Each year the 112 Education Foundation provides funding to each of the districts’ 11 schools to bring nationally known children’s/young adult authors to our students. The authors provide students with a window into their craft via school assemblies and classroom workshops with students. Author visits provide powerful lessons in literacy. Before the visits, the teachers and students read their books together and use them for lessons in reading and writing. With an illustrator, students are able to study artistic styles and materials. The students learn that behind each book is a real, live human being. They hear the stories of their lives, how they view the process of writing, and what inspires them.
2016-2017 AUTHOR VISITS
This year’s Author Visits included a number of exciting programs. At Indian Trail, Steve Jenkins and Robin Page visited students in April. They shared stories about unusual animal adaptations, showed short videos of some of these and showed students how they created their illustrations. According to Library Media Specialist Karen Grost, “You could have heard a pin drop because the kids wanted to hear and see everything this couple had to say and show.” The authors also visited students at Braeside, Lincoln, Ravinia, Red Oak, Sherwood and Wayne Thomas.
Oak Terrace hosted Jennifer L. Holm, author of the Babymouse books, on May 4th. Her presentation was very interactive, and she offered multiple opportunities for students to help her draw as well as a short readers theatre. The students learned about the graphic novel writing/drawing process as well as information about Ms. Holm’s life. “Students and teachers described this as one of the best author visits yet,” according to Library Media Specialist Kara Smith. Ms. Holm also visited students at all District elementary schools.
In the fall of 2016, Adam Rubin, author of Dragons Love Tacos, visited several schools in the District. At Red Oak, he enthralled the students with his books and humor in a very interactive presentation. “The children continue to ask for his books, said Library Media Specialist Kate Hancock-Strong. Adam also visited Sherwood School where he did two presentations for K-1 and 2-3. According to Library Media Specialist Helen Weiss, “His presentation kept the students highly engaged and was very interactive. After his presentation, he discussed a bit about his life and then went through the writing process with the kids. He also read his newest book, Robo-Sauce. He created an original story with each group based on student suggestions and a few lucky volunteers got to act it out! He ended with a Q&A session with each group.” In addition, Adam visited Braeside, Lincoln, Oak Terrace, Ravinia and Wayne Thomas.