Third graders video chat with author

Janelle Medrano, Reporter

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Children’s author Martha Rodriguez video conferenced with third graders about her book, “A Reel Cool Summer” on Mar. 10.

Rodriguez first contacted the Academy in 2011 when she published her first book, “A Reel Cool Summer,” and offered to speak to students about her children’s book.

Librarian Laurel Oshiro said, “I was very thrilled for her to first visit and talk to the students about what it’s like to publish their own book. Her daughter, Jacqui, graduated from the Academy in 2012, and although they moved to New York, we were still able to keep in touch. Since her previous visits were such big hits among the students, we invited her to visit again and now thanks to technology, we were able to video chat via Skype.”

Third graders are currently conducting their author studies in homeroom and are also learning about story elements, character development, genre and copyright in library class.

During the video conference, students asked questions about how much fun writing can be and where to find inspiration in writing books. They also did a Mad Libs activity with Rodriguez to show how much fun it is to write.

Oshiro said, “I recently attended the Schools of the Future Conference where they mentioned that the most common aspiration that people have before they die is to publish their own children’s book. This sparked an idea for me to give students the opportunity to create their own stories in ‘Write On! You’re An Author’ contest where the winner will have the book published and placed in the Lower School library. It is important for students to know that being a good reader translates into being a better writer and vice versa. I always encourage students not to just be consumers of literature but also to become producers of it.”