Student Voices: Jerry Craft’s Visit to Kellee’s Middle School

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I am so lucky because my principal began an initiative at my school where we get to have an author visit our school yearly (2023: Christina Diaz Gonzalez, 2022: Nathan Hale, 2020: Neal Shusterman, 2019: Jennifer A. Nielsen). The author sees all students in the school, so it is a great community literacy event for my school, and I love being able to bring this experience to all of my students each year!

  

This year, we hosted NEWBERY-WINNING AUTHOR Jerry Craft!
The visit was phenomenal and included 5 presentations for approximately 220 kids and book signings. It was all such an amazing experience!

Here are some reflections from my students after the visit. I asked them to think about what they learned, what they enjoyed, how they were impacted, or anything else they wanted to share:

  • Having an author visit yearly means a lot because it shows that our school cares for us.
  • I thought that the day was overall amazing. My biggest takeaway from the experience was that something you hate when you’re young could end up being your passion. This visit impacted me by making me feel like I could do anything. To me, these author visits make me feel like I can do anything with my life and it inspires me to read a lot more. This visit was important to me because I felt that Jerry Craft was really the person who could inspire people to read.
  • I am very glad that Jerry Craft was able to come to our school because he had a great presentation and he was good at educating all of us in a very fun and entertaining way. I think it was cool how Jerry Craft was able to draw a perfect circle for all of his 5 presentations! That was pretty cool, I can’t even draw a perfect one, lol. This visit impacted me because whenever the authors come to visit our school and tell us about their books, it always inspires me to be more creative and to be able to reach their level of creativity. Having authors come to visits means to me that I can look forward to skipping a class period to listen to an expert about all of their writing strategies, ideas, etc. This visit was important because it is good for us kids to be able to hear about all of the different authors and what they do to make each of their books different than the others.
  • My biggest take away, was that Jerry Craft said, that he didn’t read a lot as a kid, which was weird to me because I was always told that normally, authors read a lot to get inspiration, but I think is not always like that.

  • It showed me that you should always go into something saying you can do it because if you say you can’t you won’t be able to. You have to put your mind to it so you can do it.
  • Having an author visit yearly help is important and means a lot to me because I love seeing how different authors see different things in different ways and the challenges they face to become who they are in the present. It also helps me learn more about myself because taking some bits of what they say can reflect choices in my present and future and I appreciate the authors for coming and Mrs. Moye for getting these authors for us to enjoy and being caring for us.
  • The biggest takeaway I took from that visit is that no matter how much you prepare for something, you never know what you are going to end up as.
  • The visit impacted me by showing authors are people too they don’t just write books because they have to but because they are inspired.
  • I feel like hearing from an author yearly is just amazing and how they got from the beginning of their life to how they are right now.
  • I thought this visit was important because it helped me understand different people POVs and how their life as an author works.
  • I loved the way he talked about his goals and how his dreams never stop.
  • Having a yearly author visit to me means that I get to learn the creative processes of famous authors.

  • Learning about the work that goes into making books makes me feel more connected to the books that I read.
  • It feels special that we learn something from someone who created a successful book.
  • It made me realize I could do so much in life if i don’t give up and keeping working toward it.
  • I think my biggest takeaway was how, in the end, he kind of “taught” us how to draw different things and how even if you think you won’t be able to draw something good, you can if you believe you’ll be able to.
  • This visit was important because it showed me that even when people don’t think you’ll be able to do anything with your dream if you believe you can, you can show other people that they’re wrong.
  • As this will be my last year, I saw that over the years, all authors have said different things that impacted me throughout my life in middle school.
  • I really enjoyed the day. Mr. Craft was super nice and I found his presentation very interesting. My biggest takeaway was that even if you fail a lot, never give up and keep trying because you will succeed eventually. One thing that impacted me was how Mr. Craft said a lot about how you can do anything even if you think you can’t. Take the little steps that lead up to that goal. I like having a yearly author visitor because it helps me learn more about the people who wrote some of the books that I really liked and how they made them. I like seeing what problems they faced because I could somehow relate to them as well. This visit was important because meeting an author who tells you about their experiences writing their books is really impactful. Their stories and how they accomplished their goals was interesting and relatable to some.
  • My biggest takeaway was that not everything will be perfect, but sometimes it’s for the best.

Another teacher also shared her students’ responses to “What I liked the best was…”

  • How he explained that he went from being bad at writing books to being basically famous.
  • When he explained about his life and how was it. That you can do whatever you want if you propose it.
  • My favorite moment from the author’s visit was seeing his drawing skills live and seeing the Raina Telgemeier books in his presentation. I was surprised to learn that he was inspired by Raina Telgemeier who is also one of my favorite authors.
  • I thought it was interesting how he got the inspiration of real places of his life
  • When he talked about the awards he won as a book writer and how he did it.
  • I wanna read New Kid now because its very inspirational to others.
  • When Mr.Craft showed us an easier way you can draw and not just throw away messed up drawings into better drawing by seeing what you can make out of the messed up drawing.
  • When he started to talk about how he didn’t like to read but now he writes books and has to read for inspiration.
  • When jerry craft started drawing iconic media characters with mundane items. I want to learn more about shape theory.

BUT THERE WAS MORE!

The next day, Jerry Craft surprised my school by COMING BACK TO PLAY IN OUR STUDENT VS. STAFF BASKETBALL GAME!!!

This is more than I could have ever asked for!!!

As you can see from the comments and love, my students and I would highly recommend Jerry for a school visit!

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3 thoughts on “Student Voices: Jerry Craft’s Visit to Kellee’s Middle School”

  1. Jerry Craft’s visit to Kellee’s Middle School was a truly unforgettable experience! His passion for storytelling and commitment to empowering young minds shone through his engaging presentation. Thank you for bringing such an inspiring and talented author to our school, student voices were truly heard during this exciting event. #representationmatters #authorappreciation

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