Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cynthia Lord is Amazing!

So I went home last night after dropping Cynthia off at her airport hotel with the intention of posting about the amazing experience the students of Bailey just had.  Driving home I was organizing my thoughts and trying to narrow down the many memorable moments from the last two days.  When I got home I realized two things, I was tired and didn't have a post in me right then, and, I had forgotten to bring home the right cable to connect the school camera to my home computer.  I took it as a sign from the blogger gods that I was supposed to wait until this morning to put my thoughts down.

I don't need to say anything about dinner on Monday, Karen nailed it.  The only thing that Karen didn't share, was that the flat bread pizza was delicious, and I wasn't willing to share!

Over the two days it was obvious that Cynthia Lord loves kids!  She is a teacher at heart and can pull a group of 100 or so kids in and hold them there with ease.  Even our youngest students, kindergarten and Pre K were mesmerized by her story telling and especially her reading of the Hot Rod Hamster book.  Using hand gestures and noises she allowed the kids to choose right along with Hamster as he worked through the books.  We were even privy to a preview of the next Hamster book coming out next year, but that's all I'm allowed to say.  The Hamster swore me to secrecy!

In the Bailey author visit tradition, my fabulous PTO chair person Amy Proctor hosted dinner at her house.  I am amazed how easy Amy makes this look when I know she has been working hard to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere for the 15 or so guests.  Amy had a wonderful assistant, Christine Sinfield, who will step in as the chair next year.

The second day was another busy day, 3 sessions with the students of Bailey and a pizza lunch with our Newbery Club.  Once again, these kids did not disappoint with their insightful comments about which books they had read and loved as part of the Newbery experience.  We were all intrigued by the behind the scenes info Cynthia was able to share about how the winner is picked, and even some details she heard from the year Rules won an honor.

After that she signed wall in THE PIT, inspired by her friend Kirby Larson to use the letter C in welcome.  I hope I don't have keep looking for authors whose name begin with the leftover letters, that could get tough!

As the day wound down, we had one more special moment, and for me it was perhaps the most meaningful.  One of our Newbery kids, Ashley, is an amazing writer and wondered if Cynthia would be willing to look at something she had written.  Being the teacher that she is, and being the gracious person that she is, Cynthia was thrilled.  So as I went about my end of the day tasks, she sat with Ashley for 15 or 20 minutes and talked, author to author.  In the end she left Ashley looking a bit star struck with these words, " I want you to keep working on this.  Go home and tell your parents that a Newbery award author said you are a writer, keep at it!" 

WOW!  I get a little water in my eyes today as I write this thinking of the impact Cynthia Lord had on not just Ashley, but all of the kids at Bailey.  Thank you Cynthia!

 My friend Maria wrote about more of the nitty gritty teacher stuff here.


  1. What an amazing day! I love that Ashley got to sit and talk writing with an author and that Cynthia Lord gave her that gift. I can see the joy on students' faces. The PIT wall idea rocks. How cool is that?! I'm going to send this post to my son's K-8 school. Lots of great ideas for authors visits to mine here.

  2. Your post is #1 in my book Bill-your last paragraph really got to me as I read it at home in the quiet of my home. The look on Ashley's face is a memory of a lifetime as she sat today in class and continued writing her story.