Yesterday James H. Boyd Intermediate School in Huntington, New York was invaded by those unusual creatures known as nerds.
For those unfamiliar with nerds, they come from the dweeb genus and the nerdasaurus phylum (pronounced nerd-a-sau-rus). They have unusual and distinct characteristics, including, but not limited to, bags under their eyes from staying up way past their bedtimes to finish a book; bruises from crashing into walls while reading a book they can’t put down; and they often experience heart palpitations when their favorite librarian sets aside a book they’ve been dying to read. 🙂
So, what are nErD Camps? Great question. nErD Camps are free “unconference” education camps focused on literacy. They are participant driven by teachers, librarians, authors, and illustrators. Upon arriving, participants are given post-its to fill up a session board with topics for discussion. Anyone can create a session, participate in a session, or leave a session to attend another session of interest. It’s a day of free flowing ideas with the single goal of figuring out how we as teachers, librarians, authors, and illustrators can inspire kids to become lifelong readers.
This is my third nErd CampLI. This year I had the opportunity to take part in a wonderful session on author visits. I also attended three fabulous sessions, one by David Neilsen about “Inspiration is everywhere! Unlocking Students Imagination,” and another by Jackie Azua Kramer focused on “I wish my teacher knew … The question that can change everything for kids.” There was also a “mini” session about #KidsNeedMentors.
Jackie Azua Kramer
#KidsNeedMentors is the brainchild of Jarrett Lerner, Ann Braden, Kristen Picone, and Kristin Crouch. The program pairs authors with schools for an entire year. Once a month, authors touch base with their schools where they share books and their thoughts on reading and writing. I have been paired with third graders at Locust Valley Intermediate School and Longridge Elementary School. It’s been an absolute privilege to work with these AMAZING third graders.
Kristin Crouch, Ann Braden, Kristen Picone, Jarrett Lerner
If you are an author interested in participating in #KidsNeedMentors, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. There are still many schools interested in participating that have been waitlisted.
I received this wonderful letter is from Locust Valley Intermediate School third graders.
Here are a few photographic highlights from nErD CampLI ’18:
Artie Bennett, Timothy Young, JoEllen McCarthy
Members of the KidLit Authors Club
Timothy Young, Artie Bennett, me, David Neilsen, Jodi Moore, Laurie Wallmark
I would like to shout out a HUGE THANK YOU to the superhero organizers of nErD CampLI, JoEllen McCarthy, Alison McDermott, and Kristen Picone, and to all of the teachers and librarians who arrived at 8 am and gave up their Saturday to be there.
I can’t wait for nErD CampLI ’19. And be sure to save the date for nErD CampNJ on May 18, 2019 at Chatham High School.