Students benefit from an author visit in many ways. Not only does it bring a real person’s voice and face as the creator behind a story, but an author is able to share where ideas originate from, the research process, the writing process, and essentially let students know that they too can take part in the creative process of writing.
Wellsville’s seventhth grade ELA teacher, Amy Hunt, and school librarian, Shannon Whiteside, brought Newbery Award winning author Linda Sue Park to approximately 100 students via video conference on Friday, January 22nd. Through the Arts in Education COSER 403, author visits are affordable whether in person or online.
Hunt’s seventh graders recently read Park’s A Long Walk to Water which is based on the true story of a Sudanese boy’s experience with war and a refugee camp who eventually found solace in the Rochester, NY area. Filled with adventure and hardship, A Long Walk to Water introduces readers to one boy’s personal struggle to survive and the reality that water is a precious commodity. Not only do readers experience empathy as they read this book but experience the main character’s success when he returns to Sudan as an adult to help establish water wells for remote villages.
After Park shared her writing process, nine students were able to ask questions. One student asked, “What interested you in writing?” Park’s response was, “to see a white rectangle covered with black squiggly lines and realize how those squiggles can make someone laugh, cry, or be inspired is such power. What power to make people feel!”
When asked how difficult it was to include the details in her book, Park shared that she had re-written the story seventeen times. With a giggle, she told students, “I like to play video games so I think of writing like leveling up”.
Interested in bring an author to your school? Contact your school librarian or Mary Morris at Mary_Morris@caboces.org to learn more about Arts in Education.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES School Library Coordinator