It's not very often after reading a story that you get to meet the author of the book. However, after reading the picture book The Sock Thief, by Ana Crespo, Grade 1 students got the opportunity to Zoom with the Colorado-based author right from the Graland library! According to Lower School librarian Abbie Digel, "Ms. Crespo is an award-winning picture book author who creates stories that involve her Brazilian upbringing. The Sock Thief tells the story of a Brazilian boy who uses a lot of creativity (and a few socks) to solve his problem of not owning a soccer ball. This story was inspired by the childhood stories of the author's father and includes words in Portuguese. This book fits perfectly with Graland's innovation and library curriculum and teaches students empathy and creative problem-solving."
Starting in preschool, Graland students visit the library for scheduled classes with the librarians, where they develop a love of reading and are taught important literacy and research skills through the school's library curriculum. "We want the library to be a joyful and safe space for students to explore their interests. We do this by providing a variety of engaging resources, including books, ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and research databases. Our library team is constantly staying up to date on the latest in literature for kids, information technology, and innovative practices. We want students to keep coming back to find new books to read, to get their questions answered, to simply tinker and explore," Ms. Digel said.
During her virtual visit, Ms. Crespo also read two of her newest books to the students including, Hello Tree and Lia and Lius: Who Has More? Throughout their time together, Ms. Digel observed a special excitement in the first graders. "The students loved having the opportunity to have an author all to themselves for 45 minutes! Because Ms. Crespo Zoomed into each individual library class, the groups were small, which gave students more opportunity to engage and ask questions."
Throughout the year, Graland students of all ages can look forward to more visits from authors thanks to a treasured partnership with Second Star to the Right, a local Denver children's bookstore. "It is an essential part of our library curriculum to include interaction with authors, whether that's an author study, coordinating an author visit, or having an author Zoom in. It's important for students to see the faces and meet the creative minds behind the incredible books they create. In addition to teaching tools, books are works of art, and I love seeing how amazed and inspired the students are when they get to have a conversation with an author," Ms. Digel said.
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.