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Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Author Nancy Shaw speaks with second-grade students at North Creek Elementary School during last week's Authors in Chelsea.

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Author Nancy Shaw speaks with second-grade students at North Creek Elementary School during last week’s Authors in Chelsea.

Story and photos by Crystal Hayduk

Authors of favorite books are often on an individual’s “most admired persons” list, and Nancy Shaw’s memorable visit to North Creek Elementary School has surely gained her lifelong fans.

Not only has she written a number of books well-loved by young children, including “Sheep in a Jeep,” (HMH Books, 1986), but she also kept second grade students enthralled and engaged for the better part of an hour – no small feat in the eyes of the North Creek staff.

“She related so well to the kids,” said second grade teacher Beth Newman. “She talked directly to them – about how she became an author, and even how she started writing when she was in second grade.”

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Students talk to author Nancy Shaw.

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Students talk to author Nancy Shaw.

Shaw, a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard who lives in Ann Arbor, visited North Creek last week during the Authors in Chelsea event. She led second grade students in writing workshops on March 25, and conducted an assembly with first graders the following day.

Shaw connected with students through conversation about her own childhood as the second of four children in a family that didn’t own a television. “I didn’t like it at the time, but I was really lucky because I read a lot of books,” she said, telling them that lots of reading and regular visits to the library set the stage for her future career.

She shared the process of writing, from idea to final publication, including details such as rejection letters and years of writing to get a story “just right.” She also told the children how picture books are illustrated and explained how books are printed and put together.

Shaw led the students in conversational discussions about generating writing ideas, dealing with writer’s block, the need for research, and the value of hard work.

Teacher Tami Gillingham said that her students loved hearing Shaw’s thoughts about writing that they could incorporate now. “As soon as we got back to our room, the students started writing,” said Gillingham. “They were so on fire, so we went with it and boom. They had so many ideas after listening to her that they wanted to practice their new skills right away.”

Two students from each second grade classroom were also chosen to have lunch with Shaw. Grace, one of the lucky children from Newman’s class, said, “I really liked talking with Mrs. Shaw about how she got her ideas.” Grace also enjoyed Shaw’s story of visiting the library as a child and staring at the doll display in a glass case.

Shaw said that her favorite aspect of spending time with young children is “… hearing kids’ questions and ideas.”

Shaw considers the Chelsea District Library a “treasure,” and felt privileged to participate in the Authors in Chelsea program this year with Johnathan Rand and Gary Schmidt.

Funding for this year’s Authors in Chelsea event was provided in cooperation with the Chelsea Education Foundation and Friends of the Chelsea District Library.

For more information about Shaw and her books, please visit her website here.

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Author Nancy Shaw dressed as a raccoon to demonstrate inspiration for a book.

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Author Nancy Shaw dressed as a raccoon to demonstrate inspiration for a book.

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Lisa Allmendinger on April 1st, 2015
Courtesy Photo by Susanne Vanden Bosch. An example of a CVS sign.

Courtesy Photo by Susanne Vanden Bosch. An example of a CVS sign.

By Tim Bristle

I have called Chelsea my home for as many years as I have been alive, and have come to appreciate all it has to offer. Now as a parent, I look at the community differently than I did as a single person. I have come to realize that the great people of this community make it what it is.

As I drive through Chelsea, and after reading stories on Chelsea Update, I have noticed several businesses supporting the community above what their business entails. I would like to highlight those here.

At the corner of Main St. and Old US-12, CVS stands where the old video store once was. Their sign, which advertises sales and specials for CVS, also has messages promoting events in the community.

Mostly for school events, this service to the community is a testament to the importance of the people of Chelsea to the success of the store. Justin, the assistant manager I spoke with also mentioned supporting St. Mary’s fish fry, and other benevolences as “corporate will allow.”

Thank you CVS, for supporting the Chelsea community.

CVS offers a drive-through pharmacy, photo services, flu shots, and a variety of medicines and vitamins, as well as basic groceries.

(Publisher’s note: If you know of a business that goes above and beyond, please contact me at lallmendinger@sbcglobal.net for a spotlight story.)

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home-buyer-forumLehman and Scheffler Real Estate will offer a free home buyer and seller forum at the Chelsea District Library on April 4 from 10:30 a.m.-noon in the McKune Room.

If you plan to buy or sell a home in 2015, this forum is for you as local experts will be on hand to discuss the process.

Want to know how to get top dollar for your home by timing the market and having the proper marketing and staging? The company’s  22-plus years of combined experience as the local experts will help.

The forum will include tips about buying a home and the process involved, including getting prequalified with a local lender to give you an advantage in the offer process. The experts will explain the entire process – including inspection, negotiation and closing.

Dart Mortgage, Absolute Title and Lehman and Scheffler agents will be on hand to answer all of your questions.

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Lisa Allmendinger on April 1st, 2015

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Lisa Allmendinger on April 1st, 2015

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 31st, 2015
Photo by Lisa Carolin. Author Jonathan Rand teaches fifth graders at South Meadows Elementary School.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Author Jonathan Rand teaches fifth-graders at South Meadows Elementary School.

Story and photos by Lisa Carolin

Close to 50 fifth-graders at South Meadows Elementary School had the opportunity on March 26 to learn first hand from author Jonathan Rand what are some of the key ingredients of writing a book.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Fifth graders listen to author Jonathan Rand during the recent Authors in Chelsea.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Fifth graders listen to author Jonathan Rand during the recent Authors in Chelsea.

The popular kids’ author known for scary stories like the American Chillers series, spoke to students as part of March is Reading Month and Authors in Chelsea activities thanks to grants from the Chelsea Education Foundation and the Friends of the Chelsea District Library.

Teachers at South received copies of the American Chillers series for their classroom libraries, and the school media center received eight copies of his latest books.

“His books are really good,” said fifth-grader Marisol Salveri.

“They’re creepy but interesting,” said fifth-grader Reese Johnson.

Both girls attended Rand’s “Writeshop” that took place in the school’s media center. Rand began by asking the students what he needed to get to the school. Students’ answers included, “coffee,” “glasses,” and “creativity,” but the answer Rand was looking for was “a map.”

“It is important to know where your story is going,” said Rand. “I create a map first with an outline and an ending. Then I choose a title.”

He showed the students a colorful slide with a girl clutching a dragon and asked them to write down as many titles as they could think of.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Author Johnathan Rand explains the process of writing a story.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Author Johnathan Rand explains the process of writing a story.

“Pay close attention to the emotion,” Rand told them.

He explained the four critical components of every story:
1.) Who is the hero?
2.) What does your hero want?
3.) What’s stopping your hero from getting it?
4.) What’s at stake?

“These are questions you ask yourself about your own story,” explained Rand. “What does your hero stand to lose?”

Students had lots of ideas and their joy for reading was evident.

Rand is a Michigan native and says that his goal is to instill the importance of reading and writing in kids.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Author Jonathan Rand at South Meadows Elementary school.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Author Jonathan Rand at South Meadows Elementary school.

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 31st, 2015

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Chelsea Police logo 2In this week’s Chelsea Police blotter, it was reported that a 22-year-old Chelsea man was arrested on a domestic assault charge, two skates that were on display had been stolen, and that a 62-year-old Chelsea man was driving with both an expired registration and a suspended driver’s license.

For the full stories, please click here.

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To register or for more information about programs taking place at the Chelsea District Library, please click here.

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Lisa Allmendinger on March 31st, 2015

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Terri Lancaster for the information in this story.)

The Waterloo Village United Methodist Church will host a number of Holy Week services and events.

There will be a service on Maundy Thursday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. and a service on Good Friday, April 3 at 6:30 p.m.

There will be a sunrise Easter Service on April 5 at 7 a.m., an Easter Breakfast from 8-10 a.m. and an Easter Church Service at 10 a.m.

The Waterloo Village UMC is located at 8110 Washington St. in the Village of Waterloo.

All are welcome.

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