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.
Kimball Elementary School, Washington, DC
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.
Each child also got a “goodie bag” with a bookmark, stickers, and candy that was popular in 1909.
My second visit took place at the KETCHAM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 1919 15th Street SE, Washington, DC 20020.
Dara LaPorte telling the students about how a horseshoe is put onto a hoof.
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.
Janet Zwick – one of the Open Book coordinators – and some fifth grade students at Ketcham.
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: