On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, Williams Elementary Students were given the opportunity to meet a famous author.
Jonathan London is the creator of twenty-three children’s books about a lovable and enduringly popular character named ‘Froggy’. London and his wife live in Graton, California.
London was invited to Williams Elementary to give the students an enlightened reading experience said Williams Elementary Teacher, Veronica Douglass.
“Last school year, the third-grade teachers realized we had an issue: our students did not understand that authors were real people,” said Douglass.
The students wrote their letters to Mark Teague and Jonathan London.
“Jonathan responded quickly to our students,” said Douglass, “his letters shocked the students.”
Many of the students wrote their letters as if they were writing to Santa Claus while others described their thoughts on authors.
“It was at that point, I made it my personal mission to ensure that the students of Williams Elementary and Williams Upper Elementary Schools would be able to meet and speak with a real author,” said Douglass.
The students sat in the Williams High School’s Old Gym where London read a few books from his collection and answered questions.
Some students asked how London wrote stories and if the stories he wrote were true. London responded that many of his stories come from real life experiences, that he is the author of the book, and he has the ability to create and exaggerate details from his experiences into stories the children enjoy.
At the end of each session, London signed books for the children.
“Many of our students are not reading at grade level,” said Douglass, “I wanted them to become motivated to learn and to increase the volume of books being read school wide.”
London’s visit made possible through a school-wide read-a-thon, fundraiser.
“Students were asked to keep track of the titles of books they read the first couple of weeks in September,” said Douglass, “The students were encouraged to find sponsors to pledge money per book or a flat rate.”
The students raised nearly $1,000.
“This was an enormous task for the teachers and students,” Douglass added, “I could not be any more proud of these children. They should feel good about their accomplishments in reading and raising money.” ■