School Visit to St. Dominic's
My recent school visit to St. Dominic's was a terrific learning experience! A visit I would enjoy conducting over and over again. St. Dominic's is an alternative school for children with special needs and the enthusiasm from the students for my visit was overwhelming and heart touching.
We started off our two hour visit with the classroom teacher, Ms. Jacqui introducing me to her students, I then in turn asked each of them to introduce themselves. With introductions complete, I discovered much to my delight, Ms. Jacqui and the students prepared themselves for my visit beforehand by writing questions on index cards they wanted to ask. Focused and on task, the ease of conversation was exhilarating and we moved on to watching the book trailer of The Golden Pathway and reading an excerpt.
I then shared my experiences of journal writing and discovered several of them enjoy writing. This was the perfect opportunity to give them each a pocket journal and pen and asked them to write about how they enjoy spending their weekends. After about 15 minutes they each shared their journal entry with the class. I then encouraged the students to continue with their journal writing for enjoyment and before I knew it, it was time to say thank you and good-bye. Encouraging them to stay in touch through Ms. Jacqui.
The feedback that very afternoon from Ms. Jacqui via email set the tone for a wonderful weekend:
"The kids absolutely loved having you come in and talk to them! Your book is amazing and since we have recently learned about the Underground Railroad the students were able to connect with your book easily. They also LOVED the journals and your ideas/inspiration for writing in them! Carol and Peter spent computer class doing just that! They are all bright kids and your talent of coaxing them out of their shells was effortless. They really enjoyed meeting you and the time you took to get to know them a bit over the course of your visit. Thank you." Ms. Jacqui, St. Dominic's
A wonderfully exciting and affirming time as to why I write for children!
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.