Author Workshops and Visits, what’s it all about?


Since the end of February start of March, I have been keeping pretty busy with school events. First, was Read Across America Week. Then I had a Family STEAM Night at Rosemary Elementary. Next, I have another school event at CMS. 

Signing copies of Little Katie Goes to the Moon

After these have finished up, I have a return Pearl Zanker, and then potentially a new school district to work with in my area. I’m super excited about the possibility to work with a new group of students. Don’t get me wrong. I love watching the students grow in knowledge over the years, and being able to have a share in this is exceptionally rewarding. 

Writing their own narrative stories

What have these visits taught me? It’s more just a visit. These workshops help reach the children on a different level. Sparking something inside them that otherwise might not have been awoken. It’s also a great way to help parents have an active role with their kids. 

One of the districts has a strong focus on parent and community involvement. I work closely with the lead for parent and community involvement representative from the district office. We spent countless hours customizing a specific educational plan to use at the schools that would help encourage parent involvement. I will say, I am unsure who enjoyed the visits more. The children, or their parents! 

Wooden Wedge Car

The photos you have been seeing are from my most recent school visits. I worked with the students on story development and David taught them design and engineering through constructing derby cars. What is so great about an author visit? 

Besides being a fun break from the classroom routine, an author or illustrator visit introduces students to the processes of writing, developing characters, and expressing one’s creativity. It gets readers excited about books, and it provides an opportunity to encourage young writers.

The teachers have genuinely valued these visits as well and took an active role in participating. Here are what some have said. 

“The teachers sang Ms. Dutra’s praises all week. All I heard was how much the staff, students, and parents loved her visits. I had several teachers request for her to visit again. I hope she returns; she is welcome at my school anytime.” Mr.Schmaedick, Principal

 

“Having Ms. Dutra in the classroom was such inspiration for my students! Not only was she patient and understanding, but she was very flexible and accommodating. She worked closely with each one of my students. After her visit, my students were encouraged to do more in the area of creative writing. They were so excited to start their next writing assignment in class. We need more visits like these! We need professionals to visit our students so they can see that they can grow up to be more than just a doctor, firefighter, or a policeman.” Ms. Valiani, first grade.

“It was wonderful having a STEAM author visit our school. For the students to meet someone who started off just like them and went on to write and produce children’s literature is quite the amazing privilege. Carmy really went out of her way to include everyone, to encourage parents to have a share, and make the whole experience fun.” Ms. Darchuck, second grade.

Constructing and designing wooden wedge cars

I believe firmly in giving back to the schools and take my role seriously to help plant these seeds of interest with them. That is why even if a school is not local, or has had funding cut, I always do everything in my power to work with them in some way I can. Click the link below, to learn more about school visits, and how you can benefit from one. 

http://carmeladutra.com/about/author-visits/

Have you had the privilege of either hosting or attending an author school visit? Share your comments or questions below! Thanks for stopping by! 


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