Last week I had the pleasure of participating in AN OPEN BOOK CHILDREN’S LITERACY FOUNDATION (AOB) program in Washington, DC. For those unfamiliar with this program, AOB brings an author to under served schools and provides copies of the author’s book to ALL the students in a chosen school in DC. These children often do not have an opportunity to own books and most have never met an author before. Through the generosity of this non-profit group, more than 90 copies of WHEELS OF CHANGE were distributed to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.
What a thrill it was to be welcomed by such an enthusiastic group of children and educators! I had the privilege to visit TWO schools on Friday 2-20-2015: The KIMBALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 3377 Minnesota Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20019.
Here I met some amazing third and forth graders who knew a lot about their home town and asked some great questions about WHEELS OF CHANGE.
After a lively discussion on the changes in their town over the last hundred years, and learning about a forge and what a carriage maker and blacksmith does, the kids got to see a real horseshoe and seemed pleased to get their signed books.
My second visit took place at the KETCHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 1919 15th Street SE, Washington, DC 20020.
Here I met some amazing fifth graders who also astonished me with their knowledge of the nation’s capitol 100 years ago. We had fun talking about what wasn’t in town back then (cheeseburgers, sneakers, cars, TV, electricity) and whether or not they would like living in a time when horses and carriages ruled the day.
After the presentation, I again had the privilege of signing books for the students and answering their questions. One of my favorites was this:
STUDENT: “Did you write the book with pencil and paper?”
ME: “I did use pencil and paper until I had a complete story. Then I went to the computer and typed it up.”
STUDENT: “Didn’t your hand get tired?”
ME: “I didn’t write it all in one day. It took many months.”
STUDENT: Nodding her head, “Oh.”
To find out more about this wonderful program, visit:
Yay, Darlene! Sounds like you had an extraordinary experience at both schools.
It was an amazing day Robin and an honor and thrill to be part of the wonderful program.
What an amazing experience. So glad you shared it.
I wonder if you might be available to Skype either 4 p.m. Tuesday (tomorrow) or Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. or later.
I have been reading a lot about why an author must have a blog presence before publishing a book, especially in Kathy Temean’s blog. I’d like to hear how you approached it.
Also, I’ve been reading about the editing you need to before you submit your manuscript. I’d like to hear how you handled that as well.
I also want to talk to you about a good time to schedule my spelling bee blog post.
If those times don’t work for you, please suggest something next week. Only days I can’t do it are Monday and Wednesday.
Hope to talk to you soon.
What a great gift to both you and the school children… a truly rewarding day for all!
What a wonderful organization – and an amazing way for you to share your knowledge and your book with these kids. Thanks for sharing!
It IS a wonderful organization Katey! They’ve only been around for 4 years and have already brought 90 authors to DC schools. It is an honor and humbling to be included among authors such as Mo Willems and Mac Barnett. I wish every urban area had a similar program.
This warms my heart, Darlene, not just for the students, but for you. This sounds like a wonderful experience and it thrills me so many more kids have Wheels of Change in their hands 😀
Thanks Donna…it was definitely a heart-warming experience! :>)
Wow, Darlene! It must have been a wonderful experience for you and the children. The children were lucky to receive a copy of your book and hopefully the story will resonate with them as they learn about their neighborhood over one hundred years ago.
Thanks Shiela, that’s my hope as well.