Food for Thought with Jacqueline Briggs Martin at Milbridge Elementary

It was a very special day at Milbridge Elementary School to kick off IRW’s Food for Thought program with author Jacqueline Briggs Martin. The hallways lined with growing plants, worm projects vegetable decahedrons. There was even a mural with Alice Waters in her little car on her “Trip to Delicious!”

Mrs. Doucette paid tribute to IRW by hand replicating our logo and creating a mural of all the books over the years that her middle-grade students have read and received through IRW.

Nancy Bailey and her minions took the visit and the value of a community meal to a whole new level by creating the first ever, “Milbridge Elementary Café.” From printed menu and Maître d, to dinner music and bouquets, the kids were treated to a full-course, sit-down, waited-on experience. Teachers filled the roles of wait staff, some really hamming it up, and even received pretend tips from the student patrons.

The kitchen staff cooked up a delicious roast pork with mashed potatoes and carrots for the main course followed by a blueberry crisp for dessert. Even farmer Mike joined the list of invitees invoking cheers from the MES student body.

Of course, many out-to-dinner experiences include a bit of theater, so the first and second grade wrote and performed a puppet show about a farmer and his garden troubles.

Jacqueline had great messages for middle school students who struggle with the idea of pre-writing: “Pass your writing around with trusted friends. Be willing to change your writing. Take the time to surprise yourself with some of the stuff in your brain you didn’t know was there. It’s your unconscious, the place where we dream from. When you are pre-writing these ideas might pop up.”

We were thrilled by the efforts put forth in welcoming us. Our hearts grew several sizes that day, especially, when a young student declared during a journal making workshop, “I made two books and I’m going to make more at home. I love Island Readers & Writers. Stay forever!” She followed this declaration with a huge hug.

We have many more photos from that wonderful visit; check them out on our Facebook photo album!

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