Author visits local second-grade classrooms for interactive literary program

Following Read Across Kosciusko County (RAKC) earlier this spring, author Troy Cummings spent time in local classrooms to sign books and teach the basic elements of a compelling story.

RAKC is an annual event hosted by KEYS, the Kosciusko County Community Foundation’s youth philanthropy program. This spring, 20 KEYS members, aided by more than 30 adult volunteers, travelled to 16 elementary schools throughout Kosciusko County. They read Can I Be Your Dog? by Cummings to every classroom of second graders. On the heels of RAKC, Cummings visited each of those classrooms to provide an interactive lesson on the art of storytelling.

While at Pierceton Elementary School last Thursday, Cummings read Can I Be Your Dog? with the school’s first, second and third grade classes. He led them through a series of guided observations about the book, discussing the characters and plot. Cummings then created two brand new characters with the students’ help. He taught them the basic elements of a good book and encouraged them to write and illustrate their own stories at home. “Anyone who finishes a story is an author,” Cummings said. “I became an author in second grade!”

Cummings then spent devoted time with each second grade class, signing their books, answering all their questions, and having a student draw and create a monster with him.

Since 1995, KEYS students representing Lakeland Christian Academy, Tippecanoe Valley, Warsaw, and Wawasee schools have worked together to accomplish their mission to positively impact and improve education in our community. As a grant-making body, they recommend over $20,000 in grants to educators and nonprofits each year. While in the program, KEYS members learn about philanthropy, teamwork, nonprofit governance, leadership, and service to their community.

Curious about KEYS?

Learn more about our one-of-a-kind youth philanthropy program!

2023 author visit to local school