Churchmans visit Eden school

Students at Eden Central School get a chance to meet some of the farm animals featured in books by John and Jennifer Churchman.

Picture book author/illustrator and farmer John Churchman visited Eden Central School recently with Laddie, the star of one of the popular picture books produced by John and his wife and co-author, Jennifer.

Churchman read stories and talked about the way he goes about creating books.

John and Jennifer Churchman’s picture book series, “Sweet Pea and Friends,” has been a New York Times Bestseller. The latest books in the series are “Alpaca Lunch” and “Easter Surprise.”

The visit was sponsored by the Children’s Literacy Foundation in Waterbury, which awarded a $25,000 grant to Eden Central School this school year. The grant has brought Vermont and New Hampshire authors to the school, including Jan Reynolds of Stowe of the Vanishing Cultures series, prolific author/illustrator and musician Jim Arnosky, and author/illustrator Marty Kelley.

The grant has also sponsored family events such as an ice cream social, and special programs such as a field trip to the Fairbanks Museum planetarium and a unit on beaver ponds. The grant provides new books for classrooms and the school library, and for nearby Lanpher Memorial Library in Hyde Park. Additionally, the grant allows each student to choose 10 new books for themselves through the course of the year. The school chose a theme of “Building Community: At Home and Around the Globe” for the year, using their new multicultural books to learn about cultures around the world.

Morristown Elementary School and three other Vermont elementary schools were also selected for this year’s grant program, which aims to build a culture of literacy within a community, inspire a love of reading and writing, and increase family engagement in education.

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