Southgate School hosted author Phil Bildner, thanks to the generosity of the Southgate PTA. A former middle school teacher, Phil was an enthusiastic speaker and engaged students with his inspiring message of “read, read what you like, just read.” He described his background, how he became a writer, and the writing and editing process. He met with classes throughout the day and had lunch and talked with the fifth grade Young Writers.
In the weeks leading up to the author’s visit, Southgate’s Library teacher, Mrs. Parmalee, spent time with students in her classes familiarizing them with his books and discussing the topics of his books and writing style. Students in grades 1-6 developed inquiry questions for the author and these were posted on the library windows.
Phil Bildner’s books are predominantly nonfiction and historical fiction on such topics as the rivalry and friendship of tennis players Chrissie Everett and Martina Navratilova, apartheid in South Africa, the rebuilding of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, the 1941 world record setting season of Joe Dimaggio and Ted Williams, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The following excerpts from students’ thank you notes to Phil Bildner captured the essence of the author day experience for our students:
“…you definitely left an impression on us.”
“It was cool to have an author come in. It’s like a breath of fresh air.”
“I enjoyed your sense of humor and your love for writing.”
“You made me want to do things that I thought I could never do.”