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Children’s author visits A.L. Lotts

Students at a local elementary school had a special guest, Friday, April 20.

Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton, author of more than thirty children’s books, spoke to A.L. Lotts Elementary school children, but her program was less about her books and more about making children feel better about themselves.

“Every spring I end up doing a lot of traveling, going to different schools. I feel like what I do is a ministry. I talk to the kids about the fact that I was a non-reader, and I feel like by the time I’m done they feel good about themselves and realize that everyone has disabilities and abilities, and if they work with their God-given talent then they’ll be o.k.”

The students of Sheen Crawford’s third-grade class said they enjoyed her presentation.

Davis Malone, 9, said, “It was cool and weird.”

“It was really fun. Probably the most fun thing that I’ve done here,” Sophia Barone, 9, said.

James Terrell said, “She’s not what I really expected. I expected her to be more like a grown-up and not like a kid.”

“I loved it, it kind of inspired me to want to write because I love writing, “ Sage Weber, 9, said. “I usually write a lot of stories, sometimes they are about things that are true.”

“I thought it was fun and kind of weird. When she was talking about what she did in school [to get out of reading], I wouldn’t have thought that,” David Clark, 8, said.

Knowlton told the students she was a non-reader until fifth-grade and she got into trouble in order to avoid having to read.

“I was the best wiggler and talker in the whole school. I know because my teacher gave me my own special spot – out in the hallway with my nose against the wall,” Knowlton said. She said she was picked on because of her bad grades and because she was always in trouble, but told the students something she said she wished she had learned as a child.

“I know you all at one time have had the other kids make fun of you for something. It really stinks. Well it used to happen to me almost every day. If someone is making fun of you, they’re doing it because they don’t feel good about themselves.

“So if someone says something mean to you, say ‘I am so sorry you are feeling bad about yourself today. I sure hope you get to feeling better.’”

Knowlton said her school career took a turn for the better in fifth-grade, thanks to her teacher, Mrs. Cabbage.

“It was that year that I learned how to read and write, and it was that year that I began writing,” Knowlton added. At the end of the program, she told the students to think of something they are really good at.

“Whatever it is, get a picture of it in your brain. Turn the video camera on in your brain, and imagine yourself practicing, because no one can be great at anything without practicing.”

“I thought of swimming,” Perry Johns, 9, said.

Sophia said, “I pictured a scientist and a nurse. Those are the two main jobs that I’m trying to get.”

“I imagined something with sports, like basketball or kickball, stuff like that,” David said.

Knowlton spoke at Bearden Elementary, Thursday, April 19. Anyone interested in scheduling a visit for next school year should email her at and include “author visit” in the subject line.


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