Sunday, January 29, 2012

Naturalist Jim Arnosky Visits EES

Vermont author, illustrator and naturalist, Jim Arnosky, spoke to children at Essex Elementary School on Thursday, January 19th thanks to a grant from the district PTO.  The prolific author and illustrator of more than 125 books for children shared with the students his enduring passion for learning about the natural world, and the living organisms within it. 
Jim Arnosky sings a song about hawks riding the warm thermals in the sky

It’s been about 10 days since Jim and Deanna Arnosky visited our school and the children are still talking about it!  The children absolutely loved his songs, stories and drawings.  Mr. Arnosky played his guitar and sang songs from several of his books, such as Man Gave Names to All the Animals, I’m a Turkey, and Gobble It Up.  Each group heard dramatic retellings of stories that had really happened to him while he was out researching and observing for his next books.   Jim enthralled us with tales about raccoons and alligators, bears, mother and baby alligators, and manatees, keeping us laughing or in suspense until the end of each story.  Ask your children which stories they remember.
Jim Arnosky tells how the crocodile sneaks up on the raccoon
Mr. Arnosky exemplifies the attributes of a life-long learner.  His curiosity has propelled him to continue exploring and observing nature wherever he travels. His subjects range from manatees and the environmental hazards that threaten their existence to buffaloes on the prairies; from wildlife tracks to sea monsters; from sketching Great Blue herons on Lake Champlain to the wild ponies of Chincoteague.  His books seek to inform and inspire young readers to become stewards of our environment, with a message that is positive and engaging: keep wondering about the world around you, keep noticing, keep asking questions, keep looking for answers.  Such traits as these are precisely what the Essex Town School District outlines in its Ends Policies (1.2) for its students:  life-long learning involving critical, creative and innovative thinking, and working together to analyze and solve problems in our complex world.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jim Arnosky to visit EES!

We are so fortunate on several counts.  One, that renowned Vermont naturalist and children's book author and illustrator, Jim Arnosky, will be visiting our school on January 19th.  And two, that we have a super-supportive PTO that is sponsoring this event.

Families will have an opportunity to purchase a selection of his books prior to the visit, and Mr. Arnosky has agreed to autograph after his presentations.  Phoenix Books, Essex's local bookstore, is working with us to provide the books.  We'll be sending home a letter this week with the details.

In the meantime, we are busy studying his books in the Learning Center.