Thursday, May 19, 2011

South Education Center (SEC)

Located in Richfield, MN, South Education Center services the needs of many students who need special care that cannot be provided in mainstream schools. Nancy and I felt privileged to be invited to perform my stories at the school, and the staff and the students made us feel most welcome.
The audience of staff members and students assemble before the beginning 
of my 45 minute presentation of A Farm Country Christmas Eve.

I begin the show with a picture of the farm I grew up on, and then I recite the Prologue as I project pictures from the past onto the large screen. It is my hope that it captures the interests of students and teachers.
In the photo above, Special Education Teacher Katie Bastiansen snaps a photo while another staff member aligns the video camera during beginning of the program.

I was grateful that everyone seemed to enjoy the show. After the show, students and staff asked lots of questions and many volunteered stories from their experiences with animals. Also, many students and teachers took time to chat with me as I signed books before and after the show. You guessed it–this is
my favorite part!

Above, Chris Zweber poses with a student who is the proud owner of a new book.
Chris, a Work Experience Coordinator and Special Education teacher at SEC, is responsible for arranging my visit to the school.
Student and staff member take time to chat with me after the show.

Chris Zweber (left) and Katie Bastiansen (right), hold up their recent purchases. 
I'd like to thank both these dedicated teachers for making my visit to SEC possible.

Nancy and I visit lots of schools and other facilities as we do our show in an attempt entertain and educate people of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances. If people smile and laugh or ask questions and tell stories in response to my show, Nancy and I feel the warmth of success. Responses of students and staff at SEC were generously warm, and we are grateful.

However, as I remind all teachers, it's simple for me to entertain for an hour or so, take a few bows, and then move on to another challenge and another audience, but teachers must put themselves into the show every day, day after day, through the ups and the downs, usually without getting applause or taking bows. They must be tough and loving, creative and routine, and finally, they must ensure that their students earn the right to take the bows. This they do at SEC.

Photographs by Nancy A.  Fredrickson

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