bridge curriculum alive in our children’s classrooms!

What’s in the book?

Full-color pages with unique photographs and illustrations
Detailed historical and contemporary facts about all 22 of the Portland and Vancouver area big river bridges, including four railway bridges
Photos of 9 footbridges
Interviews with bridge engineers and others
Bridge poetry and art from elementary students
Math exercises
Step-by-step instructions to build and load-test a truss bridge!
And more!

We need $35,000 to bridge the gap in publishing and design costs.

We want to donate at least 4,000 copies of Big & Awesome Bridges to Portland Public Schools third-grade classrooms and to Portland and Vancouver metropolitan-area public school libraries. This will ensure that each third-grade student has their own book to study bridges by 2014.

This book has come together as a collaborative effort by a mostly-volunteer group of people. However, we have needed to raise money to pay for the book’s design, printing, binding, and publishing costs. We’re almost there, but we need your help in this final stretch.

This book will be around for generations.

Much of your donation will go towards the physical cost of this book. Since public schools do not receive resource donations of this nature very often, we are having each copy of Big & Awesome Bridges built to last at least 25 years. This will ensure that children will have the opportunity to study our cities’ bridges for generations to come.

Moreover, this hardcover, over 200-page book will be printed and bound in the U.S., supporting the continued revitalization of our national economy!

Want your own copy of Big & Awesome Bridges?

The only way to ensure your own (autographed!) copy of the book is to donate to this campaign. We are not planning to publish for retail and will print only a limited amount of books beyond the number needed to give to public schools. For each book that is purchased as a perk through this campaign, we will be able to donate at least one other book to children in need.

Spread the word!

Please share this campaign with your family and friends on facebook, twitter, and other social media. With your help, we can enrich the minds and hearts of our children and make certain that all our big and awesome bridges remain standing for generations to come!

Thank you!

Bridging The Gap

Walk Portland’s bridges with Sharon Wood Wortman and Ed Wortman, authors of The Portland Bridge Book

Help fund the new limited edition book they are publishing on a volunteer basis with PDX Bridge Festival, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, to give to Metro-area school classrooms and libraries: The Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland & Vancouver—A Book for Young Readers & their Teachers.

Meets at Floyd’s Coffee, 118 NW Couch in Old Town, 2 p.m., Sunday, October 27. Visit the ODOT Bridge Museum, meet a bridge operator, and walk into the bascule pit of the Morrison Bridge—one of the largest mechanical structures in Oregon, to see gears 36 feet tall in operation. About 3 hours, with tea and a snack afterwards in Chinatown.

$125 per person or $200 a couple, includes food, plus an autographed copy of the new book, being printed in a limited edition just in time for the 2013 holidays. Get your copy while you can! Anytime someone buys a book, they are helping to pay for two or more free books that will go to school kids and teachers. Pre-registration not necessary, just show up. Questions? Visit or call 503 330 0900.