Kristin's Author Blog

School Visit: Amherst, OH

May 13th, 2005

After visiting with the kids in Loudonville, I zipped up to Amherst, OH. Kim Gambish, a wonderfully enthusiastic teacher friend of mine, invited me back for a 2nd visit to her school. I loved visiting this school because I did one large presentation with the whole school, and then had time to really answer a lot of questions and talk about journaling & bookmaking with smaller groups. Harris is a whole school of just 3rd & 4th graders. This is a picture of me out in front of the school with a couple of the students. It was taken by a newspaper reporter who came to interview me between sessions. Thank you, Harris Elementary!

School Visit: Loudonville, OH

May 12th, 2005

Oops, so it is actually September 2005, and I am just now finishing my spring 2005 blog entries…
Sorry everyone! So this is a picture of me at C.E. Budd Middle School. (I know it’s hard to tell which one of us is not in middle school…I’m the one holding the book.) The kids were awesome. I think it’s sometimes fun to talk with the “big kids” because they are at a point when they can start to realize their education belongs to THEM. So what are you going to do with it, kids?

Book Signing: Loudonville, OH

May 11th, 2005

Tonight, after speaking with the McMullen students during the day, I came back to the library for a book signing. It was a fun time. There wasn’t a huge crowd, but it gave me an opportunity to talk a little more with the students who were really interested in writing or illustrating. I brought copies of my new book about journaling, Words With Wings, and sold a few. After the signing, my host teachers took me out to a cute little cafe for a delicious dinner. Thanks, everyone!

School Visit: Loudonville, OH

May 11th, 2005

Hi from Loudonville, OH! This trip was a delight for many reasons. The only thing that was not so fun was how the airlines misplaced my luggage on a direct flight from St. Louis, MO to Columbus, OH. Urg. But that’s the first time in 12 years of author visits, so I can’t complain too much.

Anyway, The good things about this trip far outweighed this minor disaster. Today, I spoke with the K-3 students of McMullen Elementary, and as you can see from the photo above, these kids are very creative. They also decorated the doors of each classroom throughout the building with artwork relating to my books. What fun. One thing that made it easier for me to do my presentations was the fact that there’s a wonderful public library across the street from McMullen (K-3) and C.E. Budd (4-6) schools. So instead of moving from class to class, I set up in a conference room in the library, and the students from both schools came to visit me. I think the idea of a mini-field trip helped the kids be on their best behavior. Today I worked with the McMullen students. They were wonderful.

For lunch, the teachers prepared an ABC buffet. Each teacher brought a dish starting with a different letter of the alphabet. I got a chance to visit with the teachers about their students’ writing projects and some of my upcoming book ideas. Thank you, McMullen Elementary!

School Visit: Coral Springs, FL

May 5th, 2005

On the afternoon of 5 May, I spent some time talking with 2 groups of upper elementary students. In Florida, there is a significant writing component that has been added to the 4th grade level standardized tests, so they are practicing all the steps of the writing process: deciding on a genre, brainstorming, rough drafts, editing, more editing, reading out loud, and finally the finished work. I spoke at this school in 2001, so some of the students remembered seeing me when they were in kindergarten or first grade. But they hadn’t seen my two newest books, Saguaro Moon: A Desert Journal(2002) and Words With Wings(2005), so it was fun to share them with the students. Thanks, Country Hills!

School Visit: Parkland, FL

May 4th, 2005

Today I visited Park Trails Elementary School. Mrs. Marino had been planning this visit since August 2004, and I was excited to finally meet her, and the students! (She also gave me some good tips on how to share my Spanish language translations of A Walk in the Rainforest and A Swim through the Sea with students in her area, so thanks for that!) Park Trails is a very nice school, and huge! It is located in a growing part of Parkland, and had a student body of about 1500 this year. Because of the school’s size, the schedule had to be configured so that I spoke to 2 groups on the morning of 4 May, and 2 more on the morning of the 5th. It was hard to take questions when working with groups of over 400 students at a time, so I was happy to visit with some of the more interested students between presentations, and during the autographing session in the library. Thank you, Park Trails!

School Visit: Coral Springs, FL

May 4th, 2005

The Coral Springs Christian Academy added on to my school visit trip at the very last minute – about a week or two before I left for Florida. I am so glad it worked out to visit with these students! I did one presentation in the afternoon with the 2nd and 3rd graders. It was a little warm, and the students were kind of squished into a small room, but even at the end of the day, the kids were very well behaved. They sat quietly and asked some really interesting questions. They are definitely getting ready for 3rd and 4th grade! We talked about writing, illustrating, inspiration, using our talents to help our communities, and doing our best work. Many of the students came up and talked with me afterwards, and I got several emails from them asking for advice about writing and getting published. Thank you, CSCA!

School Visit: Lantana, FL

May 3rd, 2005

Hi from Florida! A great place to visit in the spring… I spent the day speaking with the students at Starlight Cove Elementary, and these kids were marvelous. I started the day with a surprise appearance on the Starlight Cove morning news program. Then I spoke in the library, and the groups were pretty large. The last group of the day was a mix of 3rd and 5th graders. They were totally impressive. They filled the entire library, and sat very quietly for almost an hour. Good job, kids! A special thank you to Sharon Pomerants & Christie Connors for setting up this day at the last minute.

School Visit: Columbus, OH

April 22nd, 2005

Happy Earth Day! I spent the day talking with students at Gables Elementary, in Columbus, OH. It was super fun. There was a delicious catered lunch, and it gave me the opportunity to visit with the teachers, who were all very friendly. In addition to the 4 presentations I gave during the day, I also came back (after my wonderful host teachers took me out for dinner) to visit with a small group this evening. Two students, who interviewed me in the afternoon, dragged their whole families back to the school for the evening talk so they could ask me more questions. I am sure they will be writers someday. Check out this awesome poster that Mr. Miller’s class made to welcome me to their school! Yay! Thank you, Gables!

School Visit: Suffern, NY

April 19th, 2005

I can’t believe it! I have been doing school visits for about 13 years, and this is my first time speaking at a school in New York. I had a great time working with the students at Montebello School. I was greeted by members of the student council when I arrived at the school on the morning of 18 April. They gave me a bunch of flowers, and made sure I had some water after my presentations. What excellent hosts! The teachers provided a nice breakfast for me in the library, and I had lunch with some specially selected students. They asked me so many questions that I hardly had time to eat! I could tell that these kids were well on their way to becoming writers or artists. I gave 4 presentations in the library, and the kids were marvelous. I was supposed to visit two different schools in Suffern, but the second one didn’t work out, so that meant I got to spend a little extra time today (19 April) with the older students at Montebello. Keep up the good work!