School Visit: Durango, CO

Wow! What a change from Houston! Last week it was up in the 80s, and now it definitely feels like winter is coming here in Durango. Today I spent the morning visiting in the library with 2 groups of students at Animas Valley Elementary. First I talked with the 1st and 2nd graders and their 4th grade reading buddies. The 1st graders had an entire white board filled with questions they prepared in their classrooms before I arrived. Next, I spoke with the 3rd, 5th, and remaining 4th graders. They were especially excited about seeing my journals. I could tell that there were quite a few avid writers in this group. Thank you, Animas Valley!

I spent the afternoon on the complete opposite side of Durango, visiting with the Sunnyside students. These kids were amazing! First, I dropped in on a 4th grade writing group, to answer some in-depth, serious questions about the writing process. We talked about researching, outlines, first drafts, editing, revising, and publishing. Then I got a special treat. I visited a 1st grade class and the 2nd & 3rd grade mixed writing class. Both groups created alliterative alphabet books, which they read to me. It was great! Usually, I’m the one reading the stories. It was nice to get to listen to a story for a change! At the end of the day, I spoke to the whole school (K-5) in the library. I was impressed with how well the kids listened – especially the little ones. Since it was Election Day, we talked a lot about how one person can make a difference, and how if we work together, we can change the world. Thanks, Sunnyside!

Also, several of the librarians took me out to dinner at The Palace, a great restaurant in Durango. The food was absolutely delicious, and it was nice to get to visit with them personally. I never knew librarians could be so much fun! The students are lucky to have them at their schools. These ladies work really hard. Thanks for dinner!

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