The day I decided to write full-time was one of those milestones in my life. I’ve never regretted it, even with the lows rating more than the highs. But I have to say amongst the highs is the experience of being an author-in-residence in schools.
My latest little adventure was the three-day residency at the Chinchilla State Primary School. What a fabulous school it was – bright-eyed kids, supportive teachers and enthusiastic library staff. I’d go again in a flash!
Chinchilla has always been a sleepy little country town out on the edge of the outback, but with the recent years’ intense interest in gas production, it is changing fast. They predict it might soon have its first traffic light!
With over 500 kids it’s one of the schools taking part in the Federal Government’s Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership School program. Their literacy co-ordinator, Cindy Grimes is an essential part of tying things together – she organised my trip and was part of it every step of the way, ensuring the teachers got the kids to read or at least, be familiar with three of my stories, ensuring copies of the books were available in the library and that the whole visit ran like clockwork. Absolutely brilliant! And so much more enjoyable for me.
I used Scaredy Crow for the Preps/1/2s – with song and dance routine to the Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow; comprehension activity through pictures from the story; dress-up and drawing with the kids. Lots of fun!
How on earth Cindy managed to get hold of copies of the story in the New Zealand schools’ Junior Journal? Through the back door! Resourceful woman.
My Charlie and the Red Hot Chilli Pepper was the literary theme for the Years 3/4s, and Secrets of Eromanga for the Years 5/6/7s. It’s amazing how many useful activities and avenues can be gleaned from those two books. 🙂
I’ve had some very positive feedback from everyone concerned. So thank you to the kids from Chinchilla State School, and to the Principal and teachers. Thank you, Helen Bain from Speakers Ink and most of all, thank you, Cindy Grimes. (Cindy even had a little list of other suggestions I could use to increase the value of my presentations for future incursions into schools. How lucky am I?)
Here are some images from my visit.