I spent today in Franklin Centre, which is about 70 kilometers southwest of Montreal. I went there with my dear friend and photographer extraordinaire Monique Dykstra . (Monique D, by the way, photographed the necklace that appears on the front and back cover of What World Is Left).
We worked with students at Franklin Elementary School. We were there as part of a project called QuebecRoots, which is run by the Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation here in Montreal. Teams of writers and photographers go out into Quebec schools and help students there write about and take photos of their communities. Tomorrow, Monique and I go to Laval Liberty High School, and in January, we travel north to Oujebougamou.
Franklin Elementary School is a pretty special place. For one thing, it only has 55 students!! Franklin Centre is in farming country and many of the students' families have connections to farming. The principal, David Brisebois, raises horses on his farm. Mr. B spent the afternoon listening to Monique D explain what makes a good photo, and I think it's safe to say he had as much fun and learned as much as the students!
Two girls, Isabell and Kayla, sang me a beautiful rendition of Miley Cyrus's Seven Things. Their friend Alexa told them, "She's [meaning me] is probably gonna write about a book about that!" Alexa, who's 10 and has red hair and freckles, told me she writes every day after school. "I go into my room and write songs and stories," she said. Alexa, you sound like a writer to me! Keep at it and in not too too long, you may be visiting schools, too, and reading from your books and telling kids how satisfying it is to be a writer. So here's to all you young writers out there! Keep writing, keep snooping for stories, and keep your hearts open to the people you meet...oh, I nearly forgot to say a special thank you to Franklin Elementary teachers Gordon Bown and Paula Dolpin. Thanks for your hard work and for sharing your wonderful students with us Moniques!!