Thursday, December 15, 2011

All Saints Catholic School, Lakeville, MN

Like many elementary schools I visit, All Saints in Lakeville overflows with enthusiasm. The teachers smile and greet us and the children do the same.
When we visited on Wednesday, December 14, Angela Barry, who was attending the front desk,  greeted Nancy and me with a big smile and took the time to walk us over to the media center to introduce us to Mrs. Johnson, who helped Mr. Steve Lloyd, a volunteer at the school, arrange our visit. Mrs. Johnson is the librarian at the school, and as she acquainted us with where we were to set up, she greeted each child who passed by name and offered a friendly smile.

It's not hard to spot a school environment where kids can blossom.

I was scheduled to do four consecutive performances of my Christmas show, which includes  my book A Farm Country Christmas Eve. Since the story is very close to what actually happened to me as a farm boy awaiting a visit from Santa at chore time on Christmas Eve, I love doing the show for all ages of kids and adults. The story still touches my heart with sweet memories of my parents and siblings.
The first group of kindergartners await  the start of the show (above) and hold up two fingers to help me demonstrate how to teach a newborn calf to drink from a pail (below).
As the children exit, Mrs. Johnson helps them line up to take their turns
 at sticking their hands in a coffee can of oats.
The first group of first graders listen as I recite the prologue (above) and raise their hands
to answer questions (below).

Then they take turns feeling the oats as they exit.
The second group of kindergartners view of picture of the farm I grew up on during my introduction (above) and listen as I explain they will get a chance to feel the oats in the can after the show(below).
Mrs. Johnson helps organize the exit as I hold the can of oats.
First graders make up the fourth and final group and they eagerly listen as I begin my introduction (above) and they enthusiastically raise their hands to answer questions (below).
Children check out the oats as they exit.

Nancy and I enjoyed our visit to All Saints immensely. Because teachers and students were enthusiastic,  I had even more fun than I usually do performing my stories.

Nancy and I want to thank all the teachers and the students for showing us such hospitality, and we especially thank Mr. Lloyd and Mrs. Johnson for arranging the event. Also, a special thanks to the principal, Mrs. Meskill, for taking time to watch one of the programs.

After sharing some fun and learning experiences with children, I am  always reluctant to say goodbye, but this time I know I am returning in a couple days to do the Christmas show for students in second and third grades. I'm looking forward to it.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

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