Friday, May 13, 2016


It's like the day after a wedding you have been planning for years. Or that race you have been training months for. Or even that trip across the Atlantic you saved up for years to go on. That's how I felt all day Wednesday and Thursday.  Not so much let down but withdrawal.  What am I going to do now No more daily Sarah facts of the day?  And then there's the pure exhaustion and exhilaration from such a wonderful day featuring a wonderful person.  It almost feels like an out of body experience.

We had been planning this for 11 months, just after I met Sarah for the first time at a conference last May. I have been a fan for years. Yeppers, I do love Oggie Cooder. So a month later we had a date--the book birthday for Save Me a Seat. We ❤️ to celebrate book birthdays at Castleton Elementary School. 

The day was pretty perfect. Sarah showed up at 8 and was able to give her own Sarah fact of the day. She did three assemblies and they were all wonderful. The exciting part of each was that we were able to collaborate with the public library and classroom teachers so that everyone got a signed copy of Cheese (K-3) or Save Me a Seat (4-5). The books came in a fun red backpack that the library purchased. We are calling it our kickoff to summer reading. We hope kids will take pictures and post them or send them to us and we can see what they have read all summer. 

The 2/3 Assembly.  They didn't know yet that they were going to get a copy of this book!

All the K/1 loved this game Sarah played with them!

First graders with their bags and books

And every 4/5 student got a backpack and the book birthday BOOK!

For lunch Sarah ate with the Dewey Duty kids. We ate mac and cheese, rice, pizza apple crisp, ice cream and peanut M&Ms at "Albert Einstein Elementary School." It was super fun! 

Everyone was searching for a double blue!

He put two together hoping it could then be a double!

Then it was time to do all the last minute putting togethers of MOST (Museum of Sarah's Treasures) at school, run back home for quick shower, change into my gown and head back over to our Gala. Words cannot describe how amazing the evening was. We welcomed and squeezed over 150 guests in our common area. Students from The War That Saved My Life book group performed their reader's theatre. We showed our video of "Honey Was Good." Sarah signed her "star" and cut the ribbon to the gallery (library) using a pair of ginormous scissors.

Sarah at our entrance to the museum.

The line to get in and how fancy everyone was! We did say "black tie (sort of)"
Also, the kids behind the sign in (in white and black) are 4th graders
who "worked" the event checking people in,
taking pictures and serving food.

4th grade workers handing out the programs and ballots

Sarah's passion is Reader's Theatre and she just finished The War that Saved My Life so we performed it for her!

Mrs. Kelliher is the creative mind behind this video!

Signing the star.  The stars on the ground are other authors that have visited our school.

Getting ready for the ribbon cutting!

Look at all those people!

The exhibits were amazing.  A replica of Sarah's alma mater, Hampshire College along with her commencement program and Frogbook (yearbook) photo from 1973 and Ben and Jerry's (one of them went there, too). There were so many great exhibits. Jellybeans. A giant nose. Chai latte. "You are my Sunshine." Dum-Dums. Nail polish. Liberty, NY with pictures of me from my childhood visiting my grandparents. Bees. Honey. Crocodiles. Mrs. Pryde's class timeline.  A beach with real sand. A thrift store.  A bandshell. Mrs. Yager's class "Charving Tree." And so much more! 

The song, "You are my Sunshine" is featured in Honey

This exhibit was all about sneezing, honoring the book, Baa-Choo!

Sarah's favorite drink is a chai latte.  These girls had samples for everyone!

The beach exhibit!  It was my crazy idea to bring in sand but look at how much fun they are having!
The custodian didn't love me...
My collaboration with Mrs. Pryde's class--Our timeline!

A three table exhibit on bees!

We had a red carpet photo area, food and everyone was dressed to the nines! It was such a great night.

I had some amazing moms be "co-chairs" for the decorating and refreshments.  This is one of them!

It was just great to see our youngest learners celebrate with us, too!

With Mrs. Pryde! She made the awesome frame!

The Leap! 

Mr. Reischer on the stick with our hashtag in the background #MOST51016
#missedyou Mr. Reischer

The end of the evening with Mrs. Warland. Couldn't have done it all without her!

I owe so much of the success of the event to my collaborating fifth grade teacher, Mr. Reischer, who sadly could not be there. He and I work so well together and this was truly amazing because of everything we did together. He was on my mind constantly. I kept saying all day it was like my best man couldn't come to my wedding.  Then I would wonder, "Am I marrying Sarah?"  So many people chipped in to help out--too many to even name!  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful school and parent community.  Look up this phrase in the dictionary, "Teamwork makes the dream work" and it will say, "See Castleton Elementary School."

So, please, I haven't done the Gala nearly enough justice, come and meet me for some chai latte and let me tell you ALL about it, every single detail...

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