On February 13th one of my most favorite authors and illustrators visited our school.
Mercer Mayer Skyped with our preschool, kindergarten, first, second, and third graders. And a whole lot of very happy teachers.
This story starts back in September when Christa McClintock, one of our kindergarten teachers and my cousin, told me how much her students loved Mercer Mayer and going to his website. She wondered if we could ever get Mr. Mayer to Skype with us.
I thought for a minutes and decided we could create something really, really special to share with Mr. Mayer. Something that we could create together with all of the students, that we could publish online, and that would show him how much Van Meter loved his books and Little Critter.
So we created a collaborative LittleBirdTales. Every one of the kindergarten students created their own illustration and then spoke over their illustrations once they were downloaded into LittleBirdTales. This eBook would be seen in their school community and throughout the world....And we also just had to share it with Mr. Mayer.
I posted the LittleBirdTales "Just Me and Little Critter" on his Facebook page.
And one day I received a message from Mercer Mayer. He wanted to plan a Skype visit with Van Meter. It was a dream come true. Christa would be so excited....I called her right away. I couldn't wait to share the news with the teachers and students. I couldn't wait to tell my sister Heather Fox, who is also a teacher, and my Mom, who read Little Critter to my sister, brother, and I over and over again. They were always our favorite books.
On February 13th, we Skyped with Mercer Mayer.
Amana Elementary joined us for the Skype. It was so special having them on the Skype call since my sister Heather is the teacher associate for Tarena Toy's first grade classroom.
It was so much fun introducing Mr. Mayer to Heather. They had kindergarten through third graders there in Amana too.
One of the greatest parts of the Skype happened when the students were asking him questions. When everyone was done I whispered a last one into one of our 3rd graders ears. I asked him to ask Mr. Mayer....
Would you draw us a Little Critter?
And he did! It was about the best time ever!Little Critter appeared within a minute bringing so much happy to our schools.
This is the video of Mr. Mayer drawing Little Critter. I think I have watched this 100 times over and over....It is just so neat.
Later that day, I saw Mercer Mayer's post on Facebook....It said that he Skyped with our group in Iowa. I loved seeing that he had a wonderful time with us too.
For the rest of the week, they had so much fun creating their very own Mercer Mayer thank you cards.
Even a giant poster was filled up for Mr. Mayer too. We will be sending the Amana and Van Meter signs, along with the students beautiful cards, to Mr. Mayer this week.
This was truly one of those days that I will never, ever forget. I will hold it in my heart forever. As everyone will.
Thank you Mr. Mayer....Amana and Van Meter Elementary Schools thank you for visiting our schools through Skype, for writing so many books, and for being a part of all things that matter.
You are making a difference.
(The Animoto video at the top is a THANK YOU to you, Mr. Mayer.) :)
To read more about this project, you can go back to September 2012 on the Van Meter Library Voice blog. These are the links to the two posts....