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Mountain Avenue Elementary students learn from authors, artists

October 31, 2012|By Joyce Rudolph
  • Authors and illustrators visiting Mountain Avenue Elementary School are, from left, Amy Koss, Principal Rebeca Witt, Joe Cepeda, Mary Ann Fraser and Michelle Markel.
Authors and illustrators visiting Mountain Avenue Elementary… (Photo by Karen Saunders )

The students at Mountain Avenue Elementary welcomed literary celebrities to their school on Oct. 18, courtesy of the Assistance League of Glendale.

The authors and illustrators visiting were Joe Cepeda, Mary Ann Fraser, Amy Koss and Michelle Markel, who explained the process of producing a book.

For more than 15 years the local chapter of Assistance League has presented the Authors and Illustrators program to the schools of Glendale, rotating through three to five schools a year.

The league has presented more than $73,000 to the schools to purchase books for their libraries. In addition to Mountain Avenue Elementary School, Assistance League will also visit Keppel Elementary and Columbus Elementary and present checks of $1,500 each for their individual libraries, as well as paying for the authors and illustrators to come to the schools.

Cepeda, illustrator of “Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey,” taught students how to read a picture in shapes, directing the eye to subjects, how an illustrator adds details of things he knows, as well as teaching them how to draw a dog, turkey and other critters.


Students in the classroom where Fraser was visiting reached into a can filled with names and picked a character for a story they constructed in class. Children could be heard giggling when the story turned silly with a talking crayon, but hands flew up to suggest jobs for the crayon to do.

In Markel's classrooms, students learned how she brings real people to life in stories about painters Marc Chagall and Henri Rousseau.

Sophisticated sixth-graders quizzed Koss on how an author gets ideas and how an author works through writer's block.

The children gathered in the auditorium after school to purchase the authors' books at a discount and have them autographed.

Community Center conducts food drive

The Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge is having its annual food drive in conjunction with its 19th annual Thanksgiving Day Run. This year's theme is “Running Forward to Give Back.”

Now through Thanksgiving, the public is encouraged to donate canned foods, pasta, rice, baby food, beans and other non-perishables. Items should be in plastic containers only, no glass. Grocery store gift cards are also welcomed.

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