Last Friday I visited Midway Elementary and had a visit with four classes of first grade (same age group as Santiago!).
In this occasion, the presentation was in the school’s auditorium. The teacher who organized this event is Mrs. Lidlow, the MLP Specialist of the school.
In this case, besides having the first graders attend, Mrs. Lidlow also invited four of her ESOL students of different grades to hear the presentation, one of them even had their mom in the audience with him. These four kids speak Spanish as their first language and they have been struggling a bit to learn English during the past months. For this reason, Mrs. Lidlow considered that maybe it would be helpful for them to hear me talk about my experience with my son who went through the same situation they are facing now. Having kids that resemble Santiago listening to my story is very moving and encouraging, since I wrote this story with these children in mind. My goal is to let them know they are not alone, that it will take time and hard work, but that they will eventually learn a new language and overcome this challenge. I can only hope they were able to get this message from Santiago and his dinos.
The visit to Midway Elementary was my second to last in person school visit booked for this school year. As the school year ends and I look back to all the kids I’ve met, to all the times I’ve read the book with students and in author events, I realize that I’ve really been blessed with my debut book. This experience has been so much more richer, exciting, and rewarding than I had envisioned before all this started.
I’m so thankful for all that I have accomplished so far and for the kids I have touched with this story. I’m also grateful for the way in which each school visit has impacted me in a very unique way, and for the unforgettable memories I’ve made. I can only wish that in the future I’ll get to meet more amazing teachers, librarians, and kids who will love Santiago and my new books too.
Thanks for reading!
Cover photo by Magda Ehlers.