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Author’s faire held at Pifer

Posted: Thursday, Mar 6th, 2008

On Wednesday, students at Winifred Pifer Elementary School had a chance to share their work with peers during the schools first Young Author’s Faire.

The faire, which was held throughout the campus beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, was part of a weeklong celebration of Read Across America at Pifer. On Monday, students celebrated the birthday of famed children’s author Dr. Seuss and dressed as their favorite book character on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, author Annie Bowler conducted special assemblies in the morning and worked with gifted and talented students at the site. In the afternoon, Pifer teachers and special guest facilitators — including principals of other Paso Robles school sites, district personnel and even school board member Debi Saunders — helped lead 48 different author’s faire groups.

Students in first through fifth-grade participated in the festival, dividing into 48 different groups with eight to nine students in each group. The groups also contained a mix of students, giving the young authors a chance to hear work from a variety of different peer groups.

Students were allowed to choose any piece of written work they’d produced throughout the course of the year — from poems to essays, reports and even short stories. Each then took turns reading their work aloud to the group and their group’s facilitator.

“We really wanted to spend a lot of focus, energy, effort and attention on reading and writing this week,” said Pifer principal Dr. Ruben Canales. “[The author’s faire] shows kids that we value what they have accomplished, their writing skills and it just promotes reading in general.”

Students also said they enjoyed the experience.

“It was fun,” said fourth-grader Delaney Trujillo. “I liked reading my poem.”

The best part, some students said, was hearing the work of their peers, especially peers from different grades.

“It was cute to hear the first-grade students read their work,” said fifth-grader Sara DiBenedetto. “I was really impressed with what they wrote.”

Fifth-grader Daniel Taborski, who read a poem as part of the author’s faire, said he too enjoyed hearing what his classmates read.

“It was fun,” he said. “I liked hearing other people’s work.”

Canales said he was thrilled with the response to the initial author’s faire.

“This is the first cross grade level, schoolwide activity we’ve done since I’ve been here,” he said. “It just builds community and a sense of camaraderie and fellowship among the students.”

Pifer continued Read Across America week with PJ Day on Thursday. Today, Pifer librarian JoAnn Pederson hosts her annual author’s day, where local authors will speak to Pifer students throughout the day in celebration of the official Read Across America day.

For more information on Pifer or any other Paso Robles public school site, visit the district’s Web site at www.pasokids.org.

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