Newbery Award winning Author, Gary Schmidt Visits LCA

An Amazing Act of Generosity

Due to the beautifully written letter that Harley Rusk penned to Gary Schmidt about her last conversation with Lori Johnson (which happened to be about the 6th grade read-aloud book, “Lizzy Bright and the Buckminster Boy”), the author agreed to come to LCA and finish the book with the 6th graders.

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On November 30th, Newbery Award winning author Gary Schmidt visited Lexington Christian Academy with Karen Saupe, another English professor from Calvin College. Karen recently helped LCA with our audit of the English department and has a deep understanding of our English curriculum. She was here for the day working with the English faculty and offering support.
Gary Schmidt is no stranger to LCA. Besides speaking at LCA in the past, Lori and R.Paul Johnson hosted Gary’s New England Interim group (from Calvin College) for dinner in their home last January. Thankfully, R.Paul and members of the Johnson family were able to join us for the day, and sat in on the 6th grade classroom as Gary read his story aloud to the class. The family also had a chance to meet with Gary privately.
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Gary spent the morning reading to the 6th graders, and took time to answer questions and even sign their books. As he read this book, Lizzy Bright and the Buckminster Boy, he paused often to give insight to the story, and gave our students a reading experience they will not forget. As Gary was hanging out with the 6th graders, he noticed the name of one of our students, Quinn. He asked, “Which one of you is Quinn?” The boy timidly raised his hand, and Gary proceeded to say, “Quinn. I love that name! I think I’ll use that name for a character in my next novel!” To say Quinn was beaming is an understatement, and we will be looking out for his next novel and a character named Quinn! It was truly a special day for all of us. We are so proud of our 6th graders! They asked wonderful questions, and were fully engaged with Gary the entire time.
Gary spent the second half of the day in our 7th grade classrooms, followed by a session with the 8th graders all together in the Activity Center. He also had special time with our English faculty, where they shared a meal and enjoyed each others company.
“Stories are all about asking questions.” – Gary Schmidt
He ended his day with a storytelling session in The Cross Center that was truly breathtaking. Gary is not only an incredible writer but an unbelievable storyteller. Gary told three separate stories. At the end of the second story, he asked the room a question, and pointed out that when he asked the question, every single person had an answer to that question. Each of our answers to the same question may have been different, and THAT is how stories are born.
So today I leave you with this – question the word around you! We are all created to be creative by a God who loves us and cares about us deeply. Share the story God is writing in your life.