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home : education : schools August 20, 2017


3/1/2016 1:12:00 PM
Children's author to visit schools

Lois Brandt, author of the children's book "Maddi's Fridge," will be visiting Sisters Elementary School and Sisters Christian Academy on March 9 and 10 thanks in part to a grant from the Sisters-based Roundhouse Foundation.

The 2014 children's book is a story about friendship, with a deeper discussion of childhood hunger from a young person's perspective. The book and author were chosen to coincide with a kick-off of the first-ever Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive at Sisters Elementary School.

Years ago, Brandt peeked into her best friend's refrigerator and found empty shelves and one small carton of milk; her friend's family didn't have enough money to buy food. Maddi's Fridge, Lois' first picture book, is the result of that moment.

"I read the book last year to my kids and loved it," said The Roundhouse Foundation trustee Erin Borla. "I knew this was a story that we could tie into some of the great things our schools were doing and other things happening in the community. It all came together when I discovered the author did site visits. Back in November, we began discussions with the Elementary School, Ms. Brandt, and the Sisters Kiwanis Food Bank. I am really looking forward to the culmination of this collaborative community project in the next few weeks."

Brandt will visit Sisters Elementary School on Wednesday, March 9, and present at an all-school assembly followed by a series of writing workshops with each grade level. The following day, Brandt will present at Sisters Christian Academy with a similar schedule. Each school will host a food drive as a part of her visit. Brandt's travel expenses and a portion of her site visit cost has been covered by a grant from The Roundhouse Foundation. In addition, FivePine Lodge & Conference Center has provided lodging.

Maddi's Fridge has been universally praised by teachers, librarians, parents, and, most significantly, young readers. It is the recipient of a 2014 Christopher Award and the International Literacy Association's 2015 Book Award for Primary Fiction, among other honors.

"Paige Bentley-Flannery at the Sisters branch of the Deschutes Public Library has been a huge help," said Borla. "She has developed lists of other books that are similar to Brandt's book in content and in style so that students may continue learning after Brandt's visit."

For families with students at both Sisters Elementary School and Sisters Christian Academy, Brandt's book is available for pre-order through Paulina Springs Books. If students bring their copy to the school the day of Brandt's visit, there will be allotted time in the author's day where she will privately sign copies and books will be returned to students. It is suggested that families pre-order books by Thursday, March 3, in order to have them in time for her visit.

"March's character trait of the month is compassion, where we are teaching students about the feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, or in trouble," said SES Principal Becky Stoughton. "Having Ms. Brandt here to help us not only discuss her great book but also work with our teachers and students on writing workshops will be a wonderful experience."

The SES Peanut Butter and Jelly (and all kid-friendly foods) drive kicks off on Wednesday, March 9, and runs through March 18. Sisters Christian Academy is also doing a food drive. Donations for each drive can be dropped at the respective school to be delivered to the Sisters Kiwanis Food Bank.

Brandt served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa, and continues to travel widely. She teaches creative writing at Bellevue College Continuing Education and gives talks about writing to children and adults at local schools, libraries, and writing organizations. Brandt lives near Seattle, Washington, with her husband, assorted kids, two dogs, a gecko, and a fluffy cat who thinks he's a dog. Learn more about her and Maddi's Fridge at www.LoisBrandt.com.

Maddi's Fridge is available for checkout at the Deschutes Public Library.

For more information on The Roundhouse Foundation visit www.RoundhouseFoundation.org.









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