Inspiring Visit To St. Andrews

Last Wednesday I visited St. Andrews in Barrington, RI, where all the middle schoolers read The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez. Over the years, I’ve learned that the success of my visits depends of course on the kids, but also on how well teachers prepare the students before I arrive. Gregg O’Brien and Mary Ann Murgo and their crew did an amazing job, and the response to and questions about the books were amazing. I was especially impressed with how easily the students grasped the idea of metaphor, and I’m looking forward to going back to read their object poems. It made me realize how well Benny works as a book but also as an extended lesson on poetry. After the visit, the kids went outside and played a round a miniature golf, just as Benny’s family would have. Thanks again to St. Andrews.

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