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It was a pleasure having you spend the day at Suffern Middle School. I have received wonderful, positive feedback from our staff and students. Your presentations were terrific, and right on target for middle school students. My colleagues were thrilled that you shared your own experiences as a struggling student, and that you emphasized the importance of reading and writing in their lives. I liked that you were ready to recommend some of your favorite books... by other authors.
At the author lunch I enjoyed the way you used movies that the students had seen, to discuss writing elements. In our middle school setting we can’t guarantee that every student at the author lunch will have read one of the guest author’s books, and certainly not the same book. I thought your work-around was brilliant!
I just heard from one of our special education teachers, whose class specializes in therapeutic support, that her student started talking about sub plot in class today when they were discussing Freak the Mighty. Another one of our special educators was pleasantly surprised to see that his student had joined the 8th grade picture we took after lunch. She has issues with self esteem and being photographed. Clearly you made our students feel very comfortable!
I very much appreciated your easy-going demeanor during the pre-visit logistics, and during your visit. You made my job easier, and that allowed me to thoroughly enjoy this special day.
Melanie A. Speechley
School Library Media Specialist
Suffern Middle School
Your visit was an absolute pleasure for everyone involved. So many teachers came up to me afterwards to tell me what a valuable experience it was for our students (and for them!). I really appreciate your being willing to give us so much of your time; it was inspiring to see such an accomplished author willing to "give back" to his young readers. Your advice will be very rewarding for students, and I hope this is experience will inspire them to continue in their own creative writing. I also personally enjoyed your company and the opportunity to talk informally.
Sean A. Llewellyn
Curriculum Supervisor - English 6-12
Pelham Public Schools