FULTON – The storytelling skills of local author Bruce Coville not only captivated students at Fairgrieve Elementary School, but also inspired children to write, read and draw more.
The student body recently welcomed Coville to a Morning Express program, where library media specialist Barbara Senecal announced the winners of autographed copies of her children’s books and which students would join the author on a special lunch visit. . The Phoenix resident encouraged students with dreams to always pursue them, and even if they come from a small town, they can still achieve their goals. He was a proven example, having written several books.
After Morning Express, Fairgrieve grades 4-6 students were treated to grade-level author interviews with Coville in the library’s media center. During the sixth grade session, Coville caught the students’ attention with her inflection of voice, dynamism, movement, eye contact and other stellar storytelling qualities. The key to keeping readers or listeners interested, he said, is to stop a chapter or moment that makes someone want more.
Other helpful tips and takeaways include: Good stories need good characters, and good characters often have problems and solve problems themselves by making tough choices. Much like the students’ English art activities, Coville said the stories include several drafts and edits before a final product is ready. Everyone, he said, is a natural storyteller because when people dream, they tell each other stories every night.
Senecal thanked Coville for his time and thanked everyone who made donations to help purchase books for Coville to dedicate. The Fulton Teachers’ Association and the Fairgrieve Parent Teacher Organization have contributed to it, she said.