Posted by: jeannineatkins | March 2, 2009

March Into Reading

I spent Friday in Rhode Island where I talked about the writing process and Anne Hutchinson’s Way at the Underwood School, Cranston-Calvert School, and Carey School in Newport. I got great questions, and not a single off target one: these kids were well prepared by librarian Jane Perry who ferried me between schools, pointing out historical sights along the way. There was lots of interest in Anne Hutchinson as someone who found sanctuary on the island where they, too, lived – after being banned from my home state. Well, it was a few hundred years ago, but we’re still sorry.

On Saturday, Acuidneck Collaborative for Education and Salve Regina University
presented March Into Reading http://www.salve.edu/departments/edc/ace/march.cfm a celebration with everything well thought out down to buses that went from school to school in the morning to provide transportation. Children visited rooms where they could explore a rainforest, medieval life, or ancient Egypt. They listened to the amazing David Macaulay explain the workings of the world, examined the weapons of Revolutionary War reenactors, and said a hello or Argghhh! to John Brennan, author of The Ghosts of Newport, dressed as a pirate.

Ashley, a student at Carey School, introduced my talk beautifully.

It’s always a treat to be on the same program with Michael Dooling http://www.michaeldooling.com/, who illustrated Anne Hutchinson’s Way and Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon. Here we are with Ashley. I ate breakfast with Mike’s wife that morning, and found out that, like me, she usually packs a bathing suit just in case, so next time, Jane and I vowed to hit the hotel pool together.

I loved meeting Janet Taylor Lisle http://www.janettaylorlisle.com/ who wrote one of my favorite novels, Afternoon of the Elves, which I taught in conjunction with Bridge to Terabithia, comparing depictions of imagination, class, and friendship. My daughter and I also happily read the Investigators of the Unknown series together when Emily was about nine; we weren’t as Harry Potter smitten as many of her friends, so it was these books that had the perfect balance of magic, gold dust, and realism to wean us away from The Little House in the Prairie. I’m eager to read Janet’s newest novel, Highway Cats.

It’s always good to see sweet Linda Cotta Brennan http://lcbrennan.blogspot.com/ http://www.lindacrottabrennan.com/. Here she is signing The Black Regiment of the American Revolution. I met Tony O’Brien http://www.santafephotogallery.com/?p=artist_biography&a=TO, Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan is a collection of his stunning photographs and short, heart-tugging dreams of young people.

Linda and I enjoyed the ocean along the Cliff Walk before she said, “Um, Jeannine, do you think you’ll turn around sometime?”

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Responses

  1. Do you think you’ll turn around sometime??!!! I love that–I’ve hiked with people like you! 🙂
    What a great weekend. Thanks for the pics.

  2. That sounds like a perfect weekend experience. That Cliff Walk looks incredible. Wish I’d been walking with you because I wouldn’t have wanted to turn around, either.

  3. It was lovely — I’m glad the northeaster held off until today!

  4. Yes, that cliff walk is incredible — and it does wonderfully go on and on. But Linda had wanted lunch well before we left, so I lured her away, and I really did need to get into my much less compelling car.

  5. What a great day!

  6. Lovely!

  7. Sounds like a wonderful trip — especially that walk! Thanks for the lovely pictures.

  8. What a wonderful time with other book lovers! It doesn’t get much better! Happy for you!

  9. Sounds like an excellent weekend! So glad you had a great time!

  10. Thanks, Kelly. That ocean view, and some big-eyed children, are sustaining me through the big blanket of snow outside.

  11. I thought of you, Cindy, as I just bought a projector based on some of your advice from you blog I printed out a year or two ago. We are Epsom sisters, sort of, though I’m very much a powerpoint fledgling.

  12. Salve Regina is gorgeous. Hate to say it, but I think those views are wasted on the nineteen year olds. What a writing/artist retreat it could be!

  13. Books, sweet kids, hero worship, ocean: you’re right — it doesn’t get better! (although a few degrees warmer would be acceptable!)

  14. Thanks, Laura!


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