Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nativity of Mary School, Bloomington, MN

About 8:20 AM last Tuesday, Nancy and I entered the office of Nativity of Mary School in Bloomington. "You must be the author," the lady behind the desk said. "I'm Wanda." She kindly offered us a cup of coffee and a seat as she picked up the phone to call Jim, the janitor, who would show us where I would be doing three performances of my Farm Heritage Program for students ranging from preschool through grade eight. "Jim said he will be about five minutes," Wanda said as she put down the phone.

I used the time to look at pictures on the wall of past eighth-grade graduates of Nativity of Mary School. The graduates looked good. They looked accomplished. I could see the pride in their faces. I had a feeling the students in the school would make a receptive audience.

As we were setting up, several teachers stopped to say hello and Mrs. Meyer, the school librarian who invited me to the school, came over to introduce herself and chat.

The students lived up to my expectations. They proved to be an alert, curious, and warm audience.
The first group of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students was the second-largest group, with 95 students and 7 teachers.
Students in grades 6, 7, and 8 watching my Farm Heritage Program, which included 
the story of how I got started, why I do what I do, and my story, A Farm Country Picnic. 

Grades three and four made the smallest group, with 53 students and 5 teachers, but they were a lively and fun group and had some good questions after the show.
Students in Grades 3 and 4 watching my Farm Heritage Program, 
which included my story, A Farm Country Picnic.

The last group was the largest group, with 98 students and 8 adults, ranging in age from preschool through grade 2. This group was very responsive and had lots of questions after the show. I had fun listening to their stories of their farm experiences.
Students in preschool through grade 2 watching my Farm Heritage Program, 
which included my story If I Were a Farmer: Nancy's Adventure.
I was a little concerned the students might not see from way in the back, 
but they seemed to easily follow the whole show. 

Note all the hands up to participate in Q & A after the program in the picture below.

Performing at schools where I get to see a range of ages always inspires me to do my best and never fails to give a huge boost to my faith in young people. Nancy and I will not forget our experience performing at Nativity of Mary School. The staff was friendly and generous with their comments. The students were enthusiastic and fun. We had a good time and we hope they did too.

Nancy and I wish to thank Tina Meyer for inviting us to the school and arranging the visit. Thanks to Jim the janitor for helping us out and giving us what we needed. (Pulling those high shades at the last minute was like magic.) Thanks to all the staff and students for their kind comments and for being a warm and enthusiastic audience. Everyone made us feel welcome.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

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