This week I visited two schools outside Syracuse, NY: Van Buren Elementary and Elden Elementary.
At least I’m pretty sure I did. It was a little confusing. It turns out that this was one of those situations where both schools were built from the exact same plans. They looked exactly alike, plus they were only a mile or so from each other. By the second day I kept forgetting where I was, exactly. But it didn’t really matter; I had a great time both places.
My first stop was at Van Buren, and after the morning presentations I got to meet with several students for an official â€œpress lunchâ€. As we ate, they took turns asking me questions about writing, illustrating and making books. I, in turn, did my best not to talk with food in my mouth. It was informal and a lot of fun, and the questions were really good.
Van Buren was a lot of fun, and I especially enjoyed the artwork where kids imagined what was buried down in Uncle Frank’s pit. Very cool.
The next day I drove over to the other side of town to visit Elden Elementary. The school had just installed a beautiful new screen, and I got to inaugurate it. I’m not sure if it was because I was using a microphone, but for the second day in a row the kids were terrific. It’s never easy doing a large presentation in a cafeteria, but these sure went smoothly. My thanks to all the kids at both schools.
Then came lunch. Actually, I can’t even remember what I had for lunch; it was all about the dessert. Corinne Johnston, the Arts Education Chairperson went all out with one of the most spectaular pastry/cake/cookie/fruit spreads I’ve ever had the pleasure to see.
Finally, to top things off I finished the day with one more presentation to the PTA that evening. To their credit, the parents were even better behaved than their kids, and that’s saying a lot. (The kids asked more questions, though.) It was a real pleasure getting a chance to speak to the parents, and I thank the PTA for the opportunity.
My thanks also go out to Corrine, Cindy Doback, and all the teachers and principals who made the visits possible. Much appreciated!