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Author visits Crossroads


Crossroad School students ended out last week both inspired and motivated to become better writers.

Best-selling Canadian author from Red Deer, Alberta, Sigmund Brouwer visited Crossroads School last Thursday and Friday to teach students about writing and promote an interest in literature.

“He did a whole school assembly where he was sharing some of his experiences, reading from some of the books he's written and trying to motivate the students to become writers,” noted vice-principal Sharla McKinnon.

He visited all of the classes in the school over the two day visit and hosted writing workshops in Grades 3-8 where he taught students the process of writing.

Brouwer uses a lot of humour within his writing lessons and overall the students had a fantastic response to the lessons he taught, said McKinnon.

“The students loved him," she remarked. "He really did inspire them to become writers.”

"I just think that his humorous side of Brouwer was so engaging for all of our students, but particularly our boys.

“Sometimes it's difficult to find an engaging and motivating speaker for everyone but he seemed to really be able to connect with each and every student, regardless of age or gender,” McKinnon added.

Grade 4 student Landon Hammond said Brouwer was really funny and shared a bunch of great stories during his visit.

“[He] inspired me to write every single day and make my writing funnier," Hammond said. "Now I want to be an author, too.”

Fellow grade 4 student Kaden David also enjoyed Brouwer's sense of humour and said he taught them that they can do anything they want if they set their mind to it.

Grade 7 student Serena Cousineau said she learned different ways to write and helpful strategies for stronger writing.

Going forward she said she will plan out her writing better to improve her stories.

Grade 8 student Shelby Kellar said Brouwer taught her class about the guidelines that can help make them better writers.

“He was definitely inspiring for the kids and motivating them through a lot of his kind of silly stories of the English language and how hard it can be,” McKinnon noted.

Brouwer poked fun at many of the inconsistencies in the English language which had a great response from students.

One of the key messages he taught to Crossroads students was that everybody can be a writer.

“He motivated students with the fact that even if you struggle with spelling and grammar it doesn't mean that you can't write a good story,” McKinnon explained.

Students also got inspired to read more often because Brouwer explained that you need to have knowledge to write a story and the best way to gather knowledge is through reading.

Another key point he illustrated was the value in asking for help when struggling.

“He did stress the importance of making sure you go to people, like the teachers, to help support you as well,” McKinnon explained.

As well, Brouwer shared his own story of how he didn't feel like a very strong writer growing up but found ways to overcome those challenges, which many students found inspiring, McKinnon noted.

“I think it's important for kids to have positive role models that they can connect with and be able to see themselves in as well,” she said.

Many of the students at Crossroads are asking if they can have Brouwer back and McKinnon said they hope to host him again in the near future.

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