Wednesday, April 22, 2009

AISL Day 1

Phew! I am exhausted! It is about 4:00, and in 1/2 hour the wine and cheese party starts, where we will get to meet several local authors and illustrators, so I can only blog for a bit. Please excuse any typos!
Today was a busy day.
First I wanted to exercise before the heat started cooking Las Vegas - so Joann from Archer School for Girls and I met at 6:15 for a great run. By 8:00 AM we were boarding buses headed to our first independent school visit: the gorgeous Alexander Dawson School. There we first heard the mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman speak. He presented the librarians with a Proclamation that today is The Association of Independent school Librarians Day in Las Vegas, which was pretty cool! I will post a picture of it when I get home. He spoke about the growth of Las Vegas as a very important American city and was very entertaining. Being from Los Angeles, I was a bit uncomfortable with his statement that Las Vegas is the "entertainment capital," but I can let that go.. Maybe it is.. I haven't yet been to The Strip!
Bruce Coville also spoke - and if you are looking for an author to visit your school, I am sure you'd be happy with him! He was fantastic. He told engaging stories, and he also spoke about the gender issues in education and in children's literature. He urged us to "cherish the oddballs," and to be a safe haven for kids who need a refuge. Noting that at least at public schools (and I would venture to say many independent ones too) being smart sets you up for being teased. Bookworm. Suck up. Smart ass. What is lost by these kids who shut down after being so teased? Those kids need to thrive and grow. I would love to look into having Mr. Coville speak at my school. Any Los Angeles schools want to share costs by having him visit both our schools? Let me know.

Next we toured the beautiful library.. the school is so beautiful. The design really blends in well with the desert. It looked like it was Pajama day for the younger kids, which was really cute.

Next we toured Springs Preserve, which was a beautiful way to celebrate Earth Day!

Well, I am off to the next event. I can't wait to meet some of the local authors and illustrators like Frank Fiorello, who has written and illustrated quite a lot of books about pumpkins, and Laraine Russo-Harper, the author of Legal Tender: True Tales of a Brothel Madam!

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