Visit from Author Eric Litwin

 

On Friday, February 19, 2016, nationally known author Eric Litwin was a special guest at Dozier Elementary. Litwin is the author of the first four "Pete the Cat" books, the "Polka Dot Dance Pants" book, as well as others.

The school's journey to earn a visit from Litwin began in September when DES Librarian Schuyler Poche was at a reading convention in Baton Rouge.  Through the reading conference sessions, she was able to meet the author who at that time spoke about his national video contest.  The winning video prize would be his visit to the school that won.  

Poche' who set out to earn his visit, immediately bounced ideas off of the three of her colleagues with her at the convention. The four agreed it was worth trying.  When she returned to Erath, she shared it with her leaders, Principal Karla Toups and Assistant Principal Christine Hebert and of course, the faculty and staff.  The well received idea for a school wide event to create a "Polka Dot Dance Pants" video was set in motion.

The premise of the video was to promote Litwin's new book, "The Polka Dot Dance Pants" book.  Litwin created a special dance for the event. The students, faculty and staff, as well as the guests, learned the dance and a script was written by Poche and several faculty members.

Special guests from the community were invited to join in.  Those included Mayor John Earl LeBlanc and his office staff, the Erath Fire Department, Superintendent Jerome Puyau, Supervisor Mary Joyce Dugas, Gloria Richard from Champagne's Supermarket, Erath High Principal Marc Turner and the EHS cheer squad and dance teams. Segments were filmed in October at Dozier Elementary, Erath City Hall, Erath Fire Department and at an Erath High School football game. The following week,  the compiled video was submitted. Dozier Elementary was named the grand prize (national) winner in November.  A few weeks later, arrangements for the author's visit was  set for Friday, February 19th.

On February 19th, upon entrance of the parking lot, the first things noticed included a school bus, fire truck and teacher's cars all covered in large colorful polka dots. Inside the school plant, more polka dots adorned the walls to promote Litwin's new book, "The Polka Dot Dance Pants" book.  Dozier's own Kindergarten teacher Hope Hebert, who played "Pete the Cat" in the video was on hand to reprise the character again that day.

On the stage, a large canvas display promoting Litwin and his new book filled the stage background.  The beautiful display was painted by Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau and his wife, Jackie, who is the counselor at Erath Middle.  The cafeteria was also filled with polka dots and bulletin boards to welcome their guest.

All who participated in the actual video were invited to the program on Friday afternoon.  

Erath Mayor John Earl LeBlanc and his office staff were on hand to give Litwin a "key to the city."  Litwin revealed it was his first one ever.

Suffice it to say, author (and former teacher) Eric Litwin's quick wit, upbeat music and entertainment skills kept the students and special guests engaged throughout the session.

The small seed of an idea that began with Poche' in September came full circle for herself and students on February 19th.  Her goal  to promote literacy at her school by hosting a visit from Eric Litwin at Dozier Elementary was as successful as she imagined it could be.  It was a five month journey from start to finish, which involved every member of faculty and staff, the entire student body, several willing guests and the Erath community on the whole. Without a doubt, it was a successful journey that has offered lifetime memories to all involved.

See the earlier story about the creating the video here!

 

Dozier Elementary (Pre K-5)
"We Care"

415 West Primeaux
Erath, LA 70533

337-937-6915
Fax: 937-0630

Website address http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/dozier

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