ANTRIM – Local author and illustrator Marty Kelley paid a visit to Antrim Elementary School earlier this month as part of a grant-funded program in partnership with the Tuttle Library.
Through a grant from the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLIF), which was awarded to Antrim’s Tuttle Library, the school was able to invite Kelley – of New Boston – to visit with students on Dec. 9 to tell stories and share tips on how to make art using a digital tablet.
Kelley has written well over a dozen children’s books, including “The Messiest Desk,” “Crustacean Vacation,” “My First Zombie” and more.
Through the grant, the Tuttle Library was able to purchase $2,000 worth of new books for its children’s collection, as well as sponsor Kelley’s visit to the school. The grant also enabled Antrim Elementary’s library to purchase $500 in new books for its own collection.
“He had a message that just because your drawings don’t look the best in the beginning, it doesn’t mean that they won’t turn out better later on,” fourth-grade student Gillian Fambrough said. “He inspired me to draw my hair differently. He was very funny, kind, and took as many questions as he could.”
Prior to Kelley’s visit, students took part in hands-on projects meant to bring his books to life.
“I’m happy about all the new books that the Children’s Literacy Foundation is bringing to both the public library and the Elementary School library,” Tuttle Youth Services Librarian Laurie Cass-Griffs said. “The children get to experience live storytelling which is a wonderful and exciting art form. But I feel the best part of this grant is the collaboration component between the library and the school. Already we have worked together on literacy programming and combined events, and the children are starting to notice the connection. I feel that the children of Antrim are lucky to have so much educational support in their community.“
Antrim Principal Stephanie Syre-Hager added, “I am very pleased with the growing relationship between the school and the town library. Last year we took walking field trips there, and we plan to do more in the spring. It is such an important resource for the town. We are sincerely grateful to the library for including us in their CLIF grant activities.”