It takes a valley |

It takes a valley

Dear Editor:On Thursday, March 8, Aspen Elementary School students were visited by one of their favorite authors and illustrators. Jan Brett, who is known around the world for her books, spent a whole day at the school. She spoke to large groups of students about her writing and illustrations. After her presentations she talked with each child, signed a book plate for their gift books and asked them questions about their own writing. She personalized her visit for every single student in the school, from pre-K through fourth grade. Her famous character Hedgie the Hedgehog greeted the students as they entered the door, and they joyfully recognized him instantly.Before Jan started speaking, Aspen Police Chief Loren Ryerson, presented Hedgie with a junior badge and award for being such a good role model for children. Mayor Helen Klanderud presented Jan with an acknowledgment of her work and for helping to instill a love of reading in the hearts of the children of Aspen. Jan’s young cousins, students Nathaniel Karbank, Colter Turchin and Tyler Turchin, presented her with an official AES sweatshirt and ASD fleece vest.Brooks Gorsuch presented her with a gift of appreciation from Gorsuch Ltd. on behalf of the parents, and the AES PTO gave Hedgie his very own ski pass photo ID. Gift books for every student were purchased by the Bedell Family and the AES PTO. Jan did not charge a fee for her day-long visit.I am writing this letter of gratitude, because as an educator I know it truly takes a whole valley to raise our children. I’m truly blessed to teach in a place where this awesome responsibility is taken to heart. I’m always amazed at how a phone call to our local authors, the mayor, police chief, community members, community businesses or school parents yields instant support to enrich the education of our young learners. My sincerest thanks to everyone who made this day such a memorable literary event for our students. I’ve seen the beginning of the positive and life-long effects of Jan’s visit on our young writers. When she asked how many of them were writers, they all raised their hands!Dee SearingWriting specialistAspen Elementary

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