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Archive for May, 2012

Thu
May
31

Ending at Embassy Creek



 

 
I spent my last day in Florida visiting the fantastic students of Embassy Creek Elementary in Cooper City, Florida. When I arrived I felt right at home not only because everyone was so welcoming but also because the school was almost identical to the one I had visited the day before. I took the near-identical big stage and put on my first show to some crazy characters in the 5th grade. It turns out that my visit coincided with their “twin day.” You see, during the last week of school, the 5th graders get to dress up differently each day. It’s too bad I didn’t show up on “tourist day” (another one of their themes) or I would’ve blended right in.
 
After all of my performances, I enjoyed a pizza party with the special winners of the writing contest. Out of more than 80 entries, the winners were: Abigail, Ariel, Arman, Guy, Ian, Jessica, Julia, Kamdyn, Kayla, Maha, Michelle, Mikaela, Robin, Ryan, Shea, Tal, Tegan, Walter, and Yadin. Great job, everyone!
 
I’d like to thank Mrs. Nollin for all of her hard work setting up my visit and the PTA for having me out. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Leone and Mrs. Elias for all their wonderful help. Thanks to Sasheen for being my guide in the morning and a super-big thanks to all the great kids at Embassy Creek Elementary! Keep writing those wonderful stories!
 

 

Wed
May
30

First Day in Florida



 

 
This week finds me in sunny Florida where I spent the morning at Eagle Ridge Elementary in Coral Springs, Florida! I took to their big stage and gave two presentations to all their 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Everyone seemed to enjoy the show and they had tons of questions about my time in special effects and my friend Bob Trevino (whom I mention in the show). When I got back to the hotel, I called Bob and told him about the warm reception I had received in Florida and he reminded me that he worked on a couple of movies in the area. In fact, we still have some friends working in Coral Springs on the TV show, Burn Notice! I hope some of you Eagle Ridge kids read this since I didn’t get a chance to mention it at the show.
 
Thanks to Mr. Cooper and Mrs. Rardin for all the help setting up. And thanks to Mrs. Makovsky and the PTA for inviting me (you Eagle Ridge guys should thank them, too.) I even got my picture taken with Mrs. Makovsky’s son, Devin. And, most of all, a big thanks to bright the young students at Eagle Ridge Elementary!
 

 
Since I was only there for the morning, I spent the afternoon hiking. I hiked all the way to Markham Park and beyond. I would have gone further but I was halted the Everglades. Okay, not THE Everglades but SOME everglades—The Everglades Wildlife Management Area Conservation Area Number 2B, to be annoyingly precise. I didn’t see any alligators (unfortunately) but I did see a manatee natural habitat—well, just a sign saying there was a habitat right there—and I didn’t see any manatees either. Oh, well… maybe next time!
 

 

Tue
May
22

Winnetka Winning Readers!



 

 
I just spent the day with the Wildcats at Winnetka Elementary in Dallas, Texas! Well, not all the Wildcats. I was there to give special presentations for all the students who met their reading goals for the school year. First, I talked to the 2nd graders, who each read 60 books, and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, who each read 30 chapter books. I had a quick pizza party with all the students who read and voted for this year’s Texas Bluebonnet Award, their party had a DJ and everything! Then I finished the day presenting to Pre-K, Kinder, and 1st grade, many of whom reached their goal of 60 books!
 
Thanks to Mrs. Ruth Roman-Meza for inviting me and setting everything up. Great job! And thanks to Ms. Cox for my personal copy of the schools third writing publication—Color Poetry by 5C, 5D, & 5E. It’s a collection of poems full of similes, metaphors, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. My many hats off to the many authors! And an extra special thanks to all the Winnetka Wildcats. I totally agree with your motto: Readers are Leaders!
 

 

Fri
May
18

Closing with Colony Bend



 

 
I began my last day in Houston with a morning visit to Colony Bend Elementary in Sugar Land, TX—nest of the Eagles! I got to meet many of Colony Bend’s young readers and was even there when special winners of the Texas Readers Club award were announced; they’d read triple the amount required! Great job, guys! Everyone was excited and full of energy, including myself. I was so excited that I broke a guitar string during my second show. Now that’s rock-and-roll!
 
Thanks to Mrs. Taylor for inviting me and for helping to set up all the schools the entire week! Thanks to Mrs. Wyckoff for helping with the sound for my show and a super-big to all the Colony Bend Eagles. Keep reading, spread your wings, and soar into exciting books!
 

 

Fri
May
18

Hanging out at Highlands



 

 
Last but not least, my final school for this Houston area tour was Highlands Elementary in Sugar Land, TX—where the Scotties roam! My visit with the 3rd and 4th graders coincided with the school’s Field Day—a day of fun outdoor games at the end of the school year. I know everyone had a good time because I met several parents and teachers who were still a bit damp from some of the outdoor water relay games.
 
Thanks to Mrs. Sanchez for inviting me and a big thanks to Highlands Elementary 3rd and 4th grade Scotties. You guys were the perfect ending to a fantastic week. And I know you Scottie dogs will understand Wishbone‘s famous advice, “chew on a good book!”
 

 

Thu
May
17

Hanging at Hunter’s Glen



 

 
Today I spent the morning with the great kids of Hunter’s Glen Elementary in Missouri City, Texas— home of the Owls! Both shows filled their gym and since the first show finished early, I took the time to answer more questions. These kids had some great questions and I wish I could’ve answered all of them. I reminded them to be sure to visit my website and email me any other questions they might come up with. I invited both groups to visit my Facebook author page and ask me there, too. And for those of you who asked about Clown Commandos, you can check out the free comic book app HERE.
 
Thanks to Mrs. Garg for inviting me and a big thanks to all the Hunter’s Glen Owls. If they keep asking those questions, they’ll be wise owls in no time!
 

 
After a quick lunch with Mrs. Garg, it was on to a…
 

Thu
May
17

Repeat Appearance at Lakeview



 

 
I spent the afternoon revisiting Lakeview Elementary in Sugar Land, Texas — home of the Vikings! Last year, I was fortunate enough to perform for all the students who received the Texas Readers Club Award. I did the same this year but they had to move my appearances to the gym since there were way more winners this year. Great job, guys!
 
I had a fun afternoon with my repeat visit and truly enjoyed seeing the old school building again (built in the ’40s). I went to an old elementary school so it had all the sights, smells, and fixtures like the ones I remember. I hope the Vikings remember that I was in elementary school when I was first inspired to come up with cool stories. So I hope your school brings you just as much inspiration!
 
Thanks to Mrs. Austin for inviting me back and a big thanks to the Lakeview Elementary Vikings I saw today for being such big readers. I hope you all took something important away from my talks (especially the four I spoke with after the second show).
 

 

Wed
May
16

Meeting with Mission West



 

 
I had a great day at Mission West Elementary in Houston, Texas—home of the Wildcats! After my first presentation with the huge group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, I stopped by to visit with some of the morning pre-K kiddos. They had some great questions and many fine stories of their own.
 
Then it was lunch with all the library helpers: Alan, Andrea, Carlos, Ediel, Ephraim, Gisselle, Jasmin, Jermial, Kenneth, Melissa, and Whitney. I had a great time eating pizza with them and I’d like to thank Tyler for providing the cookies for desert. It was big fun hanging out with such great helpers AND readers!
 
I enjoyed a smaller presentation with some more 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and then back in the cafeteria for another big show where I was presented with a very cool Wildcats T-shirt. Thanks, Mission West!
 
Thanks to Anne Arnold for inviting me (and for the tasty pizza). Thanks to Lisa Arnold and Mr. Calane for all the help setting up. And a big thanks to all the Mission West Wildcats for being such a great audience all around. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Petticrew’s class for taking the time to make me such wonderful thank you cards. It turns out that Mrs. Petticrew’s class has the same motto: “I Can Do That.” Don’t ever forget those four powerful words!
 

 

Tue
May
15

Morning at Rosa Parks



 

 
I spent the morning at Rosa Parks Elementary in Fresno, TX—home of the Rockets! I performed two shows and the 4th and 5th graders seemed very happy to hear that I had an author Facebook page. Many vowed to check it out and I told them (like I’m telling all the other schools) that I’m trying to see which school will give me the most “likes” this week.
 
After the short school visit, I headed over to Brazos Bend State Park to get in some hiking and to see the alligators. I only saw one but it was right next to the trail (lucky I didn’t step on him)! I also saw plenty of deer, jackrabbits, a turtle, a bullfrog, and a snake. You’ll have to visit my Facebook page, Rosa Parks Rockets, if you want to see some of the other photos I shot!
 

 

 идея за подарък

Mon
May
14

Bounding with Bullfrogs



 

 
My last Houston area tour of the school year began with Brazos Bend Elementary–home of the Bullfrogs! I had a great time meeting all the kids and I enjoyed looking at the cool murals painted throughout the school. The ones in the library were especially amazing since they represented artwork from many classic books. Have you Bullfrogs read all those books? I bet most of you have!
 
I was in for an extra special treat when I was invited to join the pizza party with all the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who completed the Bluebonnet Reading Challenge. It was a pleasure to meet you: Alvina, Anam, Ayeleen, Emma, Grace, Harrison, Iyan, Jeremy, Katie, Kylie, Lucas, Madison, Rannon, Rehman, Robert, Safa, Sierra, Syed, Tajes, Taleen, Torie, Varun, and William. Rehman even brought a copy of my book, Born to Race for me to sign.
 
Thanks to Mrs. Talamini for inviting me and for the great pizza. Thanks to Mr. Mendoza for helping me set up. And thanks to Mrs. Nicholie for taking pictures. And a big thanks to all the Brazos Bend Bullfrogs! I hope you enjoy the books I signed for you. You can check them out from your library.