It was a busy three days at the end of February for If I Built a House fans! Bad weather could not dampen our spirits as IRW headed Downeast with Chris Van Dusen, touring the Rose Gaffey School in Machias, Fort O’Brien School in Machiasport, Jonesport Elementary, and Lubec Consolidated School. We also squeezed in a visit to Porter Memorial Library, but unfortunately got snowed out from our visit to Milbridge Elementary.
Hundreds of students in grades K-5 got to hear Chris present, and K-2 students received their very own copy of If I Built a House, lining up eagerly for a chance to have a real live author sign their books. During this tour Downeast, close to 250 books were given away! What’s more, the wonderful activities and work that classrooms were busy with in preparation for Chris’ visit were displayed and every student got a chance to share their own dream houses with us.
One of our very favorite times has got to be the moment just after all students receive their copies of the book. To watch all the children pore over the pages, giggling and pointing, talking with their neighbors, is what this organization prizes most: the LOVE of reading and the power of story! One second grade boy from Lubec, clutched his book to his chest and exclaimed, “I’m going to keep this my whole entire life!” Another little girl from Machias was wide eyed, asking again and again, “You mean this is for me? I get to keep this and take it home with me…to my house?”
Ladybug Girl telling Chris about her dream house.
Look who we spied in Jonesport: Mr. McGee, just back from a camping spree!
You know how they say, “Shock and awe”? Well, we’re into “Giggles and wonder”
A wonderful audience at Jonesport.
Machiasport kids crowd in for a closer look.
A creative Machias student’s ‘turtle home’
Poring over their new books in Machias.
Getting up close and personal at Lubec.
A HUGE crowd at Rose M. Gaffney School!