Posted by: jeannineatkins | October 25, 2008

A Day in Torrington, CT schools

Yesterday my friend Pat drove me between the three elementary schools in Torrington, Connecticut. I read to two kindergarten classes, spoke about the writing process with two fifth grade classes, and met many of Pat’s students. Here’s a shot of her with some. The girl on the left came back to see me though she’s been phased out of the ELL program. The girl in the pink leopard pants had asked Pat earlier this week if she thought I would hug her. Yes! My college students are awesome, but it’s nice to get out and bask in little kid cuteness now and then.

While waiting for other students to arrive so we could talk about my book Aani and the Tree Huggers, some girls tried on the sari I brought. Here’s one happy girl.



  1. so great!
    did I see your name as someone who’s attending the Falling Leaves workshop? I’ll be there…

  2. Yes, I’m going — can’t wait, even if the falling leaves will have fallen. I’m glad you reminded me — I told myself I’d have a new first chapter of the novel I’m working on ready then… I’ve been all over the place with this book, but need to go back to the beginning so that the words actually follow each other in a way that makes sense.
    I look forward to seeing you there!

  3. Oh what fun! They’re adorable. 🙂

  4. You!
    I have been enjoying reading your blogs! Great that you are in classrooms of ALL ages too! (Such a wide range of comments and intuitive questions to answer!)
    Also, I have been getting into the book on the Presidents….tres’ cool!(Yours being the best entry of course!)
    Best to Pat!

  5. Many of the girls had that I-am-pleased-with-myself, and I-am-humble smile of the girl in the bottom picture; what a pleasure.

  6. Re: You!
    Thanks Bruce! Peace to you, too!

  7. What a sweetie!
    I’d love to hear more about your talk to the 5th graders–how much detail/depth you go into and what they seem to connect with? That age seems particularly challenging to me for a presentation. You know, sometime, if you’re bored & looking for another post idea… 🙂

  8. Hi, Becky, well actually it is nice to be asked questions for future blog posts! Nice to know someone is paying attention! I’m doing a presentation for sixth graders in about two weeks, so I’ll try to follow up with that. But a lot of it was asking questions what does a story need, taking their words, and arranging them on the board so they mad some sense going down from topi, character, details, beginning-middle-and-end (structure isn’t a word I often hear); often have to egg out style and point of view. I ask them to name heroes, as that’s what I write about, and we discuss what that could mean. Then we choose one and discuss things like where we might begin or end the story, point out there’s no one right way, but how it would change things. Okay, I’ll write more later!!!

  9. She looks so beautiful and proud and happy in that sari. Well done, you!

  10. Thanks, Kelly. There was a lot of such beauty, but I resisted posting all the pictures – look at her! and her! and her!
    But I did enjoy whispering, “You’re beautiful,” in their ears as I wound the cloth.

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