Saturday, October 20, 2018

Kathy Kinney (Mrs. P) and I Brought A Little Magic To OASL In Portland!

Last Saturday was a very special day for me.  It was the day my dear friend Kathy Kinney and I finally met in person after all these years. 
You see over the last 10 years, Kathy, or Mrs. P as my students know her, have connected virtually on Skype and Google Hangout dozens of times.  We have celebrated Dot Day, World Read Aloud Day, Poem in Your Pocket, Poetry Month, Children's Book Week, 
for her special Be-A-Famous-Writer' Contest and so much more. 

And you might not know this little fact about Kathy, she also played Mimi on the Drew Carey show so she has connected with our older students to talk about improv and public speaking too.  
In fact, next week Kathy is kicking off a new Poetry Slam project with our 8th graders at Van Meter School.  We can't wait! 
When I was asked to come give the keynote at the OASL (Oregon Association of School Librarians) Conference in the fall, I contacted Kathy's amazing Head Elf or assistant, Dana Plautz, to tell her and Kathy I was coming to Portland.  
The three of us knew we just had to make it work so Kathy and I would have a chance to share our story and the power of connecting through storytelling and technology at the conference.
Thanks to Holly Gardner and Stuart Levy, who planned the conference, they made it possible for both of us to be together on this very special day along with our friends at....
Follett. We loved sharing the excitement of the conference with all of them.  
As I gave my keynote Let Them Be Heard....Giving Our Students A Voice, I thought a lot about the connections my students, teachers and community have made over the years and what these have meant to all of us. 
I thought about the connections we have made with Kathy and what these brought to all of us, especially to me as a teacher librarian, professional and especially to me as a person and friend. 
As Kathy and I told our story, she shared what librarians and libraries mean to children and the power that all of us have by being there for them and making these valuable connections within their libraries too.  

By the end of our time together, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room.....including Kathy and I. It was just so special. 
After our keynote, we had a breakout session is a room packed full of librarians.  We had a terrific, heartfelt conversation about the magic of storytelling and again, what these moments and experiences bring to our students.
We all loved when Kathy shared, Because I was a reader, I knew I wanted to travel.  The world is a bigger place. This opened up such a lovely and important conversation that all of us took so much away from on that day.
To make my time in Wilsonville High School even more special,
they also asked me to be part of the OASL Author Panel with....
 authors and illustrators Mitali Perkins, Kathleen Lane, Mike Lawrence and....
...R. Gregory Christie. That was magical too!

I can't thank Holly, Stuart and my friends at Follett enough for bringing me to OASL and giving me a chance to share with so many amazing teacher librarians, authors, illustrators and others.

And especially to give my beautiful friend Kathy and I a chance to be together, to share our story and to make great plans for future collaborations, stories and magic.
Together, we are going to continue to make a difference and transform the lives of children, teachers, librarians and of course, for one another. 

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