AVON – The generosity of Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) brought two authors and a storyteller to share their love for reading, writing and storytelling with kids at St. Agnes School.
Amazing Property in Lakeville! 5707 Big Tree Rd
According to a press release from St. Agnes School, Pittsford author Marsha Hales, Conesus author Elizabeth Falk and Dansville storyteller Cris Riedel visited the kids to enrich their love for creating and telling stories.
“Author and storyteller visits are very important for encouraging reading, broadening knowledge of literature, promoting writing, and understanding the writing process to children,” said St. Agnes in their press release. “Such visits encourage reading and writing, inspire pupils to be writers, build confidence, and broaden their knowledge of literature. The school and special guests thank the Pi State Foundation for their generous gift to the children of St. Agnes School.”
Hayles spoke with the fifth grade class after they had finished reading her book, Breathing Room.
St. Agnes said that the children were enthralled as Ms. Hayles explained the writing process, how the book was illustrated, how the characters were created, and how she came up with the idea for the book. A lively discussion developed as students asked questions about the book and how the life of the author influenced her writing. As a follow up, students created projects which included letter writing, poetry, prose, and art experiences.
Marsha’s website here contains a wealth of information pertaining to her books and teacher resources for Breathing Room.
St. Agnes said that Falk shares her love of local history in three of her books, Council Fire, Freedom’s Fire, and Lettie’s North Star. The fourth grade Social Studies curriculum focuses on New York State, and Falk, a former fourth grade teacher, brings the study of our local Native Americans, the Revolutionary War, and the Underground Railroad to life with her writing. She brought along a quilt that she had created which helped to explain the secret code messages that the squares represented. These codes were signals to slaves as they rode the Underground Railroad to freedom. Children gained appreciation for our local connections to this Underground Railroad. The St. Agnes Fourth Grade used Freedom’s Fire to learn about our country’s fight for freedom. Ms. Falk explained the writing process to the children, as well as telling them what it takes to get a book published. Falk’s website is accessible here.
Riedel is a retired school librarian and professional storyteller. A 20-year veteran of performing stories, Cris likes best to tell the old ones: folktales of those who solve the problem and save the day with their wits. She has performed at the Stone Soup and Lehigh Valley Festivals, and is celebrating ten years of telling for summer reading programs in her native western New York State. The whole school was treated to a taste of Cris Riedel’s storytelling. Children in grades Pre-K-Grade 5 learned that stories have been told for thousands of years. Many cultures used stories to explain what was observed in nature. Stories from curriculum the areas of the Seneca Nation, China, and Japan reinforced what had been taught in the classroom. Among other things, the children found out why cats wash their paws after they eat, why the rooster wakes up the sun, and why there is only one sun in the sky. Riedel’s website is accessible here.
DKG is a professional honor society of key women educators in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Japan. Their mission is to promote professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. Cindy Zhe, from Beta Tau Chapter, received a $1,000 grant from the Pi State organization network’s Educational Foundation. The monies from this grant enabled literary artists, authors and a storyteller, to enrich the educational experiences of the children at St. Agnes.