I visited the Village School in Naples, FL today to do 2 presentations – One for the elementary students and the one to the middle school students. We had a great time!

The Village School is such a beautiful place. It is part of the North Naples United Methodist Church. The preschool has been there since 1985, and for the past 9 years, the school has offered classes through 8th grade as well. The principal, Ginger Sauter, was such a pleasure to meet. Mrs. Sauter shared with me part of her vision for her students, and it was refreshing, progressive and impressive. The children are taught with a combination of different teaching styles (in a Christian environment) and are encouraged to think independently and develop their creativity, while learning responsibility and leadership. The atmosphere was extremely positive there, and the teachers were clearly very happy to be there as well as the children. I have to say this was one of the best behaved groups of kids I have ever met. I think I’d like to start my education over and attend the Village School! Please go the school’s website to learn more.

For the Elementary Program we learned about the characters in the book, the plants and animals of Costa Rica, the importance of reading, how to problem solve peacefully, and we played a US geography game. The teachers got called up to the stage to play too, and the students showed roaring enthusiasm for their teachers! The kids were very eager to ask questions, participate and dance.

I spoke to the middle school students candidly about the creative writing and self publishing process – from the first idea to the final book and beyond. I shared with them the importance of reading and what steps they can take to improve their writing. More importantly I told them about my regrets – how I wish I had worked harder in school when I was their age and how they could take action now to make a significant difference in the world. They were so attentive, polite and very curious. I got to answer some interesting questions and also learn about some of their thoughts as well. I was impressed by their interest in writing and publishing, as they asked me very detailed, well thought out questions. The difference in maturity from elementary school to middle school is significant, and it was interesting for me to switch gears in such extremes in one day.

I say thank you to all the students, teachers and principal of The Village School. It was as much a learning experience for me as it was for them. Enjoy these photos!

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