Klutz Build-a-Book® Event Helps Students Build Self-Confidence
By Carolyn Polselli, Principal of St. Leo School
Never underestimate the creative genius of children equipped with paper and markers in one hand and a glue stick, foam shapes, and googly eyes in the other.
Case in point: St. Leo School in Leominster, Mass., where families recently participated in Book Fairs’ Klutz Build-a-Book Event, a program that brings kids and parents together to write and illustrate their very own Klutz-style wire-o bound book.
“We’re always looking for programs to promote reading and writing,” said Principal Carolyn Polselli. “This event not only engaged our students and teachers, it connected with families. It was terrific to see parents and their kids enjoying themselves together.”
For nearly two hours, they wrote, they drew, they pasted and they let their creative juices flow, impressing both parents and teachers with their work.
“The children and the adults responded with an overwhelming sense of joy,” said Heather Rupp, who along with fellow second-grade teacher, Julianne Kozak, planned and coordinated the event. “The project brought out the best in each and every student, regardless of his or her capabilities. Even the parents, who played the role of ‘editors,’ were astonished at the level of creativity displayed by the children.”
Each student received the Klutz Build-a-Book starter package, which included a blank wire-o bound book, a marker, glue stick, assorted foam shapes, googly eyes and other craft materials.
“The packet materials were wonderful, and the children loved being creative with the assorted items. Some of the kids said they might try to create another book with the leftover materials, which made the parents extremely happy,” said Kozak.
The day before the event, Rupp and Kozak conducted a hands-on practice exercise to familiarize students with the process of creating a rough draft, editing, illustrating and rewriting.
“By preparing the day before, we ensured that the actual event with the parents in attendance would be more productive,” said Kozak. “Whatever initial concerns we had regarding the project were laid to rest as soon as the students began the creative writing process. We finished feeling energized and hoping to do it again.”
The Klutz Build-a-Book students-turned-“authors” later shared their work with the school’s kindergarten and pre-kindergarten kids
“The second-grade ‘book builders’ really enjoyed sharing their creations with the younger children. There was a tremendous sense of pride,” said Rupp.
Polselli added that it was wonderful to see so many parents, teachers and students working together.
“The reaction from everyone was terrific…such enthusiasm,” said Polselli. “Everyone is already asking if they can do it again.”