Sara and I have just returned from a two day visit to Mylan Park Elementary School on the outskirts of Morgantown, West Virginia.
We came at the behest and hard work of Sara’s college roommate Suzanne Smart whose last name is very apropos. She’s got to be a pretty sharp cookie – she brought us in didn't she?
We spent our first day conducting some teacher workshops in the library in the morning followed by a couple assemblies with the students in the afternoon. The second day we lead some writing workshops in the classroom. The students were some of the most eager to learn that we have come across and we are hoping that this is just the first of multiple visits we make to this great community.
A cornerstone for families in this area is The Shack – a community center extraordinaire where Suzanne functions as one of the big wigs. It was through this organization that Suzanne was able to put together the logistics to get Sara and me into the school.
After our visit in the school we had the pleasure of headlining a family literacy night which included a lasagna dinner and a gymnasium populated by free range toddlers. The day before when we swung by the center to get a lay of the land in anticipation of the literacy night we surprised some of the kids we had seen in the school as they played basketball. They were bug eyed excited to to see the visiting authors outside of the confines of school walls. One mohawked fourth grader exclaimed incredulously “What are YOU doing out here!.” as if the visiting authors are stored in the principles closet between appearances.
Well, thankfully we were allowed to roam free during our stay in the Morgantown area – not too unlike the flocks of turkey we saw wandering the hills on the way to school. I hope we manage to migrate back sometime soon.