As part of our Pick a Reading Partner program this year, the PTA arranged for author Dan Gutman to come to South Grove for a day. On Friday, October 20th, Dan Gutman was able to come and do assemblies, read alouds, sign books, and spend time with a small group of students for lunch.

South Grove held assemblies for grades 1 & 2 and then 3, 4, & 5 during which Mr. Gutman discussed several of his popular kid series such as My Weird School, Baseball Card Adventures, Flashback Four, and The Genius Files. Mr. Gutman talked with our students about the writing process and how to get started on writing their stories. He also talked to them about it being okay to not be huge fans of reading yet, and that once they find a book that really sparks their interest the love of reading will follow. He also spent time with each Kindergarten class reading aloud from two of his Rappy the Raptor picture books. Rappy the Raptor features a young ‘rapping’ velociraptor who speaks predominantly in rhymes. Our Kindergartners were able to anticipate the upcoming rhymes to read the story along with Mr. Gutman. 

In the weeks leading up to Mr. Gutman’s visit, South Grove held a Dan Gutman poster contest and picked 12 students at random who were able to sit and have lunch with him during his visit. The students, a mix of boys and girls from across all six grades, enjoyed their lunch in the library with Mr. Gutman and asked him different questions ranging from what his favorite books are, where he gets his ideas from, and what he does when he’s not writing. At the end of his visit, Mr. Gutman was able to sign and personalize books to those students whose parents had ordered them from the PTA. Nearly 100 books were ordered and signed for South Grove students and were distributed the following week to them. 

We are so grateful that the PTA was able to get such a wonderful and well-known author to come in to speak to and inspire our students. Many students expressed their excitement leading up to Mr. Gutman’s visit and their increased interest in his stories after hearing from him.