Let’s Play Ball! (And Read Too)


Let’s Play Ball! (And Read Too)


mattchristopher120How do you get children excited to read when the days are finally warmer, the ball fields are open and the school year is winding down?  You start talking ball.  You tell them that quite a few years back, a kid just like them, played ball down in Myers Park using a broom stick and worn out tennis balls! That kid loved sports, went to Lansing Central schools and decided to be a writer at a very young age.   

Through a joint effort of R.C. Buckley Elementary, Lansing LOVES to read! and Lansing Community Library a reading incentive was recently given to Lansing children ages 5-12.  Read one or more books written by Matt Christopher,  individually or with a parent, and fill out a reading log for a chance to win one of his books (with a personalized note from his son, Marty).  According to R.C. Buckley Elementary School Literacy Specialist Sandy Rapp, many children read Christopher’s books without knowing of the local connection.

42 years after his father had spoken with R.C. Buckley Elementary students about the inspiration behind his writing career, Marty Christopher picked up the torch and entertained students once again with the story behind his father’s literacy legacy.

mc_mattchristopherThen... Matt Christopher encouraging Lansing elementary school kids to read
mc_martyAnd now... Marty Christopher talks to Lansing Elementary School kids about reading

Christopher made a point to talk with the children about perseverance.  It took many attempts before Matt Christopher sold his first work.  He did not give up and eventually became a prolific children’s author- writing about kids and sports, with a lot of adventure and  the  occasional mystery  thrown in.  Christopher is a natural story teller and the kids had question after question.  Christopher also shared that both he and his Dad, were inducted into the Lansing Central Schools Sports Hall of Fame.

Along with the reading challenge, Christopher gave the children one last challenge.   He asked them to see if they could find his picture in the LCS Sports Hall of Fame.  He gave them a hint: “The picture doesn't look like me now.  Look for a tall, skinny kid with hair.”

mc_elementarystudentcouncilRC Buckley Elementary School Student Council Loves to Read

A Lansing Historical Association Newsletter is on display at Lansing Community Library (encased in the Matt Christopher collection) with an article written by Town Historian Louise Bement.  Bement’s fourth grade class was visited in 1972 by Matt Christopher.  The article is full of interesting facts about  Matt’s life, including that he went to school in the building that is now our local library.

Did the reading incentive work?  According to reports, Christopher hit it out of the park.

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Mia Good Day to you, dear visitor. My name is Mia and, to put it bluntly, I've had a pretty rough time of it this year. My people said I am the nicest and most intelligent cat there is, 'a bundle of love' after I get to know you. Talking in a high-pitched voice seems to help. At the moment, however, I'm recovering from a pretty bad and very uncomfortable skin condition which had the vets mystified at first. Part of it appears to be a burn, which is greatly improved - yay! I'm wearing my Thundershirt to keep me from scratching or otherwise irritating the sore spots; that will probably be needed for a while longer, even though I'm feeling MUCH better! The great SPCA folks think I will be MUCH more friendly and anxious to be loved and stroked when I'm totally cured. Have you got the patience to help me heal and become cuddly and loving once more? I'm looking forward to being my old self again.

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