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Author meets with students at Howell school

HOWELL – Children’s author Chris Grabenstein recently engaged with sixth grade students at Howell Middle School South through a virtual author chat using the Internet-based conversation application, Skype.

Sixth-graders at the school are familiar with reading and taking part in the adventures presented in many of Grabenstein’s books, according to a press release.

Favorites among the 64 students from Beth Gallagher’s language arts classes that participated in the event include “The Island of Dr. Libris” and “Mr. Lemoncello’s Library,” and titles Grabenstein has co-authored with James Patterson, including “I Funny,” “Jacky Ha-Ha” and “Treasure Hunters.”

During the literacy event held May 22, students were eager to ask Grabenstein about his recognizable titles and also to inquire about his inspirations, his life as an author and his personal book recommendations.

Principal Robert Henig said, “Author visits are a great way to bring excitement into the classroom and allow our students to connect directly with the authors.

“Creating a reading culture in a school is essential if you want to encourage students to become engaged and motivated readers. Developing a reading culture takes time and requires the commitment of many people,” he said.

Jane Losinger, the Howell Township K-8 School District supervisor of language arts, said, “In Howell schools, we are committed to growing life-long readers and writers. To that end, we provide students with choice in their reading selections as well as real purposes for writing.

“The rare opportunity to dialogue with a well-respected, published middle grade author has the potential to both motivate and inspire students as readers and writers themselves, just before they head into the summer months,” she said.

Administrators and staff members who coordinated the event included Robert Henig, Jane Losinger, Beth Gallagher (Grade 6 language arts teacher), Mark Magliozzi (Media Center specialist), Barbara Kudrick (literacy coach), Karen Manney (Grade 6 social studies teacher) and Terry Burrows (Grade 6 math teacher).

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