Visit to Gearing Elementary School, St. Clair, Michigan — January 2017

Yesterday I drove about 45 minutes north, on a typical gray January day, to St. Clair, Michigan. My destination was Gearing Elementary School where I was invited to read DLIMH and speak to approximately sixty second-graders. I parked my car, schlepped my things toward the front door, and noticed a sign on the playground which read "Nut Free School." I wondered if this meant I should turn around. A smile escaped my face, I slowly exhaled, and I continued to walk through the front door.

Mrs. Pamela Schneider and Mrs. Sherri Kemp (second grade teachers) welcomed me into their classroom. These Gearing Elementary School students were some of the most well-mannered and attentive children I've had the pleasure of working with. I was there for almost two hours. That's a long time for seven and eight year olds. One little guy, named Robbie, came up afterward and said, "You were here a really long time, but I liked it!" Boys are always the most skeptical of my visit . . . and usually the most articulate at the end when saying goodbye. Their honesty and surprise spills out and I'm reaffirmed how much I love doing this. I think it has to do with the dinosaur topic and the fact I'm a little silly. But whatever the reason, it seems to work.

They were extremely creative in coloring their dinosaurs. Some of my favorites are posted here - but I hate to say that - because they were all excellent. 

Many thanks to Lynda Crandall, Gearing School Principal, for making me feel at home and welcome in this delightful elementary  school, whose MISSION STATEMENT reads:  "Educating Today's Children for Tomorrow's World!" From the moment, a visitor walks through their front doors, and the Gearing Gator (school mascot) greats you, it's clear you have entered a great place to be.

Another example of Collaborating, and I dare say, the best kind! 

Have you seen a dinosaur
more colorful than these --
a tutu and some polka dots
some patches on their knees?
I thank the children from St. Clair
who go to Gearing School.
Those second graders have a knack
for making dinos cool.
They’ve colored them with lots of care
and used imagination.
To represent “outside-the-box”
original creations.