Thursday, March 24, 2016
Budding young writers in Mercyhurst University’s Carpe Diem Academy will get some inspiration from one of their favorite authors when Erie native and “Arthur” creator Marc Brown comes to visit on April 7.
It’s the culmination of a yearlong “Literacy Alive” project organized by Mercyhurst Alpha Beta Pi chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the national honor society in education. With the help of a grant from Superior Toyota, the future teachers have been working with kindergarten, first and second grade students at the three Erie City Schools that host the Carpe Diem Academy. In addition to promoting diversity, literacy and education among young children, education majors in the honor society are gaining added practical experience working with novice learners at the early childhood education level.
During weekly sessions at Pfeiffer-Burleigh, McKinley and Lincoln elementary schools, Alpha Beta Pi members have been helping the youngsters to become authors. After working their way through the steps of the writing process, the kids will have created their own masterpieces to take home.
“The whole mission of Carpe Diem Academy is early intervention,” said Dr. Kathleen Bukowski, Kappa Delta Pi counselor and professor of education. “Inspiring these children early to read and write gives them an extra opportunity to learn, grow and compete, which really fits with the mission of the university and the Literacy Alive project.”
The young authors will also be able to show their books to Brown, who over the past 35 years has written and illustrated more than 100 books about Arthur, “the little aardvark with the big agenda.”
Each child has already received a personal copy of “Arthur Writes a Story,” which focuses on a student like them being asked to write a story.
“Meeting the actual author of the Arthur series will be an experience that they will remember for a lifetime, as well as inspire these young authors that writing is important and vital to being literate in today’s society,” Bukowski said.
During his Erie visit, Brown will meet with the Carpe Diem children at Lincoln School at 3 p.m. and address members of Kappa Delta Pi and other pre-service early childhood teachers at Mercyhurst at 6 p.m.