On Tuesday night, Boulder Hill Elementary School played host to a celebration of reading, science and math, one that drew students and parents from other Oswego School District schools as well.
The special guest on Tuesday was Steven Layne, director of the Master of Education in Literature program at Judson University in Elgin. Layne is the author of several children’s books, including Love the Baby and its sequel, Share With Brother, but also the writer of Igniting a Passion for Reading, a book that District 308 teachers have been using to develop programs to inspire students to read.
At Boulder Hill, Layne’s inspiration has taken the form of a year-long focus on reading called Camp Read S’More. And on Tuesday, that idea took full shape, with reading tents set up in the school library, into which kids brought books and flashlights.
Layne spent time at the school on Tuesday, meeting with students. And he spoke to a full gymnasium of them (and their parents) on Tuesday night.
Layne’s speech was designed to answer the question, “Where do ideas come from?” He spoke directly to the young, budding writers in the audience, telling them to take from their own lives, from their senses, and from others around them. He also performed a dramatic reading of Love the Baby, with exaggerated voices that had students in stitches.
As a capper, he premiered a new book – the third in the Love the Baby series, called Stay With Sister – for the first time anywhere.
After the speech, students participated in a Top-It Tournament. Top-It players use cards, and the luck of the draw, to come up with the largest number possible. The winner of the tournament was Boulder Hill fourth-grader Sierra Wester. The student science fair was also on display, and kids and their parents took turns slipping into the Star Lab – essentially an inflatable planetarium.
On April 3, Layne will visit Long Beach Elementary School in Montgomery for a similar event.