Thursday, May 28, 2015

Award-winning author inspires Hathaway Elementary writers

Hathaway Elementary School students were visited on May 26 by Elizabeth Rusch, an award-winning children's book author, magazine writer, and writing teacher. She writes lively fiction and nonfiction books in the areas of science, art and the magic of discovery.

Rusch presented two assemblies for grades K-2 and 3-5 and taught three writing workshops to 4th grade students.  In her assemblies and workshops, Rusch shares her life as a writer, where she gets ideas, how she researches and develops her books and articles, her writing and revision process, and some funny and scary adventures she’s had along the way.  Besides being a celebrated author and a scientific researcher, Rusch is also a highly acclaimed writing teacher.

“Ms. Rusch creates presentations and writing workshops based on her deep knowledge and love of non-fiction subjects,” said Cathy Burrows, Hathaway Title 1 reading specialist.  “During the workshops at Hathaway, students were inspired by her interactive, common-core writing instruction.  Our students gained important insights about how to make their writing “come alive” for the reader. They were so excited about the process that they wanted to continue creating and sharing throughout the day.”

“You never know what will spark a student’s interest and feed the flame of learning,” states Rusch in her philosophy about school visits.  “For me, all subjects are connected: writing, reading, science, art, music, math, social studies. By presenting myself as a writer with wide ranging passions - for astronomy, volcanology, art, music, history, and community service – I hope to inspire not only budding writers but also budding scientists, artists, activists.”

This author visit was made possible through a grant from the Washougal Schools Foundation and from Hathaway Boosters funding.

The Hathaway library has several of her books, and teachers have been checking them out to use in instruction.  “Ms. Rusch has already provided common core discussion questions/activities to our teachers to accompany each book,” Burrows said.  “The classroom study of nonfiction text enriched our curriculum as teachers prepared the students for this event.”

For more information about Rusch and her books, go to: