School Visits and Talking with Kids
Posted on March 19, 2015 by maryoluonye
So here it is March 20th, 2015, and I hope that your year is going well. If you’re anything like me, you will have been noticing that time seems to be speeding by, so, whatever you want to do in life, you’d better get to it … like, in my case, writing this post….
This is what I have been up to lately.
In January, I spoke to students at St. Adalbert School in Cleveland, Ohio. The students and staff were very welcoming and gracious. The students, grades 3 – 6, were for the most part, funny, insightful and full of questions for me about what it was like growing up in Nigeria and America – moving back and forth as often as I did, and going to schools in different countries. It was immediately apparent that the students in this Cleveland inner city school are interesting, intelligent young people, full of promise, even as they have so few school resources available to them, as compared to more affluent schools. They were up to date on current events, asking me about the regions of the ebola outbreak, and the U.S./Nigeria currency exchange rate, which, of course, the teacher had to look up for me! Another interesting topic they brought up was their observation that much of what they often see portrayed in the media about Africa is, in their own words, “scam … fake…only the bad.” And so that led to a mini-discussion about the good, the bad, and the downright ugly nature of any continent of the world!
February 27 found me speaking on a late Friday morning/early afternoon with forty inquisitive and charming third graders at Hawken School in Lyndhurst, Ohio. We talked about the process of writing about a famous person. Luckily for me, I had just received print copies of one of my books, A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a School Report, in which I detail the steps to writing a report. The people the students chose to write about included, Leonardo da Vinci, Jacques Cousteau, Gabby Douglas, Hank Aaron, Anne Frank, Marquis de Lafayette and Michelle Obama, to name a few. And when the third graders buckled down to a fifteen minute writing exercise, the results were impressive. A few intrepid students even volunteered to deliver an on-the-spot mini-presentation on their subject! Brilliant. Those third graders at Hawken School are an intelligent, confident and welcoming group (Teachers and Librarian, too).