Authors visits to schools great aspect of Tejas Fest
Bill Cooke

Neighbor Grover sez the high cost of living has not affected its popularity.

C ongratulations to all the volunteers and organizations that made the 2013 Tejas Fest a resounding success. I was going to say it was the biggest and best ever, but that’s just a personal observation. They have all been remarkable cultural fests for a town this size.

Geri Burnett, retired RISD teacher/administrator, in her excellent column in The Reporter’s Tejas Fest special tabloid section last week, pointed out the importance of one aspect of the event that should not be overlooked— bringing the authors into the Rockdale ISD classrooms.

Indeed, those sentiments were echoed by Pam Kaufmann, RISD assistant superintendent for instruction, who said such an opportunity for students to have noted authors come to their classrooms and talk to them about their craft is “virtually unheardof in a town of our size.”

These visits to the school occur on Friday, and then on Saturday, the big day for Tejas Fest, students have the opportunity to come to the library or depot, visit more with the authors, buy their books and have them signed.

This year author Sherry Garland made a return visit to the RISD and to the library. She has written more than 30 books and won over 40 national and international awards and honors.

I enjoyed her presentation at the library Saturday and was happy that it drew a room full of listeners. In fact, all of the featured authors drew a good turnout of listeners and it was good to see many students at these sessions.

Thank you, Tejas Fest, Rockdale Downtown Association, Rockdale Historical Association, Kay Theater Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, and to volunteers from all of the many organizations who participated in far too many ways to enumerate here in this limited space.

Our city adopted a slogan recently, “Great Events Happen Here.” Tejas Fest is certainly one of them, and growing every year.


Speaking of students, here are four letters that we received a little too late for publication in our special section last week. They were written by elementary school students who were commenting on authors and children’s books. Enjoy.

“Noodle and Lou is a book about as bird and a worm. They were very special friends who made each other feel better.”— Zachariah Matthews (first grade, Mrs. Lori Birkhead teacher).

“Lost in Comanche Country” by Erin K. Casey. The writer was really creative and I would like to write a book like hers someday. I’ve learned sometimes you need to find someone to help you. You can also teach people new things no matter how old they are.”— Kyndal Robinson, second grade, Mrs. Joni Crane teacher).

“An All Knight Adventure by Erin K. Casey. My favorite part of An All Knight Adventure is when the man fought the dragon.”— Devon Hicks (second grade, Whitney Pounders teacher).

“All the World by Liz Scanlon is a book about families going everywhere just having fun. It is kind of a rhyming book. It paints a picture in your mind.”—Ivan Brindle (first grade, Lorrie Birkhead teacher.

Yes, Ivan, and you have just absolutely nailed it. Books do paint pictures in your mind. And ideas and inspiration too.

You go, young readers!

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