School Visit: Jefferson Hills, PA

God bless parent volunteers! I love to see parents that care so much about their kids’ education. This is also the story of why I am so grateful that my husband took time out of his crazy web design business to build me a happy little author site. If he hadn’t, I never would have met Staci Harrold. Staci, a mother of two from Pennsylvania, emailed me at the beginning of the year to ask if I would visit her daughter’s school. She did a Google search for “author visit” and found my ad. I guess she liked my website because she had never heard of me before. Staci did a great job organizing everything, and we worked out a half day schedule for this morning. Well, I flew in to Pittsburgh last night , and had no more dumped my bags in my hotel when two third grade teachers, Ms. Brody and Mrs. James (and the entertaining Mr. James!) arrived to take me to the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto for dinner. I have to say that a gorgeous view of the Pittsburgh skyline, and the three rivers, not to mention the delicious macadamia-encrusted mahi mahi, is a pretty great way to start out a school visit trip. After dinner, I settled down in my room to autograph the books.

Today, I gave 2 presentations at Gill Hall Elementary. First I spoke with the primary students, and then the upper elementary. In between the two presentations, I had a chance to visit with David Pribish from the Mon Valley Education Consortium. Staci Harrold applied for, and received a grant from this amazing organization which payed for my visit and a set of my books for each classroom. It was great to connect with David so he could see how his grant was put into action. I love to see schools receiving this kind of support. After the talks, I toured the school to give award certificates to each classroom for their amazing door decorations. This is a picture of me with Ms. Brody’s third graders and their remarkable rainforest door. Next, the teachers & parents provided a catered lunch in the art room. Thank you Gill Hall School! Go Jaguars!

P.S. On the way to the airport, Staci told me that she was inspired to bring an author to Gill Hall because an author visited her school when she was in second grade. Just the kind of encouragement I needed!

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