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Flippen students celebrate
“Read Across America”

 

By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor   

  Students at Flippen Elementary School in McDonough celebrated “Read Across America Day” by welcoming children’s book illustrator, Michael P. White, to school on March 1, and had the chance to become illustrators for a day.

Students watch intently while illustrator Michael White recreates some of his zany characters, during Flippen Elementary School’s “Read Across America” celebration.     Photo by Melissa Robinson

  The daylong program of workshops was set up by Flippen Elementary Media Specialist, Cindy Adair, who booked White several months ago. 

  White conducted workshops with students throughout the day in the Media Center where he worked with students showing them how to make their own original artwork for stories. He peppered the lessons with puns and had the children laughing and engaged from the time they sat down until the time they left.

  White is an Atlanta-based artist and award-winning illustrator of children’s books. His first book, titled The Library Dragon, was a collaboration with children’s author Carmen Agra Deedy. Together, they recently published the sequel, The Return of the Library Dragon.

  Adair was excited to be able to get White at the school on Dr. Seuss’ birthday to celebrate Read Across America.

  “He really knows how to relate to the kids and we thought that today, for Read Across America, would be the perfect day to do it since were celebrating reading,” said Adair. “The Library Dragon is my favorite book, I read it to the students every year.”

  White conducted six 45-minute sessions so that each grade level had a chance to interact and create their own illustrations for a story.

  “They are really enjoying it, and laughing out loud and drawing what he is drawing and they’ve been doing a really good job. Their pictures look a lot like his and they love his puns,” said Adair.

  White said he’s been bringing his interactive program to the schools for 17 years and loves working with the children. He visits approximately 100 schools a year, all over the country, and says that his goal is to show students how to create a story.

  “I have so much fun. My focus is to show them how to make a story, so it’s actually a language arts program, because while they are drawing, they are creating a story,” said White. “Here is the connection--when they realize that the stuff in all these books started as a piece paper, they realize that they can be writers, too. That’s what is magical about what I get to do, and I love what I do.”

  Adair said that proceeds from the school’s two book fairs not only help buy new books for the media center, but also go to bring programs, like White’s, to the school.

  “It’s important to engage the students. With this type of program, it lets them see that if they like to draw, there is a career out there that they can pursue, that the stories are important but the illustrations really help to make the stories, especially in children’s books. It gives them a chance to meet a real live illustrator. And he does a great job,” she said.

  For more information on Michael White, visit www.michaelpwhite.com.

 

 

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