A few photos for you from my wonderful time in Herndon Virginia as part of their Big Read event. Thank you Signe Fredrich’s and all of Arts Herndon for the kind invitation!
The highlight, by far, was my time with the students – of every age. I visited Herndon High School and Herndon Elementary, plus a special off-site program that stole my heart. It’s called All Ages Read Together, which is housed at the Herndon Senior Center. It pairs senior volunteers with a group of off-the-chart adorable preschoolers. (See for yourself.) It seems like such a smart way to help little ones get ready for kindergarten, while also engaging our seniors meaningfully so that isolation doesn’t creep up on them.
I am so grateful for the welcome I received everywhere. (I’m looking at you, too, library staff at Fortnightly!) Special thanks to Julie Brunson for all the preparation she did to help bring Mango, Abuela and Me to life for both the students and the volunteers.
The students worked on parrot projects before I came to visit them.
Adorable beyond belief.
Kids run the range from readers, like this young lady, to children who are learning to hear the sound of their voice and the names of letters
Telling us about the picture they drew of themselves and their families
Just back from El Salvador, where he visited his abuela and ate pupusas!
The senior volunteers who work with the children in ALL AGES READ TOGETHER. (Lead teacher Julie Brunson second from the right, top)
Mango slices anyone?
Miss Olivia made us empanadas. (Abuela would approve!)
And Carine helped us label things in Spanish and English, just like in the book
The beautiful students at Herndon High School, about to finish their years as ESL students. These students had great questions about Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which they all read in English. Such a charming and loving bunch…
It’s always a party when you get to talk with Kwame Alexander, who is basically a treasure to Virginia. (Photo by Kim Dare)