Children’s author to promote reading challenge

GREENFIELD — An Indiana author and illustrator is slated to visit Greenfield-Central schools next week to get students excited about reading.

Troy Cummings, author and illustrator of “The Notebook of Doom” and “Giddy-up, Daddy!” will meet with classes at Greenfield-Central elementary and intermediate schools Monday through Wednesday to talk with students about the books he’s written and illustrated.

The author’s visit coincides with the launch of a reading challenge the school planned to celebrate the state’s 200th birthday. Last year, Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz challenged schools to read 200 books before the end of 2016. Greenfield-Central educators are encouraging each school to read 200 books.

Cummings will visit with students at Greenfield and Maxwell intermediate schools Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he’ll visit with students at the district’s four elementary schools.

Lucy Gellert, director of library services, said educators wanted an author to drum up excitement among students. Cummings’ books are available in Greenfield-Central libraries and are a popular read among young students, she said.

Cummings, a Hoosier living in Greencastle, will talk with students about the writing and illustration process, including character and storyline development.

Cummings is a popular speaker and writer among school-aged children, and most of the students should recognize his name, Gellert said.

“It’s important for students to see a nationally known author who is from Indiana. What a great inspiration for them,” Gellert said.

Alissa Solchik, a literacy coach at Eden and J.B. Stephens elementary schools, said organizers wanted to choose an author students are familiar with in an effort to encourage them to read more. Cummings’ books are flying off the shelves at the library as students prepare for his visit, she said.

In classrooms across the district, students are preparing to meet the Hoosier author.

Kathy Spivey, a third-grade teacher at Harris Elementary, said her students have been reading Cummings’ books aloud in the classroom. They also made posters and commercials about the books to further explore their content, she said.

Many students have never had the opportunity to meet an author, so Spivey hopes the experience inspires them.

“I think it makes a connection to real life. Authors really do exist,” Spivey said. “It isn’t something that’s just pretend or something they might see in a movie.”

Next week, students will be able to purchase Cummings’ books, and each book sold will be signed by the author.

The school will purchase the books through Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore, which will donate 20 percent of profits to library services at Greenfield-Central.

At a glance

Hoosier children’s author Troy Cummings will visit with Greenfield-Central students next week to talk to them about the writing process. Here’s a look at when he’ll stop by the schools.

Monday: Greenfield and Maxwell intermediate schools

Tuesday: J.B. Stephens and Eden elementary schools

Wednesday: Weston and Harris elementary schools

Library fundraiser

During Troy Cummings’ visit to Greenfield-Central schools next week, students will be able to purchase his books, and each book sold will be signed by the author.

The books will be purchased through Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore, which will donate 20 percent of profits to library services at Greenfield-Central.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.