MEXICO — Maine author Lynn Plourde has been bringing her writing skills to students and teachers at Meroby Elementary School as author in residence for the past two weeks.

Plourde, the author of 27 children’s books, and a writing workshop leader in Maine and several other states, has her students practice how to plan, write and revise a story.

On Thursday, she was helping third-graders.

“The different grades do different planning,” she said, pointing out that the youngest children often plan their story with pictures.

Eileen Pew, Meroby literacy coach, said the nine-day residence program is a way to ensure that everyone sees the writing process, from planning and writing to revision.

Plourde was a speech therapist for 21 years before she decided she could write children’s books after reading to her 3- and 4-year-old stepsons. It took 13 years of rejections before she got her first book published, “Pigs in Mud.”

Her latest book, “Lost Trail,” is aimed for the upper elementary grades and was written with the collaboration of Donn Fendler, author of “Lost on a Mountain in Maine.”

“Kids need to read to learn to write, and to plan before writing,” she said.

During her time at Meroby, she will also offer a writing workshop for Meroby’s teachers. Although teachers provide instruction in writing, it is not necessarily creative writing, she said.

On Wednesday, known as World Read Aloud Day, she skyped with 10 schools from around the world on the importance of reading and writing. One was from Belarus.

On Literacy Night at 6 p.m. March 14 at the school parents and others are invited to book-related events with Plourde.

“If we want kids to be good readers and writers, family commitment is important,” she said.

Next month, Plourde will offer a similar workshop for students at Dirigo Elementary School in Peru.


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