Sunday, January 16, 2011
Kids and Books: Promoting Literacy at your School or Library
One of the most meaningful events that can promote literacy in your school or library is to bring in an author for a visit. Hearing the author's "story behind the story" can generate excitement and enthusiasm among students. When I visit schools, I often find that kids get "fired up" about writing their own stories and reading more after hearing how I've gone through the process of having my books published. I focus on how everyone has a story to share, and I try to give kids the tools to work through the writing process to create the best possible version of the story.
I've visited schools at various times. Sometimes I have presented in connection to a student authors program. Many schools have special events when students write their own stories and even publish them and make them available for purchase. Those are great times to bring in an author or illustrator. Also, authors can come in connection with Dr. Seuss's birthday (at the end of February) or for a summer reading kick-off at the end of the school year. You can create an exciting event to motivate the kids to gain a love of reading and writing.
The focus of my presentations is usually on how to capture ideas, write about them, refine them, revise, and then finally produce a clean, polished draft. I show lots of photos of how my stories have gone from the idea stage to publication. Illustrators also go through the process of revision, so I spend time showing how some of the artwork in my books went through drafts as well. Since I am not an illustrator, I tend to spend more time on the language, but I also love looking into the artwork and showing how picture books need both the language and the art to work in beautiful concert together.
I share lots of photos and visual aids to help support what the students are learning in the classroom about the writing process and how to revise their projects. If you would love to promote writing and reading with your school or library, consider hosting an author for a visit.
For more info on my school visits, click here.