Questeq customer, Cornell School District and their elementary third graders had a very special visit with children’s author, Megan McDonald on May 3rd. With the support of Candlewick Press, Questeq, and several other partner organizations, the best-selling author was available to speak to students and sign books in their classrooms.
Ms. McDonald, 58, has 35 million books in print, including the popular Judy Moody franchise. She also has written the Julie Albright series of American Girl books, as well as dozens of others.
A longtime California resident, she returned to her roots in Pittsburgh’s North Hills area. Following the program at Cornell Elementary, Megan also spoke with patrons at the Northland Public Library in McCandless, where she once worked as a teenager.
Megan’s program at Cornell was webcast to include students and patrons across the globe. An estimated 40,000 students in over 500 classrooms participated in the video conference program hosted at Cornell Elementary, with live questions from students in Minnesota, Florida, Kentucky, Alaska, and Vancouver. The Cornell third graders were on the edges of their seats and as they left their classroom that Wednesday, several proclaimed, “Best day ever.“
Books were central to Ms. McDonald and her four older sisters. Her father, an ironworker who worked on the Fort Duquesne and Andy Warhol bridges, dropped out of school at 14 to help support his family after his father died. Books filled in for him where formal schooling left off.
There was one rule in their house: no books at the dinner table. And when her father suspected that rule was being broken, the sisters knew the threat: “If I catch you reading, I’m going to tear out the last page and you’ll never know the ending.”
Other than the one prized hardback book each girl got for Christmas, their reading material came from weekly trips to the big green bookmobile that would visit the neighborhood from the Carnegie Library.
That experience set Ms. McDonald on route to becoming a children’s librarian and author. The author visit archive can be viewed at: https://kinber.njvid.net/show.php?pid=njcore:103551.
The program at Cornell Elementary was coordinated through Mr. Kris Hupp, Director of Technology & Instructional Innovation, Candlewick Press, Questeq, and KINBER, with the support of Stephanie Flom of Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures.
This is part of a series of classroom programs supported by Questeq.