CLARK — Children’s author Dale Baumwoll led an evening workshop for incoming Clark middle school students and their parents on June 13, organized by Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops.
Baumwoll offered “Strategies for Preparing for the Middle Grades.” A middle school teacher in Randolph Township and the author of the literary selections “There’s No Room for You, Maddie Morrison” and “You Can Make a Difference, Maddie Morrison,” Baumwoll bases her books on the character of Maddie Morrison, a young middle school student who seeks to adjust to life in the middle school.
Last month fifth graders throughout the district read “There’s No Room For You Maddie Morrison.” During her well-received presentation to an audience of 144 students, parents, teachers, and administrators, Baumwoll highlighted the challenges of organizing oneself, learning to be a friend, not being a bystander to bullying, and communicating with one’s parents and teachers.
Throughout the presentation Baumwoll repeatedly referred back to the fictional characters in her books to deliver and enforce key points. At the conclusion of her presentation numerous questions were raised by students about the characters in the book as well as Maddie’s challenges to fit into the fast-paced middle school life. At the conclusion of the presentation, Baumwoll autographed copies of her book and posed for pictures with students.
At the beginning of the program, Arthur L. Johnson High School Scholar Athletes Sara Vagie and P.J. Franciotti took time to share their own personal experiences adjusting to middle school as well as their upcoming challenges of transitioning. Vagie plans to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point and Franciotti will go to Colgate on a football scholarship.
In the photograph above, Author Dale Baumwoll poses for a picture with Arthur L. Johnson Scholar Athlete P.J. Franciotti prior to the start of the evening’s program. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)
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