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October 23, 2017

Authors/Illustrators Inspire Creativity In Students

The Edison Elementary fifth-graders were ready to draw and write the next panel of their comic when author and illustrator Matt McElligott threw a curveball.

“Now pass your paper to your friend on the left,” he tells students as some gasp. “They’re going to tell the next part of your story.”

McElligott’s visit to Edison is one of several he and three other authors/illustrators--Janet StevensMark Fearing and Kevan Atteberry--are making to district schools throughout the week of October 23-27.

This is the third year the district has brought in the published storytellers, providing students an opportunity to hear about their craft, see the power of art and work on writing skills.

“What you hope for in something like this is leaving kids with the feeling that art is fun,” McElligott says. “That making things can be its own reward.”

Special art workshops for some students are part of each author/illustrator visit. McElligott called his workshop a ‘comic jam,’ leading students in the creation of a four-panel comic. The students learned about character and plot development while adding to their classmates’ comics.

The workshop was a special treat for fifth-grader Iori Hernandez. He already spends time drawing on his own and was excited to see where his friends took the stories after he made his contribution.

“I just really liked hearing everyone’s stories,” he says.