An Author in Residence Why BotherReport as inadecuate

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In October 1999 young adult author, Adam Rapp, was the first author-in-residence at Ridgewood High School, located outside Chicago. During his week at Ridgewood, Adam did readings and question and answer sessions for area 7th and 8th graders who came to the high school on field trips. He talked with the staff of the high school literary magazine and worked on writing with the 12th grade creative writing class. But his biggest success was his contact with the 9th grade English skills classes, a program for freshmen who need extra help with their reading and language proficiency. Most of the kids are Polish immigrants who have been speaking English for only a few years, and many of them said that this was the first time they had ever read a book all the way through. A grant that made all this possible was titled "Bring in an Expert," and Adam Rapp was chosen because he had grown up in Illinois. The program was set up this way: the nearby Eisenhower Public Library was the financial agent for the project; Ridgewood High set up all the schedules and booked classrooms; both libraries purchased multiple copies of Adam's book, "The Buffalo Tree"; the novel was read before Adam's visit; invitations were sent to area junior high schools; Adam booked his own flights; he stayed at a bed-and-breakfast for five nights for $500; and the balance of the $4500 grant was his speaker's fee. The response was so positive that Adam will return next year. (NKA)

Descriptors: Adolescent Literature, Authors, Creative Writing, Grants, High Schools, Student Reaction

Author: Blubaugh, Penny


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