COS students meet with CH author
Communion of Saints School (COS) has established a new Author & Illustrator Speaker Series. Seeking to bring an awareness of books and their creators to students, the program strives to develop lifelong readers, creative thinkers, and perhaps future authors and illustrators.
COS launched the series on April 5, welcoming author Tricia Springstubb. Spending most of her day at the school, Springstubb, who lives in the neighborhood, shared her deep love of reading and knowledge of writing with the students.
The author of numerous books for children, ranging from picture books to chapter books to middle-grade novels, Springstubb was a natural fit for presenting to the K–8 students.
Whether reading a book to the youngest attendees, or working with older children to enliven a sentence, Springstubb was engaged with her audience. Following each presentation, to three different grade-groupings of students, she answered questions about writing, her process and inspirations, and even her cat, Billy.
Second-graders participated in a writing workshop with the author, in which they explored story mapping, and organizing story ideas into a beginning, middle, and end.
The Power of the Pen team, comprising seventh- and eighth-graders, had lunch with Springstubb. The team asked in-depth questions about writing, rejections, revisions, and publishing.
Mac's Backs - Books on Coventry was in attendance, giving students the opportunity to purchase Springstubb's books, and have them signed by her.
"We know just having books is an important tool for encouraging kids to read,” said Loretta Pilla, the school’s principal. “Owning a book signed by an author a child has personally met is even more powerful."
Planning is underway for next year's Communion of Saints School's Author & Illustrator Speaker Series, to begin during the fall semester.
The Speaker Series is a new component in the school's goal to foster a love of reading, critical thinking, communication and creative expression. This past school year has seen the development of a student newspaper, The Sabre Scoop, as well as workshops with Lake Erie Ink. For next year, a schoolwide Young Author Workshop is being planned, in which students will write and create their own books.
Eileen Ryan Ewen is an artist and children's book illustrator who lives in Cleveland Heights. She's also a volunteer librarian at Communion of Saints School, which her children attend.