Tuesday, June 3, 2014
A school visit with unexpected revelations is leading to a partnership between Plantersville Elementary School, The Village Group and E.B. Lewis, visiting educator and artist after an April 29 visit celebrating literacy.
After a day filled with a special assembly with students, classroom visits, a PTO meeting and a special presentation by the educator and artist, Lewis was impressed enough to state his desire to adopt the school and become a part of the village.
Lewis, world renowned author, artist and illustrator along with author, Margot Theis Raven visited Plantersville Elementary School and were delightfully surprised by the creativity, programming and success of the staff and students.
“I was impressed to walk into a little town and a school in a location in the countryside ... a small, quaint community that I can come in and add something,” says Lewis. “I saw an opportunity that the school can benefit from what I can bring to the school.”
Lewis and Raven are celebrated for their collaborative effort “Circle Unbroken” a powerful picture book, with its rhythmic text and evocative paintings, spirals through time, becoming a triumphant song – a rich story of a craft, a culture, and a people. This book celebrates the tradition of sweetgrass basket making through a grandmother weaving a generation’s old story to her granddaughter during basket making lessons.
Lewis and Raven were invited to visit Plantersville Elementary by The Village Group to promote the importance of literacy and to encourage the student body as they prepared to take the PASS Standardized test.
Lewis plans on returning to the school prior to the next academic year to begin planning how he can be a part of the school and to help fill in gaps in the academic and physical facilities.
“I do a lot of school visits across the country. I travel the country working with young people, but also with administration and teachers helping them with their programs ... helping teachers to become better teachers.” “The school has a lot to offer but it is lacking some things in terms of what it takes to empower kids. You cannot empower children you have to give them the tools to empower themselves. You give them the guidance, the motivation, encouragement and the will to understand why education is important, says Lewis.
Lewis added we are restricted by obligatory guidelines but it it still does not stop you from teaching.
In particular, Lewis was impressed with the decorum of the children and realized that the school has laid a strong foundation and in partnership with The Village Group, he wants to be a part of instilling a love of life-long learning in the community and children.
As impressed as Lewis was with Plantersville, the community was impressed by him. This partnership will certainly take Plantersville Elementary to the next level with The Village Group providing the volunteers and programs to make it happen.