When Carmen T. Bernier-Grand signed a book for Sophie at the Wordstock Festival, it was just the beginning of the relationship. For one week in March, Bernier-Grand became a writer in residence for Sophie’s 3rd grade class at Harney Elementary School.Bernier-Grand led Sophie and her fellow students through a series of activities writing the first draft of a book. The guidance she provided in her week of residency will result in a bound book that each student will take home at the end of the year.
Bernier-Grand also hosted a Family Write Night at Harney. Over 100 students and parents participated in the activities. She runs her workshops in English and in Spanish, and she encourages her students to write in whatever language feels most comfortable to them.
Teachers say that her bilingual workshops, and personable demeanor that draws in children and parents equally, have created an open atmosphere for families who do not speak English at home. These parents have become more involved in their children’s academic lives as a direct result of her presence in the school.
You can meet Bernier-Grand, and hear her read from her children’s books, April 15th at the upcoming Reading Fair at the University of Portland. She will read her books in the Wordstock Reading Corner in the big red chair. Catch her there, because she soon returns to the classroom for more Family Write Nights and a classroom residency with Harney first graders.
Click here to learn more about Wordstock’s Classroom Residency programs, Family Write Nights, and more programs for students and their families.