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Leigh Anne Florence, author of multiple children’s books and the newspaper serial “Unleashed,” visited with Robert B. Turner Elementary students on Nov. 16, bringing children’s book stars and dachshunds Woody and Chloe with her.
Third and fourth grade teacher Julie Wise said she introduced the Woody books to her students by reading Florence’s “The Adoption” last month and “Tales from the Bluegrass,” but most recently Wise’s students have been following Woody and Chloe in the pages of the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper through “Unleashed.”
Wise said her class received free newspapers every week through the Newspapers in Education program, catching up on the newest chapter of Woody and Chloe’s adventures for the last 10 weeks. The Kentucky Press Association also provided a podcast of the “Unleashed” story that students listened to, Wise said.
“Students finished ‘Unleashed’ as the last chapter was published and the students have been looking forward to meeting Woody, Chloe and the gang all week,” Wise said in an e-mail.
Wise said she, Turner Librarian Mary Ann Mathews and instructor Holly Sills met Florence at a Newspapers in Education workshop this past June and Turner Principal Wayne Reese allowed the teachers to pay to have Florence visit students.
Florence gave morning and afternoon assemblies at Turner for grades K-5, and a writing workshop for third and fourth graders explaining how the letters of Woody’s name could spell out guidelines for responsible behavior.
The “Unleashed” story features Chloe and Woody as they travel across Kentucky, zip lining, horse back riding and wake boarding to get into better shape, Wise said.
“Aside from the obvious reading connection to the curriculum, the stories have also taught us more about the geography of the state of Kentucky as well as enriched health and practical living curriculum by encouraging students to be healthy and teaching them that exercise can happen outdoors,” Wise said of “Unleashed.”
“To follow up we will be reading Leigh Anne’s ‘Mr. Dogwood goes to Washington’ to learn more about our nation’s capitol.
“The students can’t wait!”