I’m sitting here on a rain filled Sunday trying to get ready for the school week. After a great visit to Parma Elementary last week by Tom Angleberger, I can’t stop thinking about the importance of author visits. I understand that schools are strapped for cash, PTAs are being pulled each and every way, and building principals are trying to make sure they have enough pencils to get through the year, but kids NEED author visits.
In the last 12 months the students at Parma Elementary have been blessed to welcome Janet Tashjian, Linda Urban, Andy Griffiths, and Tom Angleberger. On top of that more than 80 students from Parma attended Nerd Camp Junior this past summer where 12 authors worked with kids.
Last Monday during independent reading I looked around my classroom and saw kids reading a book by each one of the authors that we have had visit Parma: Linda Urban’s Hound Dog True, Andy Griffith’s 13 and 26 Story Treehouse, Linda Urban’s Mouse Was Mad, Janet Tashjian’s Einstein the Class Hamster, and about 7 kids reading an Origami Yoda book.
My students are excited about reading, they see authors as rock stars and they cannot wait for the next author to walk through the doors of Parma Elementary. I have heard people say over and over again that their school cannot afford author visits.
I don’t know how you can afford to not have author visits.
Our students need to meet authors. Skype is great, but an in house author visit, when done right, is as magical a school day as you will ever experience. Kids just want to touch authors. It’s almost as if they are checking to see if they are real.
I’m guessing that if we stopped giving kindergarteners computerized tests and Accelerated Reader a whole lot of kids could experience the magic of an author visit.
I’m hoping that your students and your children get the chance to hang out with an author during the school year.