I've been enjoying a lot more virtual visits this year into classrooms like the one pictured above. They're cheap and fun and (usually) hassle-free. In case you're wondering if they can be as effective as in-real-life visits, check out this note from Mr. Kelly, a teacher at Patton Middle School in Pennsylvania (reprinted with his permission):
Mitali,The credit goes to you, Mr. Kelly, and to so many other stellar educators who are using everything and anything you can think of to connect stories to young people.
You spoke with my creative writing students through Skype earlier this school year (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania) and connected a little bit with an 8th grade student named Nikita. I wanted to share with you something she just said as she just left class:
"Speaking to Mitali Perkins made my year. I still think about it—an actual Indian author! I couldn't believe it. I still can't. I went home that day and yelled it throughout the house that I got to say (an Indian expression I didn't quite catch) to a real Indian author! I've been on her website and read her books and I think I'm going to enter her writing contest...I just...(shriek)...I love her!"
She had so much emotion flowing out of her I wish you could have seen it. We read some poetry today of Vikram Seth—I think that it is what stirred up her emotions again to wait for everyone else to leave to share what she thought of you and her experience with you.
Thank you again for being so warm with young people. Clearly, Nikita will continue to carry her experience with you for many years.