Friday, March 29, 2019

Fourth Grade Little Read Rocks!

In this age of constant blasting technology and interfering distractions, for one brief interlude of time, every fourth grade child in our western North Carolina Caldwell County puts all else aside and reads the same book, works on similar activities and then meets the author. What a concept! It's called the Little Read. Here's how the superintendent of schools explains it:

  • “The Caldwell County Schools Little Read is a unique and insightful program that celebrates outstanding literary works written by North Carolina authors,” said Superintendent Dr. Donald Phipps. “Many universities hold similar events, but we offer this experience to our fourth-graders. We want them to believe in the possibilities of writing their own book and to begin to understand the beauty of literature at an early age.” 

For the second year in a row, I was fortunate enough to be that author. Last year it was with my When Christmas Feels Like Home, this year with my Back on Earth: When Men First Landed on the Moon.
I equate my recent author visits with fourth graders to being a grandmother. You get to enjoy all the good things about children, and then pass them back! Enjoy I did. The children were engaged. They asked appropriate, thought provoking questions. They responded to my cues.
I almost wanted to be their forever teacher. Almost, except that I do love what I am doing now, writing. Yet during those brief encounters I remembered the joy of children in the act of learning. I met exciting teacher who tapped into that joy. I met energetic principals who beamed when their students responded to me in polite, sometimes humorous ways. I watched children file into the gym, or media center, or commons area, whichever spot these schools offered to collect children ready to learn. I watched them file out, orderly, well mannered, where invariably, a few dared to break rank and hug me or ask me a one-on-one question. Those are the moments a former teacher lives for. Thank you, Caldwell County, for entrusting me with the minds of your precious children.
Most of all, I got my message across: Learn about the past (in this case, Apollo Eleven) by reading about it, writing about it, and talking to those of us in a different generation who were witnesses. We have stories to tell.

Catch of the day,


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