Last week, I did an author visit at Cajon Park School in my own little town of Santee, CA. I got to speak to all the 4th, 5th and 6th graders in two assemblies. The visit went super well. These students are incredibly creative and inquisitive and respectful--all good ingredients for a successful visit. Thank you to everyone involved in setting it up. (Principal Ginn-May, Librarian Siebern, PTA, anyone I may have forgotten).
I have to think it must be particularly empowering (to use an overused word) for students to meet a very local author. Because a very local author goes to your library and shops at the same grocery store as your family and works out at the same gym as your mother. This must make writing a book and getting it published or, in a larger sense, attaining any dream, seem so much more manageable and doable. Which is the way it should be because a dream is attainable. I'm just guessing about the local author stuff. There were no author visits, local or otherwise, at my elementary school when I was growing up.
Before I forget, thank you Middle-Grade Author Ellen Booraem for sharing your Character Chasing exercise. We had lots of fun with it!
I always learn a thing or two and usually more at a school visit. Here are a few of my thoughts following this visit.
I had lunch with some of the students, and we ate in this very amazing garden. Cajon Park School's garden is run by a mother-daughter team (hello Judy and Liz!) with lots of student help. Students learn (I'm sure they're not even aware they're learning most of the time) in this garden. This shot shows just a small segment of the garden.
We sampled apples and cucumbers from the garden. Now, I thought we couldn't grow apples in San Diego because we have such a short cold period, and apple trees need dormant time. But, it turns out there are two varieties that do well here: the Anna apple (needs 150-200 cold hours/year) and the Beverly Hills apple (needs 100 cold hours/yr). So, the Anna apple does a little better inland (where I live) while the Beverly Hills apple does better along the coast. I want an Anna apple tree (Mr. Summy, are you reading this post?).
I love raised flower beds. But I'd never thought of using plastic decking (such as Trex decking) to build the walls. Brilliant idea!
They have four composting bins built of leftover pallettes and chicken wire. The shiny round object in the middle is a special composting thermomter that not only tells you the temperature inside the mulch, but also what the temperature means.
Please click here for links to more My Town Monday posts! It's always fun to see what's going on in other corners of the world.