Author Inspires Young Writers at Northwest

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When children work on writing assignments at Northwest Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District, they follow the same process used by authors. They received some inspiration when popular children’s author and illustrator Chris Soentpiet visited the school on Jan. 11.

During presentations for each grade, Soentpiet discussed how he comes up with ideas for stories and how he works with other authors to create illustrations for their books. He explained that he uses real children as models for his book characters, and drew some quick sketches based on Northwest students. He ended with a simple message to students: “Follow your dreams and believe in yourselves.” 

The young writers, who are taught to think of themselves as authors during Teacher’s College Writing Workshop activities, then were able to pick his brain during question and answer sessions. 

“This gives students something to aspire to,” said Lorie Beard, the instructional coach at Northwest, who coordinated the author visit. “Mr. Soentpiet’s visit brings the writing process to life from someone who does it for a living.”