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Caldecott Award-winning illustrator will visit Colerain Elementary School

Caldecott Award-winning illustrator, Brendan Wenzel will be visiting Colerain Elementary School (CES) on Wednesday, September 18 at 10:00 a.m. Students in Kindergarten, First and Second Grade will get an opportunity to not only meet with the illustrator but will also have the opportunity to hear a presentation about his award-winning work: They all Saw a Cat, and his most recent book, A Stone Sat Still. Colerain Elementary has been working with Joseph Beth Booksellers to continue bringing authors and illustrators to the elementary school in order to promote early literacy. 


“This is such a wonderful opportunity for our students. This type of program really promotes our relentless focus on literacy. Introducing our students to authors and illustrators early not only fuels a student’s curiosity to read and write, it stimulates ideas of the types of careers they could possibly pursue in the future,” said Stephanie Kessling, Northwest Local School District (NWLSD) Director of Curriculum. 


This year, NWLSD rolled out its new strategic plan that highlights five key areas that the District will focus on in order to bring all of its stakeholders to a common goal. One of the areas surrounds student achievement. The district-wide push will be to: 1. create a learning experience that is rigorous and engaging for all students 2. Raise academic achievement across State and District measures of success through a relentless focus on literacy, which is: reading, writing, listening, speaking, thinking and viewing; across all subject areas. 3. Facilitate student ownership of learning through personalized and differentiated instruction. 


“Making learning come alive is key to helping students stay engaged. Experiences such as this one reinforce the concept of relevance in learning. I am certain that the next time these students are asked to illustrate, they will recall this presentation and use a tip or suggestion made by Mr. Wenzel,” said Kessling. 


Brendan was awarded the Caldecott Medal Award for his book “They All Saw A Cat”. His illustrations have been featured in numerous children’s books, animations and magazines. Wenzel, who is based in Brooklyn NY, is an ardent conservationist and has collaborated with many organizations working to ensure the future of wild places and threatened species, especially within Southeast Asia. 


We are beyond thrilled to be able to offer this unique opportunity to our students. Only 3 to 5 illustrators a year are recognized by the Caldecott committee. Brendan Wenzel is both the author and illustrator of his works,” said Karen Brockhuis, Colerain Elementary Librarian. “Meeting a real life author can inspire students to pursue their own creative endeavors, connect with the outside world and encourages them to not only follow their dreams but to do so with perseverance and diligence. Best of all, the experience promotes reading and helps students to grow academically,” said Brockhuis.  


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