One of my March school visits was particularly memorable because of extraordinary efforts of librarians to engage their students in my work before I arrived.
Brent Subic Library staff (left to right): Riza Bamba (elementary library assistant), Angelo Fernandez (middle school librarian), me, Debbie Kienzle (Brent International School head librarian), Rose Austria (lower school librarian).
At Brent International School Subic in the Philippines, Rose and Angelo put my books on display, put up welcoming banners, and read my work to their students.
Riza, who'd never been part of an author visit before, worked with the 4th and 5th graders to create the most amazing display of creative projects in response to my work that I've ever seen. She first went online to research what kinds of projects other schools had produced. She googled "author visits," looked at Pinterest, and gathered examples to give students ideas of what was possible.
The students, in small teams of 3-5 students, used 2 library periods per week for more than a month, plus free time - a total of 10-15 hours on each project. They did online research about me and my books, then used their imaginations to craft incredibly original and delightful projects demonstrating their knowledge, including...
a Lift-the-Flap poster ;
a hanging poster;
and a pizza box!
The result of this extraordinary investment of time, energy and creativity was palpable in the students' response to meeting me. When the 4th-5th graders came into the auditorium for their workshop, they were bursting with excitement. It felt as if there was already a deep bond between us, as if I was theirs. What an honor and a delight to spend time with them!
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