Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Signing books at West Putnam School, Porterville, CA
Last week was my second round of author visits in the elementary schools of Porterville, California. Porterville is a small city on the eastern edge of  California’s Central Valley and sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, not far from several National Parks. During the weekend between my two weeks of visits, I treated myself to a trip to Yosemite National Park, returning in time to visit my first school of the week.

October 24: Vandalia Elementary School
With Reading Teacher Rebecca Ortiz
My host at Vandalia Elementary School, Rebecca Ortiz, did a great job of organizing my schedule and the book sale and autographing. In advance of my visit, the library had purchased a number of my books so the students could read them. I always appreciate it when the students can become familiar with some of my books before my visit. We had a full schedule with a separate assembly just for kindergarten students which meant we had time to read A Zebra’s World and go on a “Lion Hunt”.

October 25: West Putnam Elementary School
With Mrs. Perez and Reading Teacher Julianne Buckley
On Tuesday my host at West Putnam was Julianne Buckley with the help of her excellent aide, Mrs. Perez, and again I had very enthusiastic audiences with good questions. Here too I was able to meet separately with the kindergarteners. At lunchtime I had a chance to chat with teachers and Julianne provided a delicious lunch from Panera.

October 26: Olive Street School
With Reading Teacher Judy Bedell
On Wednesday, at Olive Street School, I was greeted by the reading teacher Judy Bedell and the principal, Mr. Nunez, who helped me set up my computer for my PowerPoint slide show so I could use the school’s projection system which was better than my projector for the large screen. A special treat of the day was having lunch with selected fourth, fifth and sixth grade students who had the opportunity to ask me questions about writing and books. Jason Pommier, the Public Information Officer of Porterville USD came to take photos. I thank Judy Bedell for all her hard work organizing the day, for providing me with delicious hot soup for lunch, for pulling my books around in her wagon, and for the special treat basket she gave me to take home.

October 27: Roche Avenue School
With Reading Teacher Amanda Avila and Principal Patricia Jorgensen
My host on Thursday was reading teacher Amanda Avila at Roche Avenue School and the day included three assemblies and book signing. Roche is the smallest school in the Porterville USD with only two classes per grade and this helped to make my presentations more personal. I thank Amanda Avila for all her hard work in organizing the day and coordinating the book signing and Principal Patricia Jorgensen for her great introductions at each assembly. The three of us had a delicious and relaxing lunch at Jenny Lynn's Restaurant not far from the school.

October 28: Santa Fe School
With reading teacher Beatriz Hackett
At Sante Fe School my two short assemblies were squeezed into their very busy schedule. I thank my host, reading teacher Beatriz Hackett for organizing the day and school Program Manager, Eric Ortega for helping set up the audio and visuals. After the assemblies I did book signing in the library. Then it was time for me to return home to Los Angeles after a very full and rewarding two weeks visiting all ten of the elementary schools in Porterville, California!

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