Authors Visit Garrison School in PARP Week

Oct. 22-26, the Garrison School celebrated its annual Parents as Reading Partners (PARP) Week — a week full of special reading activities for students and their parents developed to celebrate the joy of reading. The highlights of the week were visits from distinguished children’s book author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco, and children’s and young adult author, Suzanne Weyn.

Author Patricia Polacco spoke at Garrison School. Photo courtesy of GUFS

Polacco, award-winning author of The Keeping Quilt and more than 40 other children’s literature classics, gave presentations in the school library — first to the kindergarten through second graders and then, following a lunch with the faculty, to the third through fifth graders.

Polacco shared personal details of her own struggles with learning disabilities and bullying. Her visit was made possible by the Garrison School PTA, the Garrison Children’s Education Fund and a cooperative arrangement with Haldane School, which welcomed Polacco for a morning assembly.

Weyn held writing workshops with the middle school students. Prior to her visit, Garrison Middle School ELA teacher, Ian Berger, had just completed a unit on short stories. Weyn began by discussing her techniques and strategies for coming up with story ideas. She read students a short story she had contributed to a book of scary stories compiled by R.L. Stine. Finally, Weyn gave each student an individualized writing prompt that they used to begin their own short stories.

The theme this year, ELECT to READ, was selected to help students experience the power of the stories they read. In addition to Authors Day, the Garrison students also enjoyed traditional PARP Week activities, such as Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) times, a Middle School Poetry Jam, a trip to the Desmond-Fish Library and many other great events. A new event, Breakfast and Books, proved to be a big hit with students, who got to wear pajamas to school and enjoy breakfast for lunch.

The Garrison School would like to thank the PARP Week Committee of Theresa Orlandi, Angela Smith, Kym August, Debbie Earle, Ian Berger, Mary Karp, Charlotte Rowe and Principal Impellittiere.

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